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Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid drug. It is chemically similar to morphine. However, it is much stronger than morphine–up to 100 times more potent. People who take fentanyl can quickly become addicted to it.

Because fentanyl is so potent, it is deadly in tiny amounts. People who misuse fentanyl are at risk of overdose. People may take too much fentanyl and have an overdose.

Drug dealers may also add fentanyl to other illicit drugs, such as heroin and other opioids. This can increase the risk of life-threatening overdose and other complications. The only way to prevent a fentanyl overdose is to stop using it and other illicit drugs.

If you or someone you know misuses fentanyl or has opioid addiction, you are not alone. Contact the Charlotte Detox Center specialists now to learn about our addiction treatment programs. You may also schedule an intake assessment.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug. It produces effects that are similar to other opioids. However, fentanyl is much more potent.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies fentanyl as a Schedule II controlled substance. This means that fentanyl has a significant risk for misuse and addiction but has a known medical use.

Doctors may prescribe fentanyl to patients who have moderate to severe pain. People may use fentanyl to manage pain after a medical procedure or during treatment for other conditions.

People take prescription fentanyl in several ways, including:

  • Oral liquid
  • Pills
  • Patches applied to the skin

Medical professionals advise patients to take fentanyl exactly as prescribed. If people misuse fentanyl, they may quickly become addicted to it or experience an overdose.

Illicit drug dealers manufacture and sell counterfeit fentanyl. They may also add fentanyl to other drugs to make them more potent or to increase their profits. People may take fentanyl without knowing it. This is very dangerous and puts people who use drugs at risk of overdose.

Understanding Fentanyl Addiction

When people take fentanyl, the drug enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain. It binds to opioid receptors in the brain. Fentanyl affects areas of the brain related to pain control, pleasure, and emotional regulation.

People may experience euphoria when taking fentanyl. Euphoria is a rush of intense pleasure, warmth, and well-being. People may like the way they feel while taking fentanyl. They may want to take more.

Fentanyl misuse includes:

  • Taking larger doses of fentanyl than prescribed
  • Taking fentanyl more often than prescribed
  • Taking fentanyl for longer than your doctor told you to
  • Taking fentanyl without a prescription

Doctors usually prescribe fentanyl for short periods. This can reduce the risk of addiction. However, people may quickly develop tolerance to fentanyl.

Tolerance occurs when a person’s body has adjusted to an amount of a substance. People with tolerance to fentanyl may need to take more of it to get the effects they desire. Tolerance can develop in a very short period of fentanyl abuse.

In time, people may develop a physical dependence on fentanyl. This means that their body cannot function without fentanyl. If they stop taking it, they may feel intense, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

People who begin taking prescription opioids may become addicted to them. They may start taking illicit fentanyl or other opioids, including heroin.

Most people who develop fentanyl addiction or other opioid use disorders need professional help to stop using them and avoid relapse.

Recognizing Fentanyl Addiction

If you or someone you love takes fentanyl, you must learn the symptoms of fentanyl addiction and seek treatment once you recognize a problem. Misusing fentanyl in any way is very dangerous.

Fentanyl is involved in many drug overdose deaths. It is essential to know the signs of fentanyl overdose and take action immediately.

Some of the signs of an opioid overdose include:

  • Very small pupils
  • Very slow or shallow breathing
  • No breathing
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Gray, blue, or pale skin
  • Blue fingernails or lips
  • Limb arms and legs
  • Slurring
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Vomiting
  • Losing consciousness
  • Unresponsiveness

An opioid overdose is life-threatening. Call 911 right away. Administer naloxone (Narcan) if you have it. Wait with the person until help arrives.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

People with fentanyl addiction and other opioid use disorders need comprehensive treatment and ongoing support.

Fentanyl addiction treatment programs typically include:

  • Medically-supported detox services
  • Medications to reduce cravings and other symptoms
  • Medical care
  • Mental health treatment
  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy and education
  • Relapse-prevention education
  • Nutrition support, art therapy, massage, mindfulness, yoga, and other holistic therapies
  • Aftercare planning

Fentanyl addiction treatment programs are available in several levels of care, including:

  • Medically-supported detox
  • Inpatient/residential treatment programs
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
  • Outpatient rehab

Find Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction in Charlotte, North Carolina

Seek treatment for substance use disorders as soon as you recognize a problem. The sooner you seek help, the faster you can regain control over your health and future.

Contact the Charlotte Detox Center team to learn about our fentanyl detox and treatment programs. You may also schedule an intake assessment or verify your insurance.