Addiction

Fentanyl Addiction

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Fentanyl is quickly becoming one of the most common and most dangerous substances to be addicted to. So if you’ve fallen prey to this drug, feel no shame – you are not alone. Better yet: you can overcome this addiction with fentanyl rehab. Whenever you are ready to seek help, contact Harmony Ridge Recovery Center WV, and we will help you take the first steps toward sobriety.

Understanding fentanyl addiction

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Fentanyl is a dangerous synthetic opioid that can wreak havoc in an individual’s life. Understanding its effects, the addiction it produces, and the signs that point to it can help you recognize the problem in yourself or your loved ones. Early intervention doesn’t just give the user better odds at recovery but can also be life-saving. So knowing more about fentanyl, fentanyl addiction, and possible treatment is very important.

Happy woman with her back to the camera.
A better, happier, and healthier life is possible with fentanyl rehab.

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used in medicine to treat patients with severe pain, usually the following surgery. As a Schedule II controlled substance, fentanyl has a very high potential for causing addiction with serious consequences. When taken under the care of a physician, it is administered through an injection, transdermal patch, or in lozenges, and as a prescription pain killer, it has an important place in medical treatment and typically doesn’t land people in fentanyl rehab centers.

However, fentanyl can also be obtained illegally for the purpose of getting high. Street fentanyl is generally sold as a powder, mixed with heroin, or as a tablet. It can be swallowed, snorted, or injected. In this form, fentanyl is a lot more dangerous because mixing it with other drugs changes its potency and makes it more difficult to control the dosage.

Pills that will land you in fentanyl rehab.
Both legal and illegal fentanyl can come in pill form.

The different types of fentanyl

Broadly speaking, there are two types of fentanyl people use: brand-name fentanyl that has been prescribed by a physician and illegal fentanyl obtained illicitly. Both come in several different forms. Depending on your condition, pain level, and reason for needing medication, a doctor may prescribe:

  • Actiq is a form of fentanyl that comes as a lozenge on a plastic stick that is taken under the tongue. It is generally used for individuals already on pain-relieving medications.
  • Duragesic comes as a patch and is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Its effects can last up to three days.
  • Sublimaze is an injectable form of fentanyl. It’s used to lessen discomfort before and after surgery.
  • Subsys is a fentanyl spray administered under a patient’s tongue to relieve pain quickly. It’s often used to treat breakthrough cancer pain.
  • Abstral is another form of fentanyl also used to treat breakthrough cancer pain. It’s a quick-dissolve tablet version placed under the tongue.
  • Lazanda is a fentanyl nasal spray delivered in the same manner as a common nasal spray. It’s mostly used to treat pain in cancer patients.

When it comes to illegal fentanyl, it comes in the form of either powder or tablets. More often than not, these are not pure fentanyl; they are cut with another drug, most commonly heroin. Unlike most people addicted to prescription opioids, the majority of fentanyl users don’t start by gradually increasing the dosage of their medication. Instead, they typically obtain the drug from illegal manufacturers from the start because fentanyl is rarely the first substance you try. In fact, many people in fentanyl rehab suffer from other addictions too. They may be heroin users switching to fentanyl to avoid the withdrawal symptoms, or they may graduate from other opioids to the cheaper yet more potent fentanyl.

The effects of fentanyl

Like all opioids, fentanyl binds to the body’s opioid receptors and increases dopamine levels in the brain. This produces a feeling of relaxation and euphoria that users become addicted to. But with the high come side effects: drowsiness, confusion, sedation, slowed breathing, unconsciousness, and ultimately coma or even death. Once dependent, you will need fentanyl every 6-12 hours to function. Otherwise, you’ll start experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. This is a clear sign of addiction. So if you notice that you’re craving more fentanyl mere hours after last using, consider seeking drug addiction treatment in WV at your local fentanyl detox center.

