Choosing the Best Private Fentanyl Addiction Rehab Center
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid chemically similar to meperidine (Demerol). It is intended for use during and after surgery to relieve pain. It is also used to treat cancer breakthrough pain (severe flare-ups of pain). It is short-acting compared to other pain medications and works through inhibiting pain pathways to the brain from the site of the pain. In this way, fentanyl differs from medications like the over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which mostly affect the peripheral or local site of the pain.
Fentanyl is available in different formulations, such as intravenous injection (Sublimaze), as a skin patch (Duragesic) for slow release pain treatment, as a dissolving tablet placed between the upper cheek and gum (Fentora), as an oral lozenge or lollipop (Actiq) for children or people who are intolerant to injections, and as a mouth spray (Subsys).
Fentanyl has a high abuse potential because of the pleasurable sedation and sense of euphoria it produces. It is often abused in an attempt to drown emotional pain with a great “rush” of pleasure along with a “high” feeling. The interaction of fentanyl with a subset of opioid receptors within the reward areas of the brain serves to reinforce repeated use.
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Common effects of fentanyl abuse include tolerance, where a person needs more and more of the drug to get the same effect, and withdrawal sickness, which occurs when the drug’s use is decreased or stopped. In other words, a person goes from liking to wanting to needing fentanyl over a period of time.
Fentanyl is a very strong drug, being approximately 100 times as potent as morphine. It is an increasingly common drug of abuse and it profoundly depresses breathing. Overdose deaths associated with fentanyl use are invariably caused by respiratory failure. The increase of its use is evident from the number of fentanyl-related deaths in Philadelphia which rose from 22 in 2005 to 252 deaths in 2006.
Women are more likely than men to have chronic pain, and fentanyl ranks high among the opioids prescribed and subsequently abused by women who use them for longer periods of time than initially prescribed. Most adolescents who abuse fentanyl and other opioids do so because they get them from a friend or relative.
You may have started taking fentanyl for pain. If you feel you are abusing the drug or becoming addicted, it can be hard to understand why you were prescribed the drug in the first place. Fentanyl can be found in many forms, from skin patches and pills to shots and lozenges which are often prescribed to help with severe or chronic pain.
No matter the uses of the drug, fentanyl works on killing pain by attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain. Opioid receptor activation results in a complex cascade of molecular events. One of these effects is an increase of dopamine activity throughout the brain as you use the drug, giving the sense of euphoria. Once that “high” sensation becomes a daily occurrence, you need to watch for the signs and symptoms that you may be developing an addiction to fentanyl.
Signs of Fentanyl Addiction
Opioids are the most powerful and effective drugs available for the relief of pain. They bind very effectively to mu-opioid receptors which are distributed throughout the brain and spinal cord, and which are responsible for reducing or inhibiting pain. The abuse potential of fentanyl induces euphoria in an area of the brain known as the nucleus accumbens, which can play a role in the development of problematic, compulsive fentanyl use.
Tolerance to fentanyl develops because, with a continued pattern of use, there is a decreased response to the drug action along with a shortening of the duration of its action. So you need higher doses to achieve the same effect. This gradually results in a negative emotional state when access to the drug is prevented, with the emergence of depression, anxiety, and irritability. At this point, dependence and addiction may have already taken hold.
