Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine. Fentanyl is also derived from the opium poppy but is even more powerful and also powerfully addictive. A schedule II prescription drug, fentanyl is prescribed to manage pain, either pain associated with a surgery or chronic pain due to a health condition. Although effective for managing pain, fentanyl carries a high risk for abuse owing to its addictive properties. A fentanyl addiction or dependency will lead to fentanyl withdrawal symptoms if use is ceased. Knowing how this drug works can help people understand its risks and signs of dependency.
How Does a Person Become Addicted to Fentanyl?
Patients who are prescribed fentanyl must strictly adhere to their physician’s instructions when using this drug. Taking a dose too early or taking more of the medication than is recommended for a single use can pave the way to addiction. Moreover, remaining on the drug for too long may also increase the risk for dependency. People who use fentanyl for pain management are typically closely monitored by healthcare providers; yet, even with careful management and monitoring, this powerful drug can lead to addiction and fentanyl withdrawal if its use is stopped.
What Are the Dangers of Fentanyl?
With the opioid crisis in full force, it’s not surprising to see fentanyl come under intense scrutiny. A high dose of fentanyl can lead to overdose and death. Fentanyl, like other opioids, can affect brain areas where breathing is controlled. If too much fentanyl is taken, the respiratory system can slow or simply stop. Fentanyl is extremely potent, so it’s dangers are certainly not exaggerated. This drug on its own and in combination with street drugs like heroin is linked to startlingly high overdose rates.
Could I or a Loved One Be Addicted to Fentanyl?
If you or a loved one have tried to stop using fentanyl and suffer from fentanyl withdrawal, it’s because of a physical dependency or addiction to the drug, which involves physical, mental, and behavioral dependencies. Many people wind up becoming addicted to fentanyl or other prescription opioids because they begin to increase their dose when their prior dose no longer works as effectively. They may start to take the drug earlier than prescribed because the previous dose doesn’t last for the duration anymore. This is a form of abuse that has led many people to experience addiction to fentanyl and other prescription drugs.
What Can I Do If I Experience Fentanyl Withdrawal?
If you are under the care of a doctor, you should let your physician know if you’re experiencing fentanyl withdrawal or any intense symptoms associated with the drug’s use. If you know that you or a loved one is abusing this drug or has an addiction to it, you can also seek out treatment at a certified addiction treatment center. Addiction and fentanyl withdrawal is dangerous and warrants medical treatment.
If you, your young adult, or adult child is suffering with a fentanyl addiction or has experienced fentanyl withdrawal, it’s essential to get evaluated and treated at a qualified rehab treatment center. Addiction can be managed with the correct supports. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel you may be suffering from an addiction to fentanyl.