The dangers of fentanyl abuse

In 2011, oxycodone was one of the main drugs linked to overdose deaths. Starting in 2012 and lasting until 2015, heroin surpassed painkillers in overdose deaths. Then fentanyl came along. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) called it the third wave of the opioid epidemic and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently warned that as many as 60% of fentanyl pills sold illegally contain a potentially lethal dose.

By 2016, overdose deaths caused by fentanyl became the most common. Research shows that the rate of drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl doubled each year from 2013 to 2016. In 2017, the trend continued: overdose deaths involving fentanyl had risen to 9 per 100,000 people, compared to 6.2 per 100,000 in 2016. In 2021, fentanyl overdoses were still on the rise. Fentanyl is now the most common illegal substance to cause death by overdose.

Man lying on a bed.
Fentanyl overdoses are increasingly common.

Why is fentanyl so dangerous? To start with, fentanyl is very potent. It is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. And yet, it is relatively cheap to manufacture and, therefore, easily accessible. It is almost impossible to tell what it has been mixed with and in what ratio, so users often don’t really know what they’re taking. The longer you abuse fentanyl, the higher the chances that you will come across a bad batch and overdose. Seeking help at fentanyl rehab centers early on is the best way to avoid the worst-case scenario.

Recognizing the signs of fentanyl addiction - when is it time for fentanyl rehab?

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Fentanyl addiction is a chronic disease that seriously impacts the brain and body as well as causes serious damage to the individual’s work, relationships, and life in general. The physical and physiological dependence on fentanyl occurs as a result of chronic usage. In other words, you won’t be addicted after taking fentanyl once. But if you need to use the substance regularly, you most likely have an addiction and will benefit from fentanyl detox treatment.

There are many mental, behavioral, and physical symptoms that point to you or someone you love needing opiate addiction treatment WV. People who have an addiction to fentanyl typically experience:

  • depression, anxiety, and confusion
  • a lot of time dedicated to obtaining and using fentanyl
  • an unwillingness or inability to stop using despite problems in school, at work, or in relationships
  • loss of interest in both obligations and hobbies
  • risky behavior and impulsivity
  • increased tolerance to painkillers
  • fentanyl cravings
  • sleep issues
  • fatigue and dizziness

The biggest sign of addiction, however, is loss of control. If you continue to use fentanyl despite serious consequences, legal and financial issues, and even attempts to quit, you most likely have an addiction and should start looking into fentanyl rehab.

Fentanyl withdrawal – timeline and symptoms

Withdrawal occurs as a result of your body’s physical dependence on fentanyl. When you suddenly stop using the drug, your body needs time to adjust. During this time, you will experience uncomfortable symptoms that will cause you to crave the drug. The duration and severity of these symptoms will depend on a few factors, including the severity of addiction, the period of usage, and physical health. The more severe the addiction to fentanyl, the more chronic the withdrawal symptoms are as a result.

Typically, acute fentanyl withdrawal lasts about a week, with the symptoms peaking around days 1-3. During this time, you may experience symptoms such as a runny nose, fever, chills, muscle spasms, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, vomiting, heightened sensitivity to pain, severe muscle pain, and strong cravings. In severe cases, withdrawal can also lead to life-threatening symptoms like seizures and an irregular heart rate. Some of the symptoms, including cravings, may persist for months after this too.

It’s best that you don’t detox on your own. Detoxing from opioids is not just uncomfortable but also dangerous. At our fentanyl detox center, you can avoid the worst of it through medication and medical supervision.

Withdrawal will be easier and safer in fentanyl rehab

A medically supervised detox is highly recommended when fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are severe. But even in the cases where the symptoms are mild, it is the best option because the process of detoxification in fentanyl rehab, where you will be under medical supervision and have access to medication-assisted treatment, is safer and more comfortable.

Nurse with a patient in fentanyl rehab
Our medical staff will keep you safe and comfortable during detox.

Our licensed medical team will guide you through the fentanyl detox treatment. They will supervise you once you stop taking the drug and administer medication to manage your withdrawal symptoms as needed. This is the first component of a comprehensive treatment plan for fentanyl addiction. Your body will start to heal as it gets rid of the toxic substances. Then, you can move on to healing your mind through therapy.

