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What Is Fentanyl Addiction and Treatment?

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid that produces a narcotic, euphoric effect when taken. For a long time, fentanyl was simply a pain killing medication used to treat various medical problems. However, more and more people are beginning to use it recreationally, often with tragic results.


Like just about all pain meds in the opiate family, these drugs can be used for good in the lives of people in chronic or acute pain. The flip side of its good properties brings a high possibility for addiction. Sometimes it begins with a prescription to manage pain and moves to a dependence on the chemical effects. Other times it is found on the street as a substitute for heroin or any other opiate. However it starts, once fentanyl has a hold, it is a time bomb. Fentanyl is so strong, eventually some kind of mistake will occur.

Just how strong is it? The DEA has stated that it’s at least 50-100 times more potent than morphine. And morphine is already strong. But it gets worse. When compared to the effects of heroin, fentanyl comes in at 25-50 times stronger. This means a stronger hit and a more dangerous one.

Why Is Fentanyl Worse Than Other Options?

In fact, its strength and basic makeup make it a go-to. It’s cheaper than cocaine and heroin, so it’s often cut in with those drugs. There is most likely fentanyl involved in just about every narcotic involved in the opioid crisis. And fentanyl is relatively easy to manufacture. Other drugs require the growth of some kind of plant, extraction,  conversion, and you have to ship large amounts. Because the required volume is less for fentanyl, Shipping is easier and has a higher return for the amount. But there are so many ways such a strong narcotic can go wrong.

Signs of Fentanyl Use

If someone has this type of substance use disorder, you may notice them exhibiting these symptoms. There is of course the extreme high, but surprisingly there can be sedation. Nausea, vomiting, mood swings, analgesia, and more are all signs of a fentanyl presence. The one that can become very serious, even fatal in overdose is respiratory depression. Ultimately, like other opioids, a person who has overdosed on fentanyl will stop breathing. And it here, it happens quickly.

Signs of an Overdose

Sleepiness or lack of consciousness
Slowed breathing
Lowered blood pressure
Pinpoint pupils
Reduced heart rate
Clumsiness and confusion
Limp extremities and loss of bodily control


*If someone you care about has an addiction to any opioid, fentanyl in particular, then you will need to have Narcan on hand. Because a fentanyl overdose is so powerful and occurs so quickly, you may have to administer multiple doses.

How Can You Help a Person Addicted to Fentanyl?

If you or a loved one is suffering from this substance use disorder, it is important to treat the addiction before it becomes deadly. Fentanyl is very addictive, so quitting the drug can be difficult.

Withdrawals during detox are intense and can be problematic. As with any addiction recovery, the first step is a 24-hour monitored detox. Once a person is clean, a wide range of behavioral therapies, counseling, and medical treatments may be needed to help them stay clean. Since it is so hard for a person to escape addiction by themselves, help from professionals is necessary.

At Pure Life Recovery we have experienced and qualified professionals at our licensed and JCAHO accredited addiction treatment facility in North San Diego. If you or a loved one are in need of treatment, call us today. Our specialists are ready to consult on every option you have for a program that will move you towards sobriety and a new life.

Call now: 949-344-2863.

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