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Effects of Fentanyl Addiction

a person in a hood thinking of the effects of fentanyl addiction walks down a dimly lit hallway

Living with addiction is more dangerous than ever. Synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, are becoming more widespread and leading to extreme spikes in overdose deaths. Illicit fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, manufactured by unregulated sources, are so potent that even individuals who have a tolerance for opioids may overdose on their first use. Overdoes is just one of the devastating effects of fentanyl addiction.

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What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, usually prescribed for severe pain management. However, illicit fentanyl and fentanyl analogs also exist. Analogs are drugs that mimic and closely resemble the original drug but have slight differences in their chemical makeup.

Prescribed fentanyl commonly comes in tablets, patches, sprays, and lozenges. Illicit versions are commonly manufactured into pills and powders. Powders are often cut into other drugs, like heroin, cocaine, or meth. Pills may be discussed to appear as counterfeit versions of prescription drugs. These counterfeits might even resemble non-opioid drugs like Xanax.

When Do Fentanyl Abuse Effects Begin?

Fentanyl abuse effects may begin during the first use, especially if it is used alone. However, when fentanyl is combined with other drugs like alcohol or benzodiazepines, its effects can become even more dangerous and unpredictable.

Mixing opioids with other substances can result in respiratory depression, which may lead to coma or death. The rapid onset and potency of fentanyl make it even more dangerous when combined with other drugs.

Effects of Fentanyl Addiction

Addiction to fentanyl affects individuals in several ways:

Physical Effects of Fentanyl Use

Fentanyl addiction can cause numerous physical health problems, including:

  • Respiratory issues
  • Weakened immune systems
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Increased risk of infectious diseases

Overdose is also a significant physical concern for those using fentanyl or any drug not obtained through legitimate sources.

Psychological Effects of Fentanyl Addiction

On a psychological level, Fentanyl addiction can lead to depression, anxiety, mood swings, and cognitive impairment. These effects can profoundly impact an individual’s daily functioning and mental well-being.

Social Effects

The social effects of Fentanyl addiction are equally damaging. Relationships can suffer, occupational and academic performance may decline, and the individual may withdraw from previously enjoyed activities.

Consequences of Fentanyl Abuse

Misuse of prescribed fentanyl can quickly lead to addiction. The cravings someone living with opioid addiction experiences may lead them to seek out illicit versions of the drug when their prescription runs out. Counterfeit fentanyl and analogs have the highest potential for overdose.

Fentanyl overdose can happen quickly due to the potency of the drug. Signs of an opioid overdose include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shallow breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness or difficulty staying awake
  • Slurred speech and confusion
  • Constricted pupils

If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately. If you have access to Narcan (naloxone) and know how to administer it, do so while waiting for emergency services. When professionals arrive, they may have to administer multiple doses of Narcan to reverse the overdose effects.

Recovery from Fentanyl Addiction: A Journey, Not a Destination

Recovery from the effects of fentanyl addiction is a lifelong journey. It requires continuous effort, support, and resources to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. Connection with a recovery community can provide needed support and understanding.

Evidence-based treatment methods, such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and therapy, are effective in treating fentanyl addiction. MAT involves the use of medications to reduce cravings and prevent withdrawal symptoms. Therapy helps individuals address underlying issues that may have contributed to their addiction.

Call Sophros Recovery to Start Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction, know that recovery is possible. Sophros Recovery offers individualized treatment plans for substance use disorders, including fentanyl addiction. Our team of professionals provides compassionate care and evidence-based treatments to help individuals achieve lasting recovery. Contact us online or by calling 813.592.7053 today to begin your recovery journey.