Fentanyl can be administered in lollipops, nasal or oral spray, patches, or injections. This medication is a synthetic, potent opioid analgesic. It is prescribed for managing severe pain. The DEA has this medication classified in the Schedule II controlled substances. This basically means there is a large potential for abuse when taking fentanyl. It is between 80 and 500 times stronger than morphine.  Fentanyl has caused many fatalities. Most of the time, death related to this drug is caused from respiratory failure.

There are many long term effects of fentanyl as well. In addition, since this drug is so potent, it is generally only prescribed to those who are already considered tolerant to opioids. If someone uses fentanyl without having a tolerance to opioids, they would be putting their health at serious risk. Those who use fentanyl as an experiment are at a severe risk of overdosing. Addiction to this drug can happen quickly. Due to this, prescribing doctors should closely monitor their patients who are taking this drug.

Heroin and Fentanyl: One of the Deadliest Combinations

As mentioned above, fentanyl is powerful. It is stronger than oxycodone and morphine. Many people on the streets sell it instead of high-grade types of heroin. That type of heroin is usually called China White. Fentanyl is sometimes mixed with heroin to increase the high the user gets as well. Mixing fentanyl with any type of drug greatly increases the risk of overdosing.

Short Term Side Effects When Using Fentanyl

There are some short term side effects that should be known regarding fentanyl use. Users may get a high similar to that with heroin use. They may have a reduction in pain. Users of fentanyl may feel euphoric or very relaxed. Some of the other short term side effects of fentanyl use include the following:

  • Suppression of the respiratory system

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Heart rate issues

  • Sweating

  • Constipation

  • Breathing issues

  • Constricted pupils

  • Hallucinations

  • Weakness

  • Seizures

Many people who want to experience some of these side effects, such as hallucinations, often abuse fentanyl. They may take the drug without having a prescription. Generally, this is done in very high doses. This increases the risk of a fatal reaction. Some fentanyl users put heat on their patch to get the effects quicker. This increases side effects and can push the user into an overdose. If you or someone you know has an addiction to fentanyl, there are addiction treatment programs available.

Overdose Symptoms When Using Fentanyl

If someone uses a large amount of fentanyl they could experience a severe or even fatal overdose. Some of the symptoms of overdose when using fentanyl include the following:

  • Severe fatigue

  • Difficulties with swallowing

  • Dizziness

  • Fainting

  • Shallow breathing

  • Respiratory arrest

  • Cardiac arrest

  • No response to pain

  • Severely confused

  • Altered levels of consciousness

If you notice these overdose signs in yourself or someone else, emergency help should be sought immediately.

Long Term Side Effects When Using Fentanyl

There are many long term effects of fentanyl use. Some people who abuse this drug may have poor judgment at home, in their life, with friends, and even at work. With the continued abuse of this drug, other issues might include the following:

  • Increased risk for anoxic injuries (this damage is caused by severely lowered oxygen in one’s body)

  • Increased risk for damage to organ systems

  • Increased risk of overdose or even death

  • Harm to relationships and personal life

  • Worsening of mental health illness

  • Start of mental health illness

There are long term effects of fentanyl patch use and all other types of fentanyl use as well. If you or someone you know are experiencing any long term effects of fentanyl abuse, you can get addiction treatment right away.

Dependency with Fentanyl

Just as it is with long term use of any drug, the user becomes more tolerant to the drug, the longer they use it. This means they will need more of the drug to get the same high they originally had. This can cause the user to take doses of fentanyl that are dangerous. It increases their risk for overdosing. To reduce the risk of dependency to fentanyl, the user should always take their medication according to the prescription. Everyone should avoid using this drug to get high as well. There is a risk of becoming addicted to this drug for any person who uses it. If you start using your prescription more than you are prescribed, talk to your doctor immediately. They can wean you off the medication. You can get addiction treatment help as well.

Treatment for Fentanyl Abuse or Addiction

As mentioned, there are many fentanyl long term effects. However, the addiction can start well before the fentanyl long term side effects even begin. If you have become dependent upon fentanyl, been abusing fentanyl, or developed an addiction to fentanyl, there is treatment available. The treatment for anyone who is addicted to fentanyl generally includes detox, ongoing therapy, and rehab.

Detoxing and Withdrawal

If you have experienced fentanyl short term effects or fentanyl patch long term effects, you may need to seek out help from a detox and rehab center. There may be some uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. However, experiencing them in the safety of a detox center, can help to make you feel a little more comfortable. Some of these symptoms include the following:

  • Agitation

  • Loss of appetite

  • Tremors

  • Panic

  • Anxiety

  • Sweating

  • Chills

  • Feer

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Runny nose

  • Strong cravings

There are many drug rehab centers that have detox programs on-site. The detox centers are staffed with team members who are qualified in helping people to get through fentanyl detox.

Therapy and Rehab

After you get through the detox program, you can start actively attending therapy to treat your addiction. Your therapist will guide you through finding the root cause of the addiction. This is an essential part to creating a successful recovery.

Besides the therapy, you will get more benefits from the fentanyl rehab program as well. You might attend yoga, family therapy, skills training, and other types of treatment. You can find out what the treatment center offers before attending a program. That way you can make sure all your recovery needs are being met.

You should also check to see if the rehab center offers aftercare planning. It is important to think about what will happen when you leave rehab. You should have a plan to help you stay clean. The aftercare plan might include a sober living home, continued therapy, outpatient treatment, attending meetings, or something else.

Fentanyl is a very potent drug. If someone is pregnant, they should know about the long term effects of fentanyl on their baby. If someone is taking other medications, they should talk to their doctor to avoid interactions or the increased risk of overdosing. There are treatments available to anyone who is dependent upon, abusing, or addicted to fentanyl. Going through a detox program and getting the help you need to overcome fentanyl addiction can be a tough decision. However, the benefits you get from these programs are worth it. The professional staff at the rehab center will guide you through finding the root cause of the addiction and overcoming it.

Make the call to an addiction treatment center to start the process of recovery today.

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