Outward Signs of Fentanyl Addiction
A family member or loved one may see some of the following signs that can suggest addiction to fentanyl:
- Decline in activity
- Increasing sleep disturbance
- Increasing problems in relationships
- Reports of lost or stolen pain-medication prescriptions
- Frequent early renewal requests from pharmacists
- Doctor shopping
- Increasing complaints of pain
- Reluctance to try non-opioid pain medications for any painful conditions
- Requesting other prescriptions for medications with euphoric effects (e.g., other opioid drugs, benzodiazepines, or other sedatives)
- Unwillingness to provide medication history to prescribing physicians
For parents or friends of adolescents, some of the following signs and symptoms of addiction may be helpful:
- Missing school and reports of bad behavior or poor academic performance
- Constant itchy nose and “sniffles”
- Pin-point pupils
- Avoiding family activities
- Reports of going out for long periods with “friends” you never get to meet
- Frequent vomiting, shivering, sweating, complaints of aches and pains, diarrhea
- Poor appetite, even for favorite foods
- Reports from relatives on opioids that “someone’s been into the medicine cabinet”
- Evidence of injection drug abuse, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts in summertime to hide track marks or needle marks, missing spoons from the kitchen (for drug prep), or cutting the tops of cotton swabs to filter crushed tablets
When your use of fentanyl crosses into the realm of abuse, you have to worry about eventually developing a full-blown addiction. Like any opioid addiction, fentanyl addiction is hastened by using more of the drug than prescribed, using it more frequently than intended, and using it for a longer duration than medically instructed. The drug slowly displaces the natural prompts for pleasurable sensations experienced throughout the body, making it difficult for the mind and body to go for even short lengths of time without the drug.
There are a number of signs that you are addicted to the drug – ones you might not always be willing to accept or notice. These include:
- Being incapable of making proper judgments (i.e., choosing continued drug taking over all other responsibilities).
- Experiencing difficulty in finding pleasure from everyday occurrences from friends and friends.
- Taking large doses of the drug for a long period of time.
- Doctor shopping or other questionable methods to make sure you get enough prescriptions of the drug to satisfy your compulsive use.
Apart from affecting the mind and how you may feel emotionally, fentanyl addiction takes a physical toll, which can manifest as a number of negative health effects. If you think you might be addicted to fentanyl or that someone you know might be addicted to the drug, you will want to look out for the physical symptoms associated with fentanyl addiction. These include nausea, constipation, confusion, sedation, slowed breathing, drowsiness, intermittent loss of consciousness, and coma. Fentanyl addiction can dramatically increase the risk of severe respiratory depression or respiratory failure as a consequence of overdose.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
Faced with the mounting health risks and impairments to other areas of their lives, many people addicted to fentanyl will begin the search for substance abuse treatment, especially after they may have tried but failed to quit using the drug on their own. One common problem with trying to self-manage a fentanyl addiction is battling the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms on your own. The pains of acute opioid withdrawal can quickly become too much for one person to bear and, as a result, relapse is quite common. When a physiologic opioid dependence is present, the withdrawal symptoms you might experience when attempting to quit fentanyl include:
- Muscle twitching.
- Muscle pain or cramps.
- Increased heart rate.
Fentanyl Detoxification Process
Detoxification refers to the process of gradually taking a drug-dependent individual off of a drug. The goals of detox are:
- To allow the body to rid itself of the drug and, in doing so, gradually eliminate the dependence associated with chronic daily fentanyl use.
- To help minimize the pain and discomfort of withdrawal and to reduce the risk of relapse.
- To provide an environment that increases the likelihood of continued substance abuse treatment.
- To identify any medical problems and to treat them or refer after detox to additional care.
- To begin educating the person about issues related to his or her addiction as an initial step towards longer-term substance abuse treatment and lasting recovery.
Withdrawal from fentanyl without medically-assisted detox is not only very uncomfortable, but also potentially dangerous for the fentanyl user. Given the high risk of relapse for opioid users, fentanyl poses a particular risk due to its sheer strength. In withdrawal, tolerance levels drop so that the addicted person who relapses on the same doses that he or she reached before withdrawal can administer a fatal dose resulting in respiratory failure and death.
During medical detox, access to fentanyl and other drugs is removed, exposure to potentially triggering stimuli is minimized, medications may be given to reduce craving and to manage other troublesome withdrawal effects, and the person can be observed for medical problems or complications from fentanyl use. Specifically, methadone (Dolophine) and buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone) are options in preventing further withdrawal sickness and cravings for fentanyl. The drug clonidine (Catapres), which is used for treating high blood pressure, is also used to treat withdrawal associated with fentanyl cravings.
