Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid created to combat severe pain associated with operations, serious injuries, or cancer. For chronic pain, fentanyl can be prescribed after less potent painkillers become ineffective. While fentanyl has legitimate medical uses, its euphoric effects have led to its abuse as a recreational drug with an extremely high potential for addiction. Popular street drugs obtained for recreational use are frequently cut with fentanyl, unbeknownst to users. Thus, fentanyl has become the leading cause of overdose and overdose-related deaths in recent years. Because of the highly addictive nature of fentanyl and other opioids, a comprehensive opioid addiction treatment program offers the best chance for lasting recovery.
Gulf Breeze Recovery is a holistic, non-12-step recovery center located on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast. The opioid epidemic is especially rampant in Florida because of the state’s position in the drug trade distribution channels. Our experienced treatment team understands the unique challenges of opioid addiction that make the traditional 12-step approach to recovery ineffective for many. Call 833.551.2304 to learn about our unique approach to effective, lasting recovery from opioid addiction.
The Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse
Opioids work by attaching to opioid receptors on nerve cells in multiple body parts, including the brain, spinal cord, and gut. Essentially, they tell your body to block pain by increasing the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which can create a euphoric effect based on dosage.
With prolonged use of opioids like fentanyl, the natural production of these neurotransmitters is disrupted, and the brain becomes dependent on the presence of these drugs to function. Without the drugs, the body goes into withdrawal as it tries to normalize and regulate natural neurotransmitter production. The withdrawal symptoms of opioids like fentanyl can be physically and psychologically extreme and are the main component in the cycle of opioid addiction.
Because it is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, a person’s body can crave fentanyl after just one dose. There are physical, emotional, mental, and psychosocial dangers of fentanyl abuse, including:
- Sleep disturbances ranging from drowsiness to insomnia
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Slowed heart rate and irregular breathing
- Erratic mood swings and behaviors
- Inability to manage daily responsibilities
- Financial and legal problems
Of course, fentanyl abuse or addiction creates innumerable problems in relationships with friends and family. The ultimate and very real danger of fentanyl abuse is death.
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse
Any substance use disorder (SUD) will negatively impact virtually every aspect of life. Unfortunately, individuals struggling with fentanyl abuse or addiction will continue to use it despite adverse consequences because of how highly addictive it is. Chronic relapse is common in opioid use disorders.
Fentanyl use puts individuals at high risk for overdose. Learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of fentanyl abuse can potentially save someone’s life. Signs and symptoms include:
- Behavioral changes – Noticeable changes in behavior include extreme lethargy, mood swings, withdrawal from friends and family, risk-taking behavior, and neglecting personal hygiene and basic needs.
- Psychological changes – Confusion, impaired judgment, paranoia, lack of concentration, hallucinations, disorientation, anxiety, and depression are common.
- Physical changes – These are often the most noticeable and include drowsiness or nodding off, shallow breathing, convulsions, fainting, pale skin, sunken eyes, multiple sores, and nausea. The more severe the addiction, the more noticeable physical symptoms become.
- Exhibiting withdrawal symptoms – Restlessness, irritability, vomiting, chills, weakness, and flu-like symptoms are telltale signs of opioid withdrawal.
Individuals with opioid use disorder will go to great lengths to acquire drugs, including doctor shopping, stealing, and selling personal items for cash to buy drugs. Unfortunately, experiencing negative life consequences, including financial instability, job loss, loss of friends and family, and legal issues, do little to deter individuals from continuing their fentanyl use.
Discover Freedom from Opioid Addiction at Gulf Breeze Recovery
If you or someone you love is suffering from opioid use disorder, recovery can seem impossible, especially if you’ve experienced chronic relapse. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we have helped countless individuals overcome opioid addiction once and for all. Many of our clients come to us after being unsuccessful in traditional 12-step programs. There is hope for recovery from opioid addiction. Reach out to our team at 833.551.2304 to discover the benefits of our holistic, non-12-step approach to treatment.