You’ve heard of all the commonly misused drugs before. Stories float around freely on the news and internet about marijuana, heroin, acid, and crack cocaine. Still, other types of drugs are commonly abused in the United States that you might not know as much about. Fentanyl, also generally known as pharmaceutical fentanyl, is a synthetic opioid designed to help treat severe pain.
Due to the powerful effects that this synthetic opioid has on the human system, it has lead to many individuals misusing fentanyl. Thousands of Americans suffer from fentanyl addiction overdoses and life-threatening circumstances every year. As a result, treatment for fentanyl addiction has become an increasing need in the U.S.. So, here is what you need to know fentanyl, addiction treatment, and finding a fentanyl addiction treatment center in Florida.
What is Fentanyl?
Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a powerful pain reliever, with effects estimating 80-100 times stronger than morphine. The drug’s original purpose in its creation was to help relieve patients’ pain with cancer undergoing chemo. Researchers also found the medication to help other cancer treatments or even to patients who recently underwent surgery. When fentanyl is in proper use, it applies to the skin in a patch. Due to fentanyl’s powerful opioid properties and side effects, the drug is often “recreationally” used in settings.
Similar to the effects of other opioids, fentanyl has the capability of producing extreme calm, relaxation, and euphoria in its users, as well as many other unsavory symptoms. Due to the high demand for fentanyl in outer drug-using circles, the drug is often used as an additive to heroin to increase its potency and public reach. Fentanyl is a hazardous and addictive medication/illicit drug, formally classified as a Schedule II substance.
The Side Effects of Using Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a highly addictive drug with many desirable and unsavory properties. The drug is powerful and cheap to make/get a hold of for drug dealers. As a result, many individuals looking to purchase heroin on illicit markets are given fentanyl-laced heroin for a more potent, addictive experience. There are many reasons why an individual may use fentanyl. Some individuals experience chronic pain and take the drug to help manage their typical symptoms. Other people fighting cancer or who just underwent surgery use the medication to help them with general pain relief. Individuals who chronically misuse fentanyl usually experience a much larger variety of drug-induced symptoms, though, including:
- Temporary euphoria
- Pain relief
- Intense, short-lived highs
- Respiratory distress
- Slowed respiration
- Reduced blood pressure
- Urinary retention
- Pupil constriction
And so much more. Overuse or overdose with fentanyl is possible. Continued chronic use of fentanyl or an overdose on the drug can even have life-threatening consequences and side effects. These side effects are only a small list of the short-term symptoms the drug can induce in individuals. Fentanyl is also capable of producing a devastating long-term impact on people, including; weight loss, reduced sex drives, sores, chronic pain, etc.
How Do People Use or Abuse Fentanyl?
There are several ways a person can use or even abuse fentanyl. Clients who take fentanyl for medical purposes have four methods to take the medication, including use through lozenges, buccal tablets, sublingual tablets, and films. Meanwhile, individuals who look to use fentanyl illegally have several more ways to abuse the drug. Some of the most common methods fentanyl is abuse are:
- Spiked onto blotter paper
- Frozen patches are cut, frozen, and placed under the tongue or in the cheek to dissolve
- Taken orally as a pill or tablet
As you may assume, due to the variety of ways in which fentanyl is optimized in medical and non-medical circumstances, the drug/medication comes in a variety of separate packages. Fentanyl looks very different from one form to the other. The drug is found as a powder, pills, tablets, and even in injectable forms. Power fentanyl usually is very fine and either a white or off-white color. Fentanyl pills or tablets are generally circular but can vary in general shape, size, and color. Other oral formulations of fentanyl, such as lollipops or lozenges, can also vary in size, shape, and available color.
Can Someone Overdose on or Become Addicted to Fentanyl?
