Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid similar to morphine but much more powerful. In the United States, it’s a legal drug used to treat pain but is commonly misused illegally. The drug is prescribed for chronic pain or severe pain after surgery. When misused, Fentanyl can lead to addiction and overdose.
In its prescription form, the name of Fentanyl is known as Actiq, Sublimaze, and Duragesic. When misused, it has several different street names. Fentanyl overdose is highly possible when misused and is not something to take lightly.
Fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid. It is similar to morphine, except much more powerful. It was developed in 1959 and then introduced in the 60s as an anesthetic. Today it is still legal and approved by the Food and Drug Administration for pain relief.
Since its creation, the effects of the drug have made it a popular choice for drug users. Its seemingly pleasant physical and mental effects have made it one of the most trafficked drugs in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids increases dramatically each year.
Effects of Fentanyl
The most prominent short-term side effect of Fentanyl is an intense feeling of euphoria and pain relief. However, like other opioids, the more you use the drug, the more you need to feel the desired effects. That cycle is what often leads to addiction, overdose, and death.
In addition to euphoria, other physical effects of fentanyl use in the beginning include:
- Balance problems
- Slowed blood pressure
- Slurred speech
- Respiratory depression
Long-term use can lead to more severe side effects such as menstrual cycle issues, reduced sex drive, mood swings, respiratory issues, and addiction.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
Like most opioids, fentanyl is highly addictive. It’s reported that 3 million US citizens and 16 million worldwide have or do suffer from opioid use disorder, many of which are fentanyl. It can also be found in other drugs, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and even marijuana.
A telling sign of addiction is experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. Withdrawal symptoms of Fentanyl include:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Intense craving for fentanyl
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Uncontrollable leg movements
- Loss of appetite
- Cold flashes
- Depressions and anxiety
If experiencing withdrawal symptoms, seek help as soon as you can. It’s also important to know the signs of a Fentanyl overdose. If any of the below occur, call 911 immediately.
- Limp body
- Blue-colored fingernails and lips
- Slowed breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
- Clammy skin
Fentanyl addiction is dangerous and shouldn’t be dismissed. Emerge Healing Center is here to help with compassionate care through our treatment programs in Georgia. Our caring and experienced staff are here to answer any questions you may have about the treatment process, as well as help you to decide on the right treatment path for your individual needs. Contact us today to learn more, and let us help arm you with all of the tools you need to be successful in recovery.