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How to Treat a Fentanyl Addiction

In today’s world, nearly all of us know someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis. While some parts of the country have been hit harder than others, the sad truth is that opioid addiction is responsible for thousands of overdose deaths per year. Opioid addiction is pervasive and insidious, with fentanyl addiction being among the most concerning. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid when obtained by prescription. When bought illicitly, fentanyl is even more dangerous because its potency is unknown. At Aspire Treatment, we understand how easy it is to become addicted to fentanyl and how challenging it can be to break free of its grip. We are here to support you as you find your road to recovery. 

Signs and Symptoms of a Fentanyl Addiction

A potent synthetic opioid, fentanyl is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more powerful. Prescription fentanyl is known as Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze and may be given as a shot, a patch, or a lozenge.  Illegally made fentanyl is typically a powder and is either put in eye droppers, nasal sprays, or pills. Fentanyl may also be cut in with other drugs such as heroin or cocaine, which significantly increases the risk of overdose. 

Fentanyl addiction occurs in the same way as other opioid addictions arise. Fentanyl binds to the body’s opioid receptors, and, with regular use, the brain adapts to having the drug. Over time, the receptors become less sensitive to the drug, and more fentanyl is needed to achieve the same effects.  

Those who use fentanyl may seem very happy, confused, tired, or even sedated after using it. Fentanyl also causes constipation and nausea. Depending on how the drug is ingested, you may find pill bottles, lozenges, or small powder packets. You may also notice signs of withdrawal between uses, including muscle pain, sleep problems, diarrhea, intense cravings, and more. Because of the risk of overdose, it is critical to know the signs of overdose, including a decreased breathing rate and unconsciousness. 

How to Treat a Fentanyl Addiction

One of the critical components in treating a fentanyl addiction is managing the withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms can begin as early as a few hours after the last use, which is one reason it is so challenging to stop using it. Within hours of the last use, symptoms such as bone pain, insomnia, cold flashes, uncontrollable leg movements, and more may begin to set in. These symptoms, coupled with the intense cravings, make it more than challenging to quit using 

fentanyl unassisted. 

Successful treatment of fentanyl addiction often involves a combination of medication and therapy. Medications such as buprenorphine and methadone work by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as fentanyl, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Another medicine, naltrexone, blocks opioid receptors and prevents fentanyl from having an effect. When paired with cognitive behavioral therapy, these medications can be very successful in treating fentanyl addiction. Additionally, if you choose to attend drug rehab, you will learn new coping methods for life’s stressors, such as movement and meditation.  Finding your way to recovery from a fentanyl addiction requires a multifaceted approach, but it is possible to get free. 

Get Help at Aspire Treatment Solutions

Located in Atlanta,  Aspire Treatment has various programs to help you break the hold of fentanyl addiction and create new, positive recovery connections. Our programs range from partial hospitalization to outpatient counseling. We will assist you in building tools for today and the future.  We will support you and help you build the foundation for a drug-free life in long-term recovery.  We know that each person’s recovery journey is unique, and your treatment plan is a reflection of that. We are committed to helping you forge a recovery path that works for you.  Connect with us today to see how we can best support your success in recovery.

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