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Fentanyl, sometimes called China White, Apache, Jackpot, Dance Fever, Friend, and Goodfellas is an incredibly strong Opioid that has fatal effects. The Opioid is 50 to 100 times the potency of Morphine and can be combined with heroin for a stronger effect. Street fentanyl is extremely dangerous because it can be mixed with other drugs without the person knowing. As a result, individuals have overdosed, some fatally, while others have become addicted.
Despite there being pharmaceutical grades of fentanyl used to treat pain, it is highly addictive and has the potential to create fatal overdoses. Such dangerous Opioids have contributed to millions of fatal and non-fatal overdoses and hundreds and thousands of fentanyl addictions. In addition to the potential for overdose, someone abusing fentanyl can experience:
- Back or chest pain
- Unusual dreams or thoughts
- Reddening of the skin
- Mouth sores or sores at fentanyl injection site
- Swelling of hands, legs, and feet
- Weight loss
- Bone pain
- Shallow breathing
- Constricted pupils
- Decreased sexual desire/inability to stay erect
Fentanyl addiction can occur after someone has injected it, taken it orally, worn it as a patch, taken it as cough drops (lozenges), or placed it on blotted paper. Individuals will have difficulty tapering use and controlling their use. Additionally, those may experience fentanyl tolerances and dependences which indicate fentanyl use disorders. When someone develops a dependence or addiction to fentanyl, he or she needs medical assistance to decrease cravings and get healthy. Going cold turkey unsupervised may encourage relapses as people endure withdrawal symptoms that are very uncomfortable. In many cases, people return to abuse just to feel normal as they’d gotten used to the effects of the drug.
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Fentanyl Addiction Treatment: Detox Medication and Methods
A motivating factor for addiction aside from the euphoria fentanyl produces is the affect it has on the brain and body. When someone takes fentanyl, the effects of the drugs can be difficult to stop. Fortunately, medical detox can help reset many traits associated with addiction and withdrawal. Opiate detox includes medications that rid the body of fentanyl. Methadone for example, is commonly used to treat Opioid-related dependences and should be monitored when taken. Higher dosages of Methadone can cause ill effects in those who are not used to it.
As the patient experiences less withdrawal symptoms, they take a lower dose of Methadone until they no longer need it. Secondly, patients can also take Buprenorphine, which is best utilized after waiting at least 12 hours after taking short-acting Opioids and 36 hours after Methadone. The drug functions by activating Opioid receptors in the brain and producing effective results. Naloxone helps combat fentanyl overdoses.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment: Tapering Methods
Alternatively, medical professionals can help those with a fentanyl use disorder by tapering their exposure to the drug, eventually leading to gradual discontinued use. Going cold turkey alone versus getting help with a medical professional has a different outcome. Medical professionals can monitor behavior and evaluate patterns or challenges. One technique is the tapering method with medical professionals. In this scenario, patients receive lesser amounts of the drug until they are weaned off of it.
Doctors check the vital signs of the patient and provide needed medications to assist with withdrawal symptoms. Substitution taper include switching to a less addictive Opioid until the person is weaned off of the drug. Titration tapering can be used when one mixes water with the drug. Eventually they can taper use as the concentration gets watered down. Patients who have abused Opioids for a long-term timeframe can use short-term and long-term tapering methods.
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Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
In addition to medication, other methods of treatment like therapies are exclusively available in treatment facilities. These will include holistic and group-oriented methods and focus on providing tangible methods to manage underlying emotions. Some of these include but are not limited to:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- SMART Recovery
- Guided meditation
- 12-Step groups
Cognitive behavioral therapy allows someone to be more aware of their behavioral patterns by thought awareness. Additional benefits include soothing triggers and areas of vulnerabilities. SMART recovery allows patients to be accountable for self-management by increasing motivation, living a life of balance, and coping with temptations to use drugs, eventually allowing the person to be free from drugs. Peer groups like 12-step groups allow patients to discuss motivations for fentanyl or Opioid addiction and get validated along the way. Guided meditation and biofeedback can soothe an anxious or depressive mind and ease cravings or obsessive tendencies that can follow fentanyl abuse. Some facilities may offer unique treatments such as equine therapy and adventure therapy for example.
Take Your Power Back Today
Fighting a fentanyl use disorder is challenging and going cold turkey can be debilitating. If you or a loved one needs freedom from Opioid abuse, contact a qualified treatment provider risk-free to discover treatment options. Take back your power today.
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