Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Addiction

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Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl is widely considered to be the driving force behind the third wave of the opioid epidemic in the United States. According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), data reveals that 356,000 individuals aged 12 and over in the United States engaged in the misuse of fentanyl prescriptions within the past year. Learning to comprehend the signs and symptoms of fentanyl addiction is pivotal for addressing the complex challenges linked to substance abuse.

In this article, we will navigate the nature of fentanyl and explore the physical and behavioral indicators of fentanyl abuse, as well as illuminate the potential long-term effects of this perilous addiction. If you or a loved one is grappling with fentanyl addiction, seeking support becomes imperative. Hand in Hand Recovery Center in Marietta, Georgia, stands ready to provide guidance and assistance on the path to recovery. Our fentanyl rehab in Marietta can help you. Call us now at (470) 280-2791 or verify your insurance.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a completely synthetic opioid. It shares a structural similarity with morphine but is a staggering 100 times more potent. Initially prescribed for severe pain, particularly post-surgery or for conditions like cancer, Fentanyl holds a designation as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its elevated potential for abuse. Illicit forms of fentanyl have emerged, contributing to a concerning surge in opioid-related overdoses. 

The misuse of legally prescribed fentanyl is a concern, but the primary issue arises from the extensive production of fentanyl in illegal laboratories. Adding to these challenges is the problem of Mexican drug cartels incorporating fentanyl as a cost-effective adulterant for heroin. Not only is fentanyl more economical to manufacture and acquire compared to heroin, but its heightened potency also elevates the risk of overdose for individuals using the drug.

Physical Side Effects of Fentanyl Abuse

The toll of fentanyl abuse on the body can manifest through various indicators, acting as red flags for potential addiction. These may include:

  • Drowsiness and Sedation: Fentanyl abuse often leads to excessive drowsiness and sedation, significantly impacting an individual’s ability to function normally.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Persistent nausea and vomiting frequently accompany fentanyl use, contributing to overall physical discomfort.
  • Respiratory Issues: Fentanyl’s depressive effects on respiratory function can result in slow or shallow breathing, a critical concern necessitating immediate attention.
  • Constricted Pupils: One common physical sign of fentanyl abuse is the presence of pinpoint or constricted pupils, even in well-lit environments.
  • Physical Weakness: Chronic fentanyl use may lead to general physical weakness and lethargy.

Behavioral and Psychosocial Signs of Fentanyl Addiction

The identification of behavioral and psychosocial changes is vital in recognizing fentanyl addiction. Look out for:

  • Social Withdrawal: Individuals may withdraw from social activities, opting for isolation from friends and family.
  • Financial Strain: The financial burden of funding an addiction can lead to difficulties in meeting daily expenses.
  • Changes in Priorities: Fentanyl addiction often prompts a shift in priorities, with individuals placing drug use above personal and professional responsibilities.
  • Mood Swings: Frequent mood swings, ranging from euphoria to irritability, may be indicative of fentanyl abuse.
  • Lack of Interest: Individuals may lose interest in hobbies or activities they once found enjoyable.

Long-Term Effects of Fentanyl Abuse

Comprehending the potential long-term consequences of fentanyl abuse is essential. When an individual is struggling with Fentanyl addiction, you can expect to see some of the following:

  • Physical Health Deterioration: Chronic use may lead to severe respiratory issues, cardiovascular problems, and a compromised immune system.
  • Mental Health Impacts: Prolonged fentanyl abuse could contribute to the development of anxiety, depression, delusions and overall cognitive impairment.
  • Increased Tolerance: Over time, individuals may develop a tolerance, necessitating higher doses to achieve desired effects, escalating the risk of overdose or cardiac instability.
  • Social Isolation: Fentanyl addiction may lead to increased social withdrawal and  isolation as individuals prioritize drug use over relationships.

Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Addiction

The common and serious indicators of fentanyl abuse typically manifest as addiction, clinically referred to as opioid use disorder—a specific type of substance use disorder. A formal diagnosis of substance use disorder entails the presence of at least two symptoms within a given year. Recognition of the signs and symptoms of fentanyl