Similar to morphine, fentanyl is a synthetic opiate analgesic that is often prescribed as a pain reliever, particularly in cases of moderate to severe breakthrough pain where patients have grown tolerant to narcotic pain relievers.
Fentanyl is classified as a Schedule II drug, so it has a high potential for addiction and abuse. Data from the World Health Organization show that more than 2 million Americans are addicted to fentanyl and other prescription opiates. The DEA reported more than 1,000 deaths in the United States from fentanyl abuse in 2007.
Fentanyl imbues feelings of euphoria, calm, and intense physical relaxation, which is partly why it makes such a good pain reliever. Some other common side effects of fentanyl use include:
Some common symptoms of fentanyl addiction that you should keep an eye out for include:
Medication plays an important role in the recovery process. It can be used to balance out the chemicals in your body, curb cravings, or manage your withdrawal symptoms when they get to be too much.
Most doctors will combine medication with therapy for optimum treatment of fentanyl addiction. You will most likely be prescribed opiate receptor antagonists, which block the effects of opiates like fentanyl. The most popular of these is methadone.
Detox is an important first step in recovery. It involves discontinuing or tapering off of drug use to gradually flush toxins out of your body. The best option for detox is inpatient care, in which you admit yourself to a detox facility. Along with a supportive environment to undergo your detox treatment, inpatient care gives you access to a professional medical staff. This is advantageous as you can rely on them to administer medication, receive counseling when you need emotional support, and gain peace of mind in the event of any emergencies.
Detox leads directly into longer rehab programs. While detox removes harmful toxins from your body, rehab works on you as a person, giving you the strength and guidance to better yourself and stay clean in the long run. Addiction is a lifelong battle, and some days can be harder than others. Rehab arms you with the knowledge and personal techniques to get through the worst days.