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Fentanyl Dependence – Signs of Fentanyl Use Vs. Abuse, Tolerance

Is Fentanyl Addictive?

Yes, fentanyl is addictive. How addictive is fentanyl? After long-term use, fentanyl can become very addictive. Fentanyl can interfere with the way your body responds to pleasure by interfering with your ability to feel pleasure from normal stimuli, such as an evening out with friends or a relaxing dinner. The more you abuse fentanyl, the more fentanyl you will need to take to get a “high” or feel pleasure from the drug. This becomes a downward spiral, in which you need to take increasingly higher doses of fentanyl. Doctors prescribe fentanyl for many patients, especially cancer sufferers, who no longer respond to less powerful pain relievers. Sometimes doctors administer fentanyl during surgery. Usually, fentanyl is delivered in the form of a patch. The medication is absorbed into the skin from the patch. If you have begun using fentanyl in ways that are not intended by your doctor, you should call 1-888-803-9961 Who Answers?5 for assistance.

Understanding Fentanyl Dependency and Tolerance

Fentanyl dependence can be both physical and psychological. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid analgesic that is classed as a narcotic. When you take fentanyl, the drug binds to the opiate receptors in your brain. These opiate receptors are responsible for how you feel, both emotionally and physically. When fentanyl binds to opiate receptors, your brain produces more dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter or brain chemical that, among other things, makes you feel good. When you take fentanyl too frequently and in quantities that are too large, you can become physically dependent. Each subsequent time you take fentanyl, more of the drug is required to release the same amount of dopamine. As your body becomes more used to achieving the dopamine response from fentanyl, it no longer responds to normal pleasurable experiences in the same way. If you are using fentanyl to the exclusion of enjoying normal experiences, you may be psychologically dependent on fentanyl. If you are showing signs of psychological and physical dependence on fentanyl, you need to take steps to reduce your dependency on the drug.

Effects/Side Effects

Fentanyl can be used to achieve a “high,” characterized by a feeling of euphoria. You also may feel very relaxed. However, excessive use of fentanyl can also cause extreme drowsiness, constipation, confusion, fatigue, nausea, and sedation. Fentanyl can also cause serious complications, such as coma, respiratory distress, and respiratory arrest. This is especially true in people who have not built up a tolerance to fentanyl, such as people taking a very large amount without having taken the drug previously.
When you are coming down from fentanyl, you may feel depressed. If you initially began taking fentanyl to cope with a chronic or acute pain problem, you may begin to feel that pain again. In some cases, the pain may be stronger than before. It is important to work with a doctor who is skilled in substance abuse issues to help you find alternative ways to manage your pain if you initially began taking fentanyl for a legitimate problem.

In the long term, fentanyl abuse may cause you to show poor judgment, both in work and personal environments. After abusing fentanyl for a long period of time, you may find that the desire to take fentanyl becomes overwhelming. You may feel that your life revolves around replicating the high that fentanyl gave you initially. Because your body has developed a tolerance for fentanyl, it is not physically possible to feel the same effect from the same amount of fentanyl as before.

Withdrawal and Detoxification

methadone-addictionTo lessen the negative effects of fentanyl withdrawal, it is crucial that you work with a doctor to lessen your dosage of fentanyl gradually. It can take 17 hours for the amount of fentanyl in your bloodstream to decrease by half. To prevent withdrawal symptoms, do not attempt to stop your fentanyl addiction on your own. Instead, work with a treatment center and specialists skilled in helping you end your addiction.

Symptoms of withdrawal from fentanyl can include anxiety, runny nose, aches and pains, shivers, and irritability, among others. Fortunately, these symptoms are manageable and are not permanent.

Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl abuse treatment is available and highly effective. Do not try to stop taking fentanyl on your own after a lengthy period of abuse. Instead, work with a doctor or drug treatment center to gradually reduce your dependency on fentanyl. After you stop taking fentanyl, it may take some time before your body returns to the way it worked before you began abusing fentanyl. Call 1-888-803-9961 Who Answers?5 to start the process.