One of the newest and strongest opioid drugs is fentanyl. Although it may not be as notorious as morphine or heroin, it is much more dangerous. So, what is fentanyl? Take a closer look while we explore the drug, its side effects, and its deadliness.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic drug. It is an opioid analgesic, which means it has similar components to morphine. However, fentanyl is more than 50 times more potent than pure morphine.
Fentanyl is used in medical settings as a pain reliever. Patients can take the drug to quickly alleviate pain after a minor accident. It is rarely used for chronic pain because it is too strong. Medical professionals administer Fentanyl as a dissolving film, a patch, an injection and sometimes, a lollipop.
What are the Side Effects of Fentanyl?
Like most opioids, fentanyl reduces sensitivity to pain. Thus, it is practical and beneficial to people in emergency situations. However, even when used under medical supervision, fentanyl can bring about unpleasant side effects.
A few of the most common and immediate side effects of fentanyl include drowsiness, lethargy, lightheadedness, nausea, constipation, and difficulty sleeping.
Prolonged use increases the risk of addiction dramatically. Additionally, it leads to more serious side effects and long-term health concerns. Using fentanyl for an extended period of time can cause weight loss, retention of urine, liver and kidney failure, hallucinations, and even fatal overdose.
What is Fentanyl Doing to Your Body?
Fentanyl is, first and foremost, dangerous because it is an addictive opioid. Just like heroin, morphine, or other prescription painkillers, fentanyl can lead to addiction and overdose.
Additionally, fentanyl can be more dangerous than similar drugs. It is so powerful and potent that it is incredibly easy to overdose on. The difference between a medication dose and a fatal dose is minuscule. Physicians are trained to properly dose based on potency, but fentanyl users aren’t.
The potency issue explains why there are so many fentanyl overdoses. Taking even a small increment too much can drastically slow down your breathing rate, or reduce your pulse to concerning levels. To make things worse, fentanyl is sometimes mixed with other drugs to increase potency, complicating matters and introducing new and greater health risks.
How Can a Fentanyl Addiction be Treated?
A fentanyl addiction is an opiate addiction. The only way to break free is to seek addiction help. Professionals can help manage withdrawal symptoms, teach patients how to avoid relapse and offer support throughout this difficult process.
Some of the treatment methods used to target a fentanyl addiction will include:
- Medically supervised detox
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Individual and group therapies
- Inpatient, outpatient, and ongoing care programs
Fentanyl is dangerous, and any abuse is likely already an addiction. Get help for yourself or a loved one at The Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles, California. Call 866-323-4665 to take the very first step toward recovery from addiction.