Start your journey toward recovery the right way with fentanyl rehab at Harmony Ridge

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Fentanyl rehab centers like ours are your best chance at a successful recovery from fentanyl addiction. Our goal is that you leave treatment confident in your ability to maintain your sobriety and cope with any underlying issues that caused addiction in the first place. To that end, we will address both the physical and mental aspects of addiction using evidence-based methods to ensure long-term success.

Fentanyl rehab at Harmony Ridge is holistic and all-encompassing

Addiction will touch every part of your life; addiction treatment should too. This is why our fentanyl rehab doesn’t just focus on one aspect of addiction. Rather, we provide a range of services aimed at holistic healing – body, mind, relationships, emotions, spirit, and anything else you feel has been hurt by your substance abuse. At Harmony Ridge, you will find:

  • Behavioral services. Addiction often either stems from or causes mental and emotional issues that lead to disordered behavior. This is why addiction therapy is crucial to treatment. Our dedicated addiction counselors will help you build coping mechanisms and skills to maintain long-term sobriety.
  • Medical support. Your physical health becomes affected through long-term fentanyl use. That’s where our medical team comes in. At our medical detox center in West Virginia, we’ll manage your withdrawal symptoms and take care of any related health issues.
  • Supportive peer community. At Harmony Ridge Recovery Center, we understand the value of peer-to-peer support. Our group therapy services are designed to help you learn from others in your situation. After treatment, you can also find an encouraging community in our program for sober living WV. We make sure that you have a support system throughout your recovery journey.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment. If you have both a fentanyl addiction and a mental health disorder, you’ll need dual diagnosis treatment in WV. Through dual diagnosis treatment, you’ll be able to address both addiction and mental illness as well as the way they affect each other.

Our addiction therapy will help you achieve and maintain sobriety

You will spend the majority of your time in fentanyl rehab in therapy. Therapy is the part of the treatment that addresses the underlying causes, triggers, and lasting consequences of addiction. As such, it is the most crucial step in your recovery. Depending on the program you’re in, you may even have therapy every day. The therapy sessions will be conducted in different settings:

Person in therapy in fentanyl rehab
Both individual and group therapy are beneficial in their own way.

While it is impossible to overstate the importance of addiction therapy, we understand that not everyone will respond to these sessions in the same way. To ensure that you get the kind of care that you need, we employ a variety of therapeutic methods that effectively address addiction, such as:

Your therapist will discuss the benefits of the different methods with you and suggest the best course of action. Sometimes, a combination of different approaches may be necessary.

We provide treatment for varying levels of fentanyl addiction severity

Your treatment needs will vary depending on the severity of your addiction and the stage of your recovery. The longer you abuse fentanyl, the more support you’ll need. But the further you get in recovery, the less time you’ll need to spend in therapy. To accommodate the changing support needs of our patients, Harmony Ridge Recovery Center offers fentanyl detox treatment at varying levels of care:

  1. We recommend our residential rehab program WV, for severe cases of addiction and the early stages of recovery, especially if you have no support system at home and suffer from chronic relapse.
  2. Our partial hospitalization program in West Virginia is an excellent transitional step if you feel like you still need more support than a standard outpatient program offers after you complete an inpatient program at our facility.
  3. You should join our intensive outpatient program in WV if you suffer from a milder case of addiction with no complicating mental health issues or toward the end of your recovery. It will allow you to transition into independent sober living while still providing you with plenty of support.

Our focus is always on long-term recovery

The ultimate goal of rehab is that you never need it again. Once you walk out of our treatment facility, we want you to go on living your best sober life for a long time to come. But at the same time, we know the odds: up to 60% of people with substance use disorder relapse. To prevent this issue, we focus on long-term recovery from the beginning of treatment. With the right therapy, a strong support system, and good relapse prevention planning, we believe you can leave addiction behind once and for all.

