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Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. It’s a prescription medication intended to treat severe pain, pain after surgery, or pain that isn’t resolved by other opioid medications. It may also be used to manage pain in end-of-life cancer patients, especially breakthrough cancer pain (with breakthrough pain being pain that is not adequately addressed by a weaker opiate drug.)
Fentanyl began to be used as an intravenous anesthetic in the 1960s after being developed in 1959 and is now also available in a prescription form such as lozenges and patches. Like other prescription opioids, fentanyl works through its action on opioid receptors in the brain.
Fentanyl binds to these receptors, blocking pain signals and depressing activity of the central nervous system. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for even people who start using fentanyl as prescribed to treat pain to eventually become addicted to fentanyl.
Fentanyl addiction occurs when overuse of fentanyl creates a dangerous physical and psychological feedback loop. Known as substance use disorder, addiction is a mental health disorder defined as habitual drug abuse or alcohol abuse that persists despite negative consequences, and despite the fact that these negative consequences are severe enough to significantly impair the addict’s personal or professional functioning.
Because the effects of fentanyl include intense euphoria, the powerful opioid can be incredibly pleasurable to take. However, like other opioids, fentanyl changes the chemistry of the brain and leads to drug tolerance, which occurs when over time a person must use more and more of the drug to get the same effect.
These effects of fentanyl use on the brain and body can also cause physical dependence, which is the term used to indicate that an individual will experience fentanyl withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the drug. Many fentanyl users come to rely on the drug just to feel normal so many people who are addicted to fentanyl are taking it simply to avoid fentanyl withdrawal symptoms rather than to get high at all.
Illegal production of synthetic fentanyl has skyrocketed in recent years, and the drug has flooded the streets. Even worse, many drug dealers add illicit fentanyl to other illicit drugs, which is responsible for many fentanyl overdose deaths when people accidentally take too much of the powerful opioid drug.
As a result, fentanyl abuse and related deaths have surged in the last decade. From 2010 to 2016 deaths related to synthetic opioids including fentanyl jumped from around 3,000 to more than 19,400. Since opioid-related deaths have skyrocketed even further, and a full 64 percent of the unprecedented number of fatal overdose victims involved fentanyl use or mixing fentanyl with other drugs intentionally or unwittingly.
An overdose occurs when fentanyl and other opioids suppress the workings of the brain areas involved in essential functions, causing life-threatening symptoms. Symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include altered consciousness, discolored or cold and clammy skin, and slow breathing and heart rate. If someone has stopped breathing entirely, healthcare professionals should be contacted immediately and CPR can be administered in the meantime.
These dangers emphasize how important it is to treat fentanyl addiction as soon as possible. The good news is that, with the right help, it is indeed possible to overcome fentanyl addiction.
Located in beautiful Delray Beach, Florida, RECO Intensive is staffed by a compassionate team of clinical care specialists, counselors, and wellness experts who create a tailored care plan for each client.
We take a holistic approach to addiction treatment, factoring in each client’s physical, psychological, and spiritual needs into our comprehensive care. We believe it’s this whole-person approach that helps us successfully guide patients toward recovery. Our programs draw on the best science and latest evidence-based approaches for fentanyl addiction treatment.
We offer the following drug addiction treatment programs at our fentanyl addiction treatment center in Delray Beach, FL:
Fentanyl withdrawals can be intense. That’s why it’s so important for people who are physically dependent or who are unable to quit on their own to undergo medically supervised fentanyl detox before they can safely move on to the rest of the treatment process. Our clinical staff monitors clients 24/7 and ensures they safely detox from fentanyl as comfortably as possible.
Clients who detox at our rehab facility first undergo an evaluation of their substance use history, patterns of use, and current use. Once a client has completed detox, he or she can transition into our residential treatment program, or if appropriate, our intensive outpatient program.
Our clinically managed residential fentanyl addiction treatment program includes on-site individual and group therapies, activities to promote wellness and healing, and, if needed, medication management of symptoms.
The staff at our rehab center uses a variety of effective and groundbreaking treatment modalities, including:
Individual therapy sessions may also be focused on helping patients struggling with fentanyl abuse to address any underlying mental health disorders that may be fueling their substance abuse. Our recovery center staff also includes a licensed psychiatrist who may recommend prescription drugs for the medication-assisted treatment of these underlying mental health problems.
Many with opioid addictions also benefit from medication-assisted treatment using medications like Vivitrol, which our recovery center utilizes in our addiction treatment programs to help patients curb their substance abuse cravings so they can focus on other aspects of our intensive outpatient program.
Along with behavioral therapies and the other aforementioned approaches, support groups are also an indispensable part of our addiction treatment programs at Reco Intensive. Our recovery center encourages patient interaction and community through these support groups as well as even after their addiction treatment through our active alumni program.
If you or a loved one are struggling with fentanyl addiction, RECO Intensive can help. At our treatment centers, we’ve helped hundreds of men and women safely detox from fentanyl and begin a new path forward. We tailor our residential and outpatient treatment programs to the individual needs of our clients.
Treatment is a phone call away—get in touch with an admissions specialist at our fentanyl rehab center today at 561-501-2439 to learn more about our treatment programs, or use our contact form to send us a message today.
Discover a better life and call our recovery helpline today.