Yes and yes. Fentanyl is a potent opioid with not only a high abuse potential but an excellent risk for inducing addiction. Of course, addictions and substance use disorders typically form over time. As a Schedule II drug, fentanyl is generally considered more dangerous and addictive than some other types of illicit substances on the drug market, like marijuana. A person who misuses fentanyl even once can induce an overdose if they are not extremely careful. Opioids are hazardous medications that generally affect the part of the brain that helps regulate breathing. When someone overdoses on fentanyl or another potent opioid, the consequences may have devastating, life-altering effects. Some of the most common signs of a fentanyl overdose include:
- Slowing of breathing
- Stopping of breathing
- Decreased brain oxygen levels/hypoxia
- Pale skin
- Clammy skin
- Lips have blue or purple color
- Fingernails have blue or purple color
- Limpness of body
- Gurgling noises
- Slowing heartbeat
- Stopping heartbeat
- Inability to speak
In the event where you come across someone experiencing fentanyl or other drug or alcohol-related overdose, you must remember to stay calm. Call 911 immediately! Once you contact emergency medical services, you must administer naloxone (a medication safe to assist in emergencies to help stop an opioid overdose) if the drug is on hand. Whether naloxone is on hand or not, you must try to keep the individual experiencing the overdose awake and breathing. Lay the person on their side in the rescue position to help avoid choking. And remember to stay with the individual until the emergency medical team arrives to take over.
Why Do People Become Addicted to Fentanyl?
In our daily lives, we all deal with a great deal of stress. We encounter triggering experiences that challenge us daily. We use various coping skills to help us navigate these situations and circumstances, to ultimately try and live more peacefully in a hectic environment. Healthy coping skills are learned. In many drug and alcohol addiction cases, individuals who suffer from substance abuse disorders were never taught how to cope healthily. There are thousands of reasons why individuals may turn to use drugs or alcohol to cope with their lives. It all depends on the individual. Some people abuse drugs like fentanyl or alcohol because:
- To self-medicate for anxiety
- Peer pressure
- In attempts to fit in
- Because they are depressed
- To try and stretch out feelings of well-being
- Because they are experimenting with themselves and the world around them
- Because they come from a background of substance abuse in the family
- As a result of stress environments
- Trauma in early childhood development
- Because drugs or alcohol is readily available
- Because their only examples of coping relate to drugs and alcohol
These are only a few reasons why an individual may decide to start misusing drugs or alcohol. They are also instances where mistaking individuals start misusing their prescription medications, developing a substance use disorder over time. Substance use disorders and addiction are born from a variety of variables. Different people will have distinct experiences with the development of addiction and living with a condition. Although it may not seem important, the reasons that tie into why an individual develops a substance use disorder will also be major topics in their recovery.
What is Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
There are millions of Americans who struggle with drug and alcohol use disorders. Luckily, they can receive treatment for fentanyl addiction. Fentanyl addiction treatment is much like other types of drug and alcohol rehab. Clients looking for a fentanyl addiction treatment center in Florida will be pleased to find that thousands of drug and alcohol rehab facilities exist across the nation. Many of which are located in the Sunshine state. St. John’s Recovery Place (SJRP) is a holistic drug and alcohol rehab center in Florida. Fentanyl addiction treatment is one of the center’s specialties. They use traditional and innovative rehab technologies to help their clients recover. But what does a conventional fentanyl addiction treatment center in Jacksonville, FL look like?
Well, let us start with understanding what fentanyl addiction treatment is. Jacksonville, Fl is a beautiful place for individuals to heal from various drug and alcohol-related issues. In Florida and particularly Jacksonville, fentanyl addiction treatment traditionally follows a highly structured rehab program and guidelines. Typically, treatment for fentanyl addiction and other abuse disorders follows the same general practices and timelines:
- Initially, clients begin with medically detoxing from drugs or alcohol. This process takes anywhere from a couple of days to around two weeks.
- Once a client completes medical detox, they then move into an inpatient rehab program. Inpatient rehabilitation programs can last anywhere from 30