Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Dallas
An extremely potent and dangerous drug, fentanyl is used for severe pain in patients who have built a tolerance to the weaker prescriptions of opioids. As a pain reliever, fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. However, this strength also leads to a high risk of overdose. Read on to learn everything you need to know about fentanyl addiction treatment in Dallas Texas.
Fentanyl Addiction and Seeking Treatment in Dallas Texas
Fentanyl is also referred to as a “synthetic opioid.” This is because it is an entirely man-made drug, and no natural form of fentanyl exists. Due to its extreme potency, fentanyl is administered only in severe cases under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. Over-the-counter selling and purchasing of this drug are strictly prohibited.
Despite being illegal in the country, fentanyl is easy to manufacture and can be bought for relatively low prices. Therefore, it is very challenging to regulate the production and sales of this synthetic drug. This has led to a surge in fentanyl addiction in the past few years.
What makes fentanyl even more lethal than most other drugs is that the withdrawal symptoms can be much more challenging to deal with. This makes it difficult for adults to seek treatment despite being aware of the dangers.
According to Sarah Kawasaki, a psychiatric professor and addiction doctor at Pennsylvania State University, helping patients overcome fentanyl addiction has been one of the biggest clinical challenges of her career. She also added that since the fentanyl supply has spread through the country over the past five years, the treatment has become “progressively more difficult.”
In addition to this, there are only two medications available for the treatment of opioid addiction, methadone and buprenorphine; both of which are highly regulated. As Kawasaki further explains, this only makes matters worse. “We have 20 different ways to treat strep throat, but two medications that work well in the treatment of opioid use disorder,” add Kawasaki. “When you eliminate one and make the other really hard to get, it is a setup for failure.”
If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction, all of this can be very disheartening to hear. But there’s still hope. Seeking the help of a substance abuse treatment center may be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. However, it is necessary to seek help as soon as possible.
How Does Fentanyl Affect the Brain
Since fentanyl is a form of synthetic opioid, it immediately binds to the central nervous system’s opioid receptors. When this process occurs, it blocks the pain signals, allowing them to alleviate pain. What makes it addictive is the feeling of euphoria that people experience even while taking the prescribed dosage.
Side Effects of Fentanyl
Due to its high potency, fentanyl can cause side effects even in small doses. If fentanyl has been prescribed to you, being aware of the side effects of an overdose can potentially save you from getting addicted. Following are some of the common things you may experience after taking fentanyl.
- Severe constipation
- Tiredness or lethargy
- Excessive sweating
- Respiratory depression
Respiratory depression is the most lethal side effect of fentanyl. It is characterized by shallow breathing that slowly becomes ineffective. An overdose of fentanyl can be so dangerous that it can cause the user to stop breathing entirely.
It is also necessary to know that all forms of opioids have the risk of causing respiratory depression. However, the high potency of fentanyl increases the risk significantly, as only a minor overdose can kill a person.
If you notice any of the above side effects while taking fentanyl, inform your doctor immediately. They will make the necessary adjustments to ensure that you don’t overdose.
As we’ve already discussed, a severe overdose of fentanyl can be lethal. Here are some signs that you must always be aware of in case you or a loved one has been prescribed fentanyl.
- Slow, labored breathing (happens due to respiratory damage)
- Slow heartbeat
- Pinpoint pupils
- Trouble staying conscious
If you notice any of these symptoms, it can be extremely helpful to have Narcan on hand. It comes in the form of a nasal spray and contains the drug naloxone, which can reverse respiratory depression. Narcan is available over the counter in some states. However, you may need a prescription for others, so make sure that you are aware of the laws in the state you reside.
Either way, discuss the possibility of taking Narcan with your healthcare provider so that you always have one handy – it can truly make the difference between life and death.
While the withdrawal symptoms of fentanyl aren’t life-threatening, they can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. This is what makes it such a hard drug to quit; addicts don’t just miss the euphoric feeling but also don’t want to deal with the following symptoms.
- Cold sweats
- Muscle aches
These symptoms start occurring within 24 hours of the last dose and peak during the following 1 to 2 days. It may take up to 2 weeks for the symptoms to start subsiding. Staying strong during these 2 weeks can be the most challenging part of recovery, but it is also crucial to see lasting results.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with fentanyl addiction or any kind of drug addiction, it is necessary to seek substance abuse treatment immediately. Not only would recovery become more challenging as more time passes, but even minor overdoses can lead to death. However, it is also important to know that it’s never too late to seek treatment. Even if someone has been struggling for a while, it is still possible to make a full recovery.
If you’re looking for fentanyl addiction treatment in Dallas TX, connect with us at MAT Texas for a consultation as soon as possible.