Medical monitoring of fentanyl detoxification is essential to minimize the risks of relapse and possible fatal overdose. People with a history of opioid abuse may additionally be dealing with various infectious diseases and other serious health issues, warranting the consideration of close medical supervision and intervention, if necessary. Seizures, while not usually a part of opioid withdrawal, may develop due to recent fentanyl abuse because of its similarity to the drug meperidine (Demerol) in lowering the seizure threshold.
If you or someone you care about has a problem with the use of fentanyl, help is available. Call our rehab support advisors at 1-888-744-0789. They can answer your questions and help you get the right treatment.
Detox from fentanyl involves cleansing the body and removing the toxic influences that accumulate from taking the drug for a long time. Fentanyl detoxification programs monitor the person 24 hours a day, seven days a week until they have worked through the withdrawal period and are physically weaned from the drug. Sometimes this process is coupled with medications such as buprenorphine and nalaxone (Suboxone) in order to support a successful detoxification process. However, fentanyl detoxification treatment centers will look closely at the individual to determine the best course of action for the detox process.
After you realize you have an addiction to fentanyl, the next step is to seek treatment. Because fentanyl is a powerful opioid with wide-reaching physical and mental health effects, treatment will address both the physical and mental issues associated with the addiction. This process begins with detoxification from the drug.
Fentanyl Addiction Statistics
Fentanyl is a very strong painkiller and highly addictive. Abusing the drug recreationally for any length of time can lead to an addiction and, in the worst cases, overdose or death may result.
If fentanyl abuse or addiction is an issue for you or someone you love, treatment is necessary to heal. Even if the problem began with a legitimate prescription, it can quickly evolve into something more harmful. Contact us today at 1-888-744-0789 to discuss the possibilities that are available to you in an addiction treatment program.
Facts and Statistics About Fentanyl Addiction
It is important to know and understand the facts and statistics about fentanyl abuse and addiction:
- Fentanyl is a schedule II prescription drug, which means that it is known to have a high potential for abuse but still has medical value.
- Fentanyl is many times more potent than morphine.
- Fentanyl is often prescribed to patients who are suffering from chronic pain but don’t respond to other opiate medications and to those recovering from surgery.
- Fentanyl is sold under the brand names of Actiq, Sublimaze, and Duragesic. Additionally, it is a popular street drug as well and is often sold as TNT, China girl, jackpot, murder 8 and other names, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
- According to the World Health Organization, more than 2 million Americans are addicted to prescription opioids like fentanyl.
- Teens and young adults who develop an addiction to opiate drugs like fentanyl often do so when they take leftover prescriptions from their parents’ medicine cabinets, such as drugs left over from pain management after surgery.
Fentanyl Addiction Rehab
If you have tried to stay off fentanyl only to relapse, you are not alone: Fentanyl addiction can be very tough to overcome. Addiction to fentanyl and other opioid drugs is a chronic struggle for many people, with extremely high rates of relapse.
Call us today at 1-888-744-0789 and let us help you get started on fentanyl addiction treatment that can make a real difference. Proper treatment for fentanyl abuse can change your life and help alleviate the heavy burden of drug addiction.
Treatment rehabilitation (rehab) can do a number of things for you or someone you love who may be addicted to fentanyl, such as:
- Help to identify obstacles to recovery.
- Teach you goals, skills, and resources to cope and deal with the effects of drug addiction.
- Provide you with medications and supportive therapy and counseling that have been shown to be effective.
- Provide peer support so you know you are not alone.
- Provide a strong spiritual support through community programs such as Narcotics Anonymous and other community programs.
- Help you network with vocational and work resources in your community as soon as you are ready to move on from treatment.
Finding a Good Rehab
Look for these elements in an established, reputable addiction treatment program:
- Mission statement. This brief statement tells you how the center sees itself, its identity, program goals and philosophies. A good program will recognize co-occurring disorders and the mandate to treat them.
