What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid medication that is used medically to manage severe pain, particularly pain associated with cancer or after major surgery. It belongs to the class of drugs known as opioids, which act on the opioid receptors in the brain to produce pain relief and feelings of euphoria.

Fentanyl may be prescribed in various forms, including transdermal patches, lozenges, or injections. However, the fentanyl that is found on the streets and responsible for most overdoses is usually illicitly manufactured fentanyl, or IMF. This kind of fentanyl usually comes in the form of a powder, but it can also come in liquid form.

Fentanyl-laced drugs have become an increasingly severe problem across the country. Fentanyl is not only found in heroin and counterfeit pills, but there have also been reports of it being found in cocaine, meth, and other drugs. When people are unaware that their drugs contain fentanyl, a drug 100 times more potent than many prescription opioids, they’re at an increased risk for overdose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 150 people die every day from drug overdoses involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Fentanyl Side Effects and Risks

Fentanyl, like other opioids, can cause various side effects, especially when used improperly or in high doses.

Common side effects of fentanyl are:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Drowsiness and sedation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Confusion and cognitive impairment
  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Decreased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Tolerance and dependence

Symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include:

  • Constricted or “pinpoint” pupils
  • Falling asleep, losing consciousness, or “nodding out”
  • Weak or shallow breathing
  • No breathing
  • Limp body
  • Bluish skin, particularly the lips and nails
  • Making choking or gurgling noises
  • Cold or clammy skin

If you think someone is overdosing on fentanyl, do not hesitate to call 911 and administer naloxone (Narcan) if you have it. Lay the person on their side, try to keep them awake and talking, and wait with them until emergency help arrives.

Signs of Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl is extremely powerful, and people who abuse it run a high risk of addiction. Individuals who become addicted to fentanyl may find it challenging to control their use, leading to a range of negative effects on their health, relationships, and overall well-being.

Signs of fentanyl addiction may include:

  • Cravings for fentanyl
  • Increased tolerance, needing higher doses for the same effects
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from fentanyl use
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Continuing to use fentanyl despite negative consequences
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not using fentanyl
  • Using fentanyl in risky situations, such as while driving
  • Failed attempts to cut down or quit using fentanyl
  • Changes in behavior or mood, such as irritability or mood swings
  • Social withdrawal and isolating oneself from friends and family

Dangers of Long-Term Fentanyl Abuse

Long-term abuse of fentanyl poses serious risks to physical, mental, and emotional health. Some of the dangers associated with long-term fentanyl abuse include:

  • Respiratory depression – Fentanyl, like other opioids, can cause respiratory depression, where breathing becomes slow and shallow. Long-term abuse of fentanyl can lead to severe respiratory problems, including respiratory arrest and death.
  • Cardiovascular issues – Fentanyl abuse may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular complications.
  • Cognitive impairment – Chronic use of fentanyl can impair cognitive function, including memory, attention, and decision-making abilities.
  • Mental health problems – Long-term fentanyl abuse has been linked to an increased risk of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
  • Social and financial consequences – Fentanyl addiction can lead to devastating social and financial problems, including strained relationships, loss of employment, legal issues, and financial instability.
  • Overdose and death – The most severe and immediate danger of fentanyl abuse is the risk of opioid overdose, which can be potentially life-threatening.

When it comes to fentanyl addiction, treatment saves lives. Contact the addiction specialists at Invigorate Behavioral Health now to learn about our fentanyl rehab programs in Los Angeles.

Fentanyl Withdrawal & Detox

Prolonged use of fentanyl can lead to physical dependence, where the body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug and requires it to function normally. This can result in withdrawal symptoms when attempting to reduce or stop fentanyl use.

Common symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Yawning
  • Irritability
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

These symptoms can be highly unpleasant, leading many individuals to return to fentanyl use. The best way to ease your withdrawal symptoms and avoid a relapse is to detox under the guidance of medical professionals.

At Invigorate Behavioral Health, clients begin their treatment experience in our residential detox program. While under 24-hour supervision, individuals can detox safely and comfortably. The medical team may prescribe medications like Suboxone or methadone to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and closely monitor each person’s symptoms. When symptoms begin to subside, individuals may begin individual and group therapy sessions to begin treating their addiction.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Programs

After detox, our residential treatment facility in Los Angeles provides the ideal space for fentanyl addiction recovery. Treatment involves various therapies and interventions to address unhealthy behaviors and introduce healthy coping skills. Therapies used during treatment may include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Contingency Management (CM)
  • Relapse Prevention Therapy
  • Trauma & PTSD Therapy
  • Holistic Therapies (yoga, art, meditation, nutrition, exercise, and others)
  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Family Therapy

In addition to therapy, clients have access to numerous additional services that support their recovery, including:

  • Case management
  • Peer support groups
  • Psychiatric support
  • Educational workshops
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Aftercare planning

Fentanyl detox and addiction treatment programs are covered by insurance. The length of treatment may vary based on your personal needs and the rate at which you make progress during treatment.

Find Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction in Los Angeles Today

As a leading substance abuse treatment provider in California, Invigorate Behavioral Health proudly offers specialized fentanyl detox and rehab programs in Los Angeles. Using an individualized approach, we recognize that everyone is unique and enters treatment with their own situation. That’s why each of our clients receives an individually tailored treatment plan designed to meet their needs.

With a dedicated staff and effective treatments, individuals struggling with opioid addiction can find hope and support on their journey to recovery. Don’t wait any longer to take the first step towards recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our fentanyl addiction treatment programs in Los Angeles, CA.

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