Get the fentanyl rehab you deserve at Harmony Ridge Recovery Center

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Through the highest quality treatment, you can turn your life around no matter how severe your addiction is. But how will you know which of the many fentanyl detox centers in the area to turn to? The answer is easy – Harmony Ridge stands out even among the top rehab facilities in the state. Here’s why:

Personalized treatment plans

We understand that everyone who walks through the doors of our fentanyl rehab center has a unique story. Our patients have different backgrounds, different reasons for using drugs, different experiences with addiction, and different goals for the future. That is why at Harmony Ridge, fentanyl rehab is never one-size-fits-all. During your assessment at the beginning of the program, we will discuss your condition and your options. Once we get to know you and your situation a bit better, we will tailor the treatment to your needs so that you can get the best and most effective care possible.

An environment that facilitates healing

Not many fentanyl rehab centers can provide you with the kind of peaceful and healing environment that we have. Our facilities are modern and come with full amenities for your comfort. The complex is surrounded by more than 50 acres of stunning nature – you won’t find controlled substances or noisy neighbors here, but you will get plenty of fresh air and exercise! Our location makes outdoor physical activity and social events possible, and nature further evokes a sense of calm and relaxation, all of which can help your recovery.

Lake with mountains in the background.
Nature can have a big positive impact on your recovery.

A caring and supportive community

At the end of the day, it is our staff that makes our treatment what it is. The medical professionals, mental health experts, social workers, and counselors you meet will change your life. We all have personal experiences with addiction and understand how difficult it can be to leave substances behind. We are here to support you on your journey with dignity, respect, and care. It’s our goal for every member of our recovery center to feel safe, secure, and welcome.

Contact us and start your road to recovery today!

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The Harmony Ridge Recovery Center team is here to help you on every step of your journey toward recovery. So contact us today to start fentanyl rehab and start reclaiming your life. We are here for you 24/7, so do not hesitate to get in touch day or night – whenever you decide you are ready to seek help, we’ll be here for you.

FAQ

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1. What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. It is a powerful killer that can be prescribed for severe, often post-surgical pain. But because it is relatively easy and cheap to make, it also has very high street value. Illegally, it is typically sold as a powder mixed with another substance (most commonly, heroin).

2. What are the effects of fentanyl?

Fentanyl increases dopamine levels in the brain by binding to the body’s opioid receptors. The effects are similar to those of other opioids: the user feels pain relief, relaxation, and euphoria. Breathing and heart rate are slowed down as well, which can lead to drowsiness, sedation, and unconsciousness.

3. How dangerous is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance, the same category as methadone, oxycodone, morphine, and opium; this means it’s highly addictive. What is more, street fentanyl, which is sold as a powder, is rarely, if ever, pure. Typically, it’s cut with other substances like heroin. Not only does this increase the potency of both substances, but it also makes dosing very difficult, as you never know how much fentanyl you’re really taking and what you’re mixing it with. Up to 60% of illegally obtained fentanyl contains a lethal dose of the drug. Fentanyl is now the leading cause of fatal overdoses in the US.

If you suspect you or someone you know has overdosed on fentanyl, call 911 immediately. Administer Naloxone if you can.

4. What are the symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal?

When you stop taking fentanyl, you are likely to experience a runny nose, fever, chills, muscle spasms, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, vomiting, heightened sensitivity to pain, severe muscle pain, and strong cravings. These symptoms are at their worst around day 3 of detox. Depending on your physical health as well as the severity of the addiction, you may also experience potentially life-threatening seizures and arrhythmia.

5. How long does detox and recovery from fentanyl addiction last?

Detoxing from fentanyl typically takes about a week. However, like most opioids, fentanyl leaves you with very strong drug cravings. So recovery can be difficult. How long rehab takes depends on each patient’s individual situation. The more severe the addiction and the worse your mental health, the longer it’ll take you to recover.

References:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/12/12/676214086/fentanyl-surpasses-heroin-as-drug-most-often-involved-in-deadly-overdoses

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/fentanyl.html

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db329-h.pdf


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