Fentanyl Addiction and Abuse

1-800-315-2391  |  February 16th

Fentanyl Addiction and Abuse

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug that is a very powerful drug that is around 80 times more potent than Morphine. It is used as a pain reliever, especially used with cancer patients. Since Fentanyl is such a powerful drug it is not used for general pain management and it is a drug that can be very addictive. With the highly addictive nature of Fentanyl it should not be used for people that have a history of substance abuse problems.

Fentanyl comes in the form of patches, tablets, nasal sprays, lozenges, and inhalers. Nasal sprays, inhalers and lozenges deliver the effect of the drug faster and patients can see a quicker onset of the effects of the drug taking it in these ways. On the other side of the coin tablets and Fentanyl patches give a longer lasting effect of the drug and since the drug is released in a slower manner it is more effective over long time periods.

The way in which people can use Fentanyl will depend on how severe their condition is, the person's medical history, and their tolerance to other types of pain medication. With the highly addictive manner of the drug Fentanyl should only be used as prescribed by a physician.

Why is Fentanyl Prescribed?

As stated before Fentanyl is prescribed to manage chronic pain and it is prescribed often for people that have cancer or are allergic to other types of pain medications. It is very dangerous when Fentanyl is used as a recreational drug since it is so addictive.

Statistics Relating To Fentanyl

Currently there are no accurate estimates of people that are Fentanyl abusers in the United States. However, in the U.S. there is over a billion dollars annually in the sale of this prescription drug. In recent years over 100 people in the U.S. have died as a result of Fentanyl abuse in the United States alone.

How is Fentanyl Abused?

Fentanyl is abused since it gives the user a very intense effect of euphoria. Many times Fentanyl is used as a substitute for heroin in people that are addicted to opioids. However, it is a dangerous substitute for heroin since it is actually more intense than heroin and Fentanyl results in many overdoses that can lead to respiratory failure and death.

Fentanyl patches are abused often and users do this by removing the gel contents from the patches and then they ingest the gel taking it orally. Users can also freeze the gel on the patches and then they are placed under the tongue, as well as in the cheek cavity, in order for the drug to be absorbed into the blood stream. Many times even after using a patch for 3 days there is still quite a bit of the Fentanyl gel in the patch, which is why the drug is attractive for those that are addicted. Fentanyl abuse first appeared in the mid 1970's and the abuse of the drug has increased in the last several years.

Fentanyl Effects on the Body

Fentanyl is a long-acting prescription opioid drug that is used for treating chronic pain. The drug should only be used by people that are tolerant to the effects of opioid pain medications. In patch form Fentanyl is used over a 3-day period in order to relieve pain. The drug binds to opioid receptors that are within the body. Most of the effects of Fentanyl can be felt in the nervous system, but the effects can be felt throughout the entire body.

Some of the effects, especially pain relief, are desirable with patients since it is so strong and is effective in treating chronic pain. However, there are also many Fentanyl effects that are not desirable and some of the main effects are drowsiness, mood changes, slowed breathing patterns, and physical dependence on the narcotic.

Fentanyl Abuse Treatment Options

There are many treatment options for Fentanyl abuse. Since the drug is an opioid and is so addictive, many times, an in-patient type of prescription drug abuse treatment is the best way to go, especially if the person must go through the detoxification process.

Most abuse professionals will recommend treatment that has counseling, therapy, and prescription drug treatment in order to help people deal with their Fentanyl addiction. There are many types of addiction options for people to take if they have a Fentanyl addiction. Any time a person is serious about getting help for their Fentanyl they should talk to a substance abuse professional in order to get help for their unique substance abuse issue.

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