Journey is a leader in the treatment of addiction to Fentanyl and other opioid painkillers. Depending on each client’s needs, addiction treatment at Journey may include medication to reduce withdrawal symptoms, as well as a comprehensive blend of behavioral therapy, 12-Step involvement and proven non-conventional approaches.
Fentanyl is a powerful prescription painkiller that is used for serious cases of pain not controlled by other drugs. Related to morphine, fentanyl is much more potent. It is susceptible to abuse and is highly addictive, and as such is categorized by the DEA as a schedule II controlled substance. Fentanyl can cause side effects, and not least among them is the possibility of dependence. If you have been prescribed fentanyl, understand the risks and never use it in a way that is not directed by your doctor. Because of the potential for abuse, it is also important that you keep your medication out of the hands of anyone else. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
What Is Fentanyl and How Is It Used?
Fentanyl is a member of the opioid class of drugs, those derived from natural compounds of the opium poppy. Fentanyl was synthesized based on morphine, but is much more powerful. Opioid drugs act on the central nervous system to reduce pain. They also cause a release of the chemical dopamine in the brain, which creates an extreme sensation of pleasure. It is this effect that leads some people to abuse opioids like fentanyl.
Fentanyl comes in many forms including a skin patch, lozenges, pills, shots and intravenous fluids. How it is used depends on the reason it is prescribed. Fentanyl is often used in hospitals and operating rooms for both controlling pain and to act as anesthesia. The patch is used for chronic pain, as it allows the body to absorb small, controlled amounts of the potent drug in a safe manner.
Because it is such a powerful painkiller, fentanyl is used for people with severe pain. Terminal cancer patients are often given fentanyl for pain when the risks of taking fentanyl are outweighed by the benefits. Fentanyl can also be used for breakthrough pain. This occurs when someone is taking another pain medication and it stops working. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
How Addictive Is Fentanyl?
Like all opioid drugs, fentanyl is highly addictive. It is more potent than most other drugs in its class so it carries an even greater risk of dependence. In all cases in which fentanyl is used, the prescribing doctor, anesthesiologist or surgeon weighs the risks against the need for pain management. Anyone who is prescribed fentanyl should be very careful not to use it in a manner not directed by a doctor. Even the patches, which control the amount of drug delivered to the body, can be habit forming.
What Are the Side Effects of Fentanyl?
In addition to the possibility of addiction, fentanyl can cause side effects such as hallucinations, a decrease in urine production, chest pains, trouble speaking, swelling and itching of the skin where a patch is applied, and mood swings. These side effects are serious and require medical attention. Less serious side effects may include stomach pain, constipation, confusion, anxiety, vomiting, nausea, weakness or loss of appetite.
Fentanyl may also cause an overdose. Get emergency medical attention if you believe you or someone else has taken too much fentanyl. Signs of an overdose include clammy and cold skin, a slow heartbeat, severe drowsiness, seizures, pinpoint pupils, and slow breathing. Many fentanyl overdoses are accidental and occur when heroin users unknowingly consume it. Heroin is sometimes laced with fentanyl, which makes for a deadly combination. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
Fentanyl is a serious narcotic painkiller that has been able to help many people with chronic and severe pain. Anyone using this medication should be aware of all the risks including potential side effects, the possibility of addiction and the danger of overdose.