Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine, but it is 50 to 100 times more potent. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was originally developed for pain management treatment in the form of a patch, particularly for cancer patients. As a result of these origins, many individuals don’t believe fentanyl has significant addictive potential like other street drugs such as heroin. Therefore, fentanyl has a higher likelihood of accidental abuse.
Most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the United States are linked to illegally made fentanyl. Very little fentanyl needs to be consumed to get a high, so illegal drug dealers are known to cut fentanyl into other drugs like heroin and cocaine, thereby creating a lethal substance that someone can take by mistake and easily unintentionally overdose on.
How Does Fentanyl Affect the Brain?
Fentanyl can have alarming effects on one’s body. This drug impacts the central nervous system to a significant degree, causing excess amounts of dopamine to flood and chemically alter the brain. In other words, as fentanyl fills the opioid receptors in the central nervous system, it changes the way some of the brain’s neurotransmitters move.
Once dependence is built, the brain stops making these neurotransmitters at necessary levels on its own and instead begins to rely on the drug’s interference to function properly. Once an individual develops a tolerance to fentanyl’s narcotic properties, they can depend on it just to feel normal, so the use of fentanyl can quickly escalate to full-blown addiction.
How Does One Know They Are Addicted to Fentanyl?
Realizing one’s recreational drug use has turned into an addiction can be a very scary process. It’s important to keep tabs on how one’s drug use affects them so they can get the proper treatment. Some signs that an individual may be addicted to fentanyl are:
- They have developed a tolerance and consequently need higher doses of fentanyl to achieve a satisfactory high
- They experience withdrawal symptoms, such as pain, intense cravings, trouble sleeping, and nausea when fentanyl use is stopped
- They spend an excessive amount of time seeking out, using, and recovering from fentanyl and are hyper-focused on drug use
- They lack the ability to quit or reduce usage even though it has negatively affected multiple areas of their life, including work, home, and relationships
- They develop risky behaviors during usage
What Should One Expect From Fentanyl Addiction Treatment?
Fentanyl rehabilitation centers provide a safe space for individuals suffering from fentanyl addiction to break free from their habit in a comfortable and supported environment. In most fentanyl addiction recovery programs, trained addiction specialists, medical professionals, and mental health experts will help guide clients through the recovery process. The first step in any addiction recovery process is intake and assessment.
During the intake stage, professionals at the treatment center will try to learn as much as possible about each individual’s situation. They may ask questions about their physical and mental health. They will also ask questions about family history, what age fentanyl use started, how long they’ve been using, and potential barriers to recovery to determine the best, individualized course of treatment.
Following intake and assessment, individuals will jump right into the detoxification process. One can expect the fentanyl detoxification process to last several days. Detox serves as the beginning of longer-term treatment that retrains the brain and body to function naturally without drug interference. During the detoxification process, individuals may experience intense withdrawal symptoms. In many fentanyl addiction cases, medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is often recommended to help ease these withdrawal symptoms. Individuals will be supervised throughout their detoxification process to ensure their safety at all times.
After detoxification, most recovery programs transition clients into a counseling or therapy program that may include traditional therapy modalities and holistic treatments. The counseling program will most likely consist of both daily individual therapy sessions and group therapy sessions. Holistic treatments one may partake in may include art therapy, yoga, and meditation. Ongoing assessments will be given to individuals as they progress through the recovery process to ensure their needs are being met.
How Should One Get Help With Fentanyl Addiction?
Individuals struggling with fentanyl addiction should seek help at a rehabilitation center if they want to break the cycle of fentanyl use and put an end to the horrible toll addiction takes on their bodies. If you or a loved one needs help, you may be wondering where to start; Bella Monte Recovery Center may be the answer you’re looking for.
There is no quick and easy fix for fentanyl addiction. Bouncing back won’t happen overnight or on your own. Here at Bella Monte Recovery Center in Desert Hot Springs, California, we take a personalized and caring approach to treating fentanyl addiction that will help you or your loved one overcome their dependency over time and return to a healthy and productive lifestyle. At Bella Monte Recovery Center, we will stand by your side through the detoxification process and make you as comfortable as possible. We also incorporate individual and group therapy as well as holistic treatment modalities. We even provide step-down programs to ensure sobriety is maintained after the initial treatment process is over. If you are looking for support for every step of the process, Bella Monte Recovery Center may be the right fit for you. To learn more about what we have to offer, call (800) 974-1938 today.