How to Recognize a Fentanyl Addiction

As drug addictions and deaths continue to rise each year, it becomes increasingly more important to recognize the signs and symptoms of substance abuse. Most of us are familiar with “hard” drug addictions, like meth or cocaine — but pharmaceutical drug addiction continues to be a highly overlooked problem, especially in the case of opioids.

Opioid pain relievers are among the most common drugs to be abused, and fentanyl addiction is among the highest in the ranks.
What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic, fast acting, highly potent form of medication made from opioids (pain relievers), and it’s significantly stronger than other opioids such as morphine or heroin. Since it’s so much more powerful at relieving pain than most opioids, many people seek it out because their own prescription isn’t effective enough at easing their pain. It’s also often used to help those who struggle with sleep, and increasingly, for recreational purposes.

Unfortunately, most fentanyl that is sold on the street isn’t pure; more often than not, it’s been laced with other substances, either as “filler” ingredients or to enhance its effects. This can cause people to either up their intake because it’s not as effective as they want, or to develop a tolerance if it is, which also typically results in increasing your dosage to combat the tolerance.

Fentanyl, being synthetically made from opioids, can be highly addictive and dangerous. If misused, it can result in your body being poisoned; if abused, it can go so far as to result in death. Fentanyl is one of the leading drugs responsible for overdose deaths.

This is why it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of a fentanyl addiction, and that’s exactly what we’re going to enable you to do by the end of this article.
Fentanyl addiction signs and symptoms

Fentanyl is a powerful drug, and if someone is consistently misusing or abusing it, you will be able to notice there are things that are different about them.

Some signs of fentanyl addiction can include:

  • Behavioral changes: such as extreme lethargy, engaging in dangerous behavior, withdrawing from friends and family
  • Psychological changes: such as rapid mood swings, depression, disorientation, paranoia
  • Physical changes: such as dramatic weight loss or gain, sunken eyes, challenges breathing, fainting, flu-like symptoms
  • Drug-seeking behavior that takes precedence over other activities: such as not going to work, not following through with appointments, not attending social interactions
  • Inability to stop using after one said they were going to

If someone you know has been prescribed fentanyl and they are using it in its appropriate doses, they will not experience any of the above symptoms.

If any of the above symptoms become apparent in the person and they still try to insist they are using it correctly, it could be that they are misusing the drug and don’t want you to know.
Treatments for fentanyl addiction

There is no shortcut or quick fix to recovering from a substance addiction, and with fentanyl being a high-risk drug, it’s imperative you receive proper treatment. Withdrawal can be severe, even dangerous if left unmonitored in a non-professional environment, so it’s important to be surrounded by those who are qualified to help you through recovery.

Your custom treatment plan is going to look a little different, depending on your background and the extremity of the addiction, but there are some common methods of treatment for fentanyl addiction that we’re going to discuss here.

Once you’ve been admitted into a rehabilitation program, you’ll undergo a fentanyl detox where you’ll be monitored and supported as you transition your body out of its reliance on the drug. Not everyone can quit fentanyl immediately though; in these instances, you would be professionally, medically weaned off the drug to lessen the severity of withdrawals.

After the detox is complete, the true recovery and healing process will begin. This might include being hospitalized for a portion of time, or being enrolled in an in- or outpatient rehabilitation program.

Inpatient rehab provides the highest level of care and accountability, as you will live in a medical facility until your recovery is complete; outpatient rehab will allow you to maintain a level of normality in your life, as you’ll be able to return to your home each evening.

Counseling — or talk therapy — is a very common treatment used in addition to rehabilitation. It can be used to get to the root of addiction and understand or diagnose any mental illnesses that might have driven the person’s need for synthetic pleasure.

Counseling can also be a great asset along their road to recovery, as they’ll have a safe, judgment-free environment to talk about the process, any setbacks they encounter, as well as the positive new changes.
Seek professional help

If you think you or someone you love might have a fentanyl addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at Bluff. Fentanyl is a dangerous drug, even the recovery process has the potential to be dangerous if not managed by trained professionals, and since the overdoses can be deadly, it’s important you seek professional help as soon as you can.

Our professional staff is trained in assessing, assisting, and supporting those struggling with an addiction, from their initial diagnosis, to helping you find a personalized treatment plan, all the way through recovery.

Send us a message or call our office today at 844-242-0806.