Following concerns about the highly addictive nature of opioids, many people in the US ask, what is fentanyl? It is a synthetic opioid that is increasingly causing overdose-related deaths. According to experts, synthetic opioid-related deaths have been on the rise since 2018, and tens of thousands of people in the US lose their lives yearly due to opioid overdoses. If you are one of the millions of Americans battling an addiction to fentanyl or other opioids, our addiction treatment center can help. Contact Summit Estate Recovery Center at 800.701.6997 today.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a type of synthetic opioid that doctors prescribe for chronic pains. It is a Schedule II drug approved for the treatment of advanced cancer pain. Medical experts claim that fentanyl is nearly a hundred times more effective than morphine.
Statistics associate fentanyl-related deaths with illegal fentanyl that users access from street dealers. The fentanyl available in the illicit market often comes as a mixture of several drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Most of the time, users are not aware of what they purchase, increasing the number of deaths caused by the drug.
Law enforcement agencies link most of the deaths to illegally acquired or manufactured fentanyl, which increases seizures and confiscations of illegal fentanyl by about sevenfold in 2014.
The Dangers of Fentanyl Use
The primary danger associated with fentanyl use is addiction. The soothing effects that people derive from opioids make fentanyl among the most highly addictive drugs. The desire to achieve maximum relaxation from pain pushes users to take an overdose, increasing associated health risks.
A substantial percentage of patients who get an opioid prescription develop an addiction. Combining illegal fentanyl with other drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, increases the chances of overdose and dependence for euphoric purposes. Hundreds of Americans die daily from deaths linked to opioid overdose.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
If you are a fentanyl user, it is worth noting that its withdrawal symptoms are similar to other opioids. Although the first use of fentanyl was for medical purposes, people started taking the pain reliever without prescriptions.
Illegal use of opioids leads to physical dependence. If you attempt to quit abruptly, you will develop some undesirable withdrawal symptoms, including:
- High blood pressure
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Body tremors and shaking
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Slurred speech
- Breathing difficulties
- Emotional numbness
The Effects of Abusing Fentanyl
Like other opioids, fentanyl abuse has short and long-term effects, depending on other factors, such as frequency of use and the amount of dosage.
Some of the typical short-term effects include constricted pupils, slow heart pace, confusion, a dry mouth, and low body temperature. Most users become more sensitive to light, while a few have disrupted sleeping patterns. The short-term effects are easier to manage.
The long-term effects, on the other hand, are more complex to alleviate and treat. Some of the warning signs to watch out for include permanent brain damage, reduced sexual performance, depression, and memory loss.
If you notice a loved one displaying the above symptoms or want to know more about what fentanyl is, seek urgent medical attention to facilitate recovery.
Seek Treatment of Fentanyl Abuse at Summit Estate Today
The main challenge in the recovery process is overcoming the withdrawal effects. At Summit Estate, our health care experts offer a wide variety of recovery programs, including:
- Residential treatment program
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Sober living programs
- Men’s intensive outpatient program
- Women’s intensive outpatient program
Are you struggling to overcome fentanyl abuse? At our rehab facility, we help you answer, “What is fentanyl?” and have medical experts on standby to ensure that you can receive the much-needed support 24/7. Contact Summit Estate today at 800.701.6997 to start your recovery journey.