Fentanyl, a potent prescription opioid used for severe pain management, carries a high risk of addiction. Despite its intended medical use, the addictive potential of fentanyl makes it susceptible to abuse, leading to dangerous consequences.
It is crucial to be well-informed about this drug and know how to seek assistance if you have concerns about your or someone else’s fentanyl use.
What is Fentanyl Addiction?
Fentanyl’s addictive nature stems from its impact on the brain’s reward system and its ability to induce intense euphoria. As an opioid, fentanyl binds to certain receptors in the brain, triggering the release of dopamine—a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This dopamine flow creates a powerful reinforcing effect, increasing the desire to seek and use fentanyl repeatedly.
Fentanyl’s potency also amplifies its addictive nature. It is estimated to be 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, making it highly effective at relieving pain and more likely to lead to addiction.
Fentanyl addiction signs
Recognising signs of fentanyl addiction can be challenging since individuals addicted to the drug often conceal their symptoms. You may even downplay the extent of your fentanyl use, unwilling to acknowledge the development of an addiction. However, behavioural signs of fentanyl addiction may be more noticeable in yourself and others than physical and psychological signs.
Some signs include:
- Withdrawing from loved ones
- Continuing to take fentanyl despite negative effects on health and relationships
- Performing poorly at school or work
- Trying to quit or cut down and not managing
- Losing interest in activities that were once enjoyed
- Going to multiple doctors for prescriptions
Supporting someone with fentanyl addiction
If someone you love is suffering from a fentanyl addiction, it can be very difficult to know how to help them. We will discuss a few tips for helping someone with a fentanyl addiction:
- Understanding fentanyl addiction – Understanding the experiences and behaviours of your loved one struggling with addiction can be challenging. Giving the support needed means gaining a better understanding of fentanyl addiction. Reading this article is an excellent initial step towards enhancing your knowledge and being more supportive.
- Active listening – While it is important to communicate how their fentanyl addiction impacts you, it is crucial to avoid blaming them and allow them to express themselves. By actively listening, you build trust, ensuring your loved one feels heard, supported, and encouraged to seek your ongoing support.
- Interventions – Organising an intervention can be a helpful approach to addressing your loved one’s fentanyl addiction. During the intervention, you can express your concerns about how their addiction affects you and recommend treatment. It may be beneficial to consult with a professional specialising in interventions to effectively guide you through the process.
- Self-care – Prioritising self-care is vital. You may face emotional difficulties as you watch someone you love battle addiction to fentanyl, making it imperative that you devote time to activities to bring you joy and safeguard your emotions.
Fentanyl detox and rehab
Rehab is a comprehensive treatment programme which can be used to help individuals overcome their fentanyl addiction. The journey to recovery typically begins with a crucial first step: detox. During fentanyl detox, individuals are monitored in a controlled environment as they safely and gradually withdraw from fentanyl. The process aims to manage and reduce withdrawal symptoms, which can be intense and challenging.
Common withdrawal symptoms of fentanyl include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and sweating
- Muscle aches
After completing detox, individuals in fentanyl rehab embark on a comprehensive treatment programme that includes:
- 12-step therapy
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Diialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)
- Group and trauma therapy
- Disabled family and nursing unit
- Mindful fitness
- Freshly prepared and nutritious meals
- Relapse prevention
Fentanyl addiction treatment at Oasis Bradford
Oasis Bradford is here to provide the necessary support and guidance throughout your fentanyl rehab journey. Our dedicated team is committed to assisting you in overcoming addiction and achieving lasting recovery.
If you or someone you know requires more information about getting help for addiction to fentanyl, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are ready to help you kick-start your journey towards recovery.