In recent years, the use of fentanyl has skyrocketed, leading to more overdoses and deaths. But is fentanyl addictive? In this article, we’ll explore the addiction potential of this powerful drug and what Northpoint Washington is doing to help those struggling with addiction.
Northpoint Washington offers a variety of evidence-based treatment options, including detoxification, inpatient program, individual and group therapy, and more. Please call us at 425.437.3298 to learn about our fentanyl addiction treatment program.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller that is 100 times more potent than morphine. It is typically prescribed for severe pain, such as that experienced by cancer patients. Fentanyl is also sometimes used to treat patients with tolerance to other opioids.
While fentanyl is an effective painkiller, it is also highly addictive. The drug is classified as a Schedule II drug, which means it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Fentanyl is available in various forms, including tablets, lozenges, injections, patches, sprays, and sublingual films.
Is Fentanyl Addictive?
The answer to the question, “is fentanyl addictive?” is a resounding yes. Fentanyl is a highly addictive drug, and even people who take the medicine as prescribed can develop an addiction.
Opioids work by binding to specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord, which blocks pain signals from being sent to the brain. This action also causes the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that creates feelings of pleasure. The combination of pain relief and pleasure is what makes opioids so addictive.
People who abuse fentanyl often take the drug to get high, and they may take it in ways other than prescribed, such as snorting or injecting it. Taking fentanyl in this way increases the risk of overdose and death.
What are the Risks of Fentanyl Addiction?
Fentanyl abuse comes with several risks. Fentanyl is now the most commonly used drug in fatal overdoses. Some of the risks associated with fentanyl abuse include the following:
- Overdose — Because fentanyl is so potent, it’s easy to take too much and overdose accidentally. Overdoses can be deadly, especially when the drug is used without a prescription or combined with other drugs or alcohol.
- Tolerance — As with other opioids, regular use of fentanyl can lead to tolerance, meaning that higher doses are needed to achieve the same effects.
- Withdrawal — When someone addicted to fentanyl stops taking the drug, they will experience withdrawal symptoms, which can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, and depression.
- Dependence — Fentanyl addiction can lead to physical and psychological dependence on the drug. This means people will feel like they need to use the drug to feel normal.
- Health problems – Fentanyl addiction can cause many health problems, including respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.
Understanding the risks associated with fentanyl abuse is essential, but it’s also important to understand that addiction is a complex disease. Many factors contribute to someone developing an addiction, including genetics, environment, and mental health.
Treatment for Fentanyl Abuse at Northpoint Washington
Treatment for fentanyl addiction typically begins with detoxification, which eliminates the drug from the body. Detox can be done through various methods, including tapering, which involves slowly reducing the drug dose over time, or through more rapid methods, such as detoxing under medical supervision.
After detox, patients typically enter an inpatient treatment program, receiving 24-hour care and supervision. During their stay, patients will participate in individual and group therapy and other evidence-based treatment modalities.
Our approach at Northpoint Washington is to treat the whole person, not just the addiction. We understand that addiction is a complex disease, and we tailor our treatment plans to meet each patient’s unique needs. Contact us at 425.437.3298 and get the help you need today.