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drugs, fentanyl, addiction, drug dealer, sober, rehab, drug treatmentAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fentanyl is a leading contributor to overdoses in the United States. It is a synthetic opioid that can be fatal even in small doses. Despite the alarming number of overdoses and known risks of fentanyl, it is still among the most commonly used opioids and continues to grow in use. Opioid use has become a crisis, and more people are becoming addicted. If you suspect a loved one is using fentanyl illicitly, knowing the risks and warning signs can help you get them the treatment they need to save their life before it is too late.

What Makes Fentanyl Dangerous

Fentanyl is an opioid designed to eliminate pain and is often prescribed to cancer or heart surgery patients to reduce pain. It is one of the most potent opioids available and among the most addictive. It is more potent than morphine. Fentanyl can produce sedative effects and cause relaxation and drowsiness. It can also cause feelings of peace and euphoria.

Fentanyl has no taste or odor. It comes in various forms, such as:

  • Injections
  • IV drip
  • Pain patches
  • Lollipops
  • Pills or film
  • Powder
  • Liquid

Since fentanyl can cause death or severe harm, it can pose a danger for anyone who comes in contact with it. Those who abuse the drug or mix it with another substance such as heroin are at risk of an overdose. It can also pose a danger for law enforcement or others who may touch the drug when assisting or searching a person for this drug.

Fentanyl affects a person’s central nervous system and can cause both mental and physical side effects. It can also decrease a person’s oxygen level and slow down the heart rate. Long-term fentanyl use can lead to serious complications. Some of the most common side effects of fentanyl use are:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Chronic constipation
  • Seizures

Signs of a Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl is highly addictive. A person with an addiction to fentanyl may show various signs, including behavioral and personality changes. You may notice them withdrawing from family and friends, and they may not be motivated to work or do the activities they once enjoyed. Some other signs of a fentanyl addiction are:

  • Rapid mood swings
  • Episodes of paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Impaired judgment
  • Drowsiness or nodding off
  • Loss of appetite

Warning Signs of an Opioid Overdose

Fentanyl can be deadly when used by itself. If it is mixed with other substances such as heroin, the risks for death or other severe complications, including coma or respiratory distress, are much higher. Warning signs that can indicate an opioid overdose from substances such as fentanyl include:

    • Small or constricted pupils
    • Trouble walking or talking
    • Feeling dizzy or faint
    • Losing consciousness
    • Stopped or shallow breathing
    • Making gurgling sounds
    • Sleepiness
    • Confusion
    • Skin that is cold and clammy
    • Unresponsiveness

If your loved one has signs of an overdose, seek immediate medical attention and call 911. To reverse the effects of an overdose from fentanyl, naloxone may be administered by a first responder or medical professional. Depending on the amount of fentanyl taken, a person may require more than one dose of naloxone.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawing from fentanyl can be painful and difficult. Therefore, medical detox is recommended to keep the person safe and as comfortable as possible. Withdrawal symptoms include severe cravings for the drug as well as the following:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Extreme restlessness
  • Weakness and exhaustion
  • Aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Chills and fever
  • Insomnia
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Raised heart rate

Contact Our Georgia Recovery Center

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, contact Twin Lakes Recovery Center. We are a leading Monroe, Georgia, treatment center and offer a variety of treatments and programs for those with substance use disorders, alcohol use disorders, and co-occurring disorders. Our programs include medically-supervised alcohol and drug detox, inpatient residential treatment, intensive outpatient program, relapse prevention, and more. Contact us to find out more about what we have to offer.

Looking for drug rehabs near Forest Park, Georgia? To learn more about our detox and treatment programs at Twin Lakes, please use the convenient contact form.