- Dual-diagnosis capable. Such programs can integrate the treatment of drug addiction with treatment of co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, or other mental and behavioral health issues. Staff will be trained in both disciplines.
- Program environment. Get to know how staff interacts with clients, their perceived attitudes and values, and their credentials.
- Medication management. A well-integrated treatment program will have well-developed protocols in place for dispensing medication.
- Family education. Treatment can be enhanced through including the family in the treatment program through educational and therapeutic outreach. Recovery involves your family and loved ones as well.
- Physical environment. How does the center or facility feel to you? Do you feel welcomed and comfortable there?
Types of Rehabs
In choosing an addiction treatment center for fentanyl abuse, consider the following three main types of rehab:
Traditional rehabs provide inpatient or outpatient treatment, often consisting of 30-90 day programs. Choice of inpatient or outpatient treatment will be made together with a treatment team after assessing for imminent danger to you or others, the need for a safe environment, the presence of a social support system at home, and any court or other treatment mandates. The programs include individual and group therapy, good nutrition and physical health rehabilitation, and putting together a treatment plan which lists obstacles to recovery, and prioritizes areas in need of attention which include grief support networks, and your ability to change, and help you build on your accomplishments in treatment.
These treatment centers go “the extra mile” in providing services which are not available at traditional rehabs. Programs will vary, but many luxury centers have private rooms, yoga, art therapy, specialized nutrition programs and other resort-like amenities offered. Golf courses, tennis, and other onsite sporting venues may likewise be available. In summary, luxury rehab centers will provide more of the amenities of home to which you may be accustomed or will present a near vacation-like setting in which your recovery efforts will begin.
The executive rehab is precisely that. It serves the executive client for whom privacy and some continuity with professional work are necessities. Even though we have come a long way in removing the stigma from addictive illness, the need for privacy and preserving one’s reputation for credibility in the community remains a concern of high profile executives. Additionally, travel arrangements and meetings in venues away from the treatment center can be provided for the convenience of these individuals.
The main goal of all fentanyl rehab programs is to get you off the drug and back to living a sober life.
Most people who require fentanyl addiction treatment will either select residential rehab centers or outpatient drug treatment programs. An important aspect of addiction treatment is selecting the rehab program that fits your personality and personal needs. No matter the program, treatment for fentanyl addiction aims to give the person intensive therapy, relapse prevention, and overall life-skills training.
Treatment Continues After Rehab
The reality of fentanyl rehab, however, is that it is not a quick fix. Some addicts enter rehab for fentanyl and expect to be rid of their addiction quickly and easily. Many fentanyl rehab programs can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on how serious your addiction may be and how your recovery progresses throughout your treatment.
A key part of fentanyl addiction rehab comes after an addict leaves the rehabilitation center’s doors. Many medical professionals will recommend that the patient attends Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings and other outside aftercare programs so they can continue treating their addiction.
Call us today at 1-888-744-0789 for help in finding an addiction treatment center that is best for you and your personal needs.
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- Mee-Lee, D., et al. Editors (2013). The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions. Third Edition. Chevy Chase, MD. The Change Companies.
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- Minkowitz, H. et al. (2016). Long-term safety of Fentanyl sublingual spray in opioid-tolerant patient with breakthrough cancer pain. Support Care Cancer.
- National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (2010). Integrating Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders: An Introduction to What Every Counselor Needs to Know.
- Polydorou, S., and Kleber, H.D. In Galanter, M., and Kleber, H.D. Editors. (2008). Detoxification of Opioids. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment. Fourth Edition. Washington, DC. American Psychiatric Publishing, pp. 265-288.
- Wong, S.C., et al. (2010). The Prevalence of Fentanyl in Drug-Related Deaths in Philadelphia in 2004-2006. J Med Toxicol 6(1): pp. 9-11.Wunsch
- , M.J. et al. In Ries, R.K. et al. Editors. (2009). Nonmedical Use of Prescription Medications. Principles of Addiction Medicine. Fourth Edition. Philadelphia, PA. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, pp. 453-464.