Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine, but nearly 50 to 100 times more potent. This drug is often used to treat patients with severe pain, pain after surgery or for chronic pain when the patient is opioid tolerant. Fentanyl for medical use comes in various forms: a lozenge, an injections or a patch. The fentanyl found on the black market often comes in powdered form, spiked on a piece of blotted paper, as an additive in heroin or other opioid drugs, or as tablets that mimic other drugs. Fentanyl is easier and cheaper to make then heroin, and nearly 50 times more potent.

Fentanyl works like other opioid drugs: It targets the reward center of the brain and floods it with dopamine, making people feel relaxed and euphoric. The feeling doesn’t long however, and this can make fentanyl highly addictive. If used more than recommended, it can change the chemistry of the brain so it no longer is as receptive to dopamine. This can lead to fentanyl patch abuse or fentanyl addiction, where a person needs to take more and more of the drug to feel the same high from before or can’t stop themselves from taking the drug.

Fentanyl use has some serious side effects. These include:

  • Drowsiness, listlessness
  • Headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting with quick movements
  • Dry mouth, water and urine retention or swollen extremities
  • Suppression of breathing
  • Severe constipation
  • Itching or hives
  • Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and weight loss
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
  • Sweating
  • Shaking

Because of its potency, it is easy to overdose on fentanyl. Signs of fentanyl overdose include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Inability to be awakened
  • Clammy skin
  • Seizures
  • Dangerously low blood pressure or slow heartbeat
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Help for Fentanyl Addiction

On the surface, fentanyl addiction treatment seems easy: A person just has to stop using the drug. However, this is easier said than done, as stopping the use of any drug leads to withdrawal, the symptoms of which can be extremely painful and sometimes deadly. Many people who attempt to stop taking a drug often relapses due to withdrawal symptoms. That’s why health professionals discourage people from going “cold turkey” when trying to stop drug use.

Recovery from fentanyl abuse or fentanyl patch abuse should be performed with a physician’s help or at a drug treatment center. Oftentimes, this involves medical detox, where an individual lessens their use or stops using a drug altogether while medical professionals treat their withdrawal symptoms. However, that is only the first step. Fentanyl abuse side effects include depression and anxiety, and therapy and counseling is needed to treat both that and any other co-occurring disorders. A co-occurring disorder, such as a mental health illness, can affect a person’s recovery and raise the risk of a relapse. This is why any co-occurring conditions must be identified and treated at the same time as the fentanyl abuse.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment at Sovereign Health of Florida

Sovereign Health of Florida offers treatment for fentanyl addiction both our Fort Myers and Pompano Beach location. The first step in fentanyl addiction treatment is to first determine if there are any underlying issues, such as a mental health disorder, that could be contributing to the addiction. We start with an intensive physical and psychological evaluation that not only looks at primary symptoms but any underlying ones as well. Since no two patients can receive the same treatment, we create customized fentanyl addiction treatment plans that work to help an individual regain control of their life and health.

If detox is needed, patients can get treatment at our Fort Myers treatment center. They may choose to stay in our residential facilities, where they can receive 24/7 hour medical and nonmedical care in an environment that promotes healing and recovery.

Once they finish detox, patients can then seek therapy and counseling at both of our Florida locations. Based on their treatment plan, this can involve individual therapy, group therapy, process groups and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Holistic therapies are offered as well, such as yoga or art therapy.

Once their initial treatment for fentanyl addiction is finished, a person’s recovery is just beginning. Sovereign Health offers continuing care programs, such as 12-step meetings or educational events so our patients can continue to receive support as they work to regain control of their lives and health.

For more information about our fentanyl addiction treatment at Sovereign Health, please contact our 24/7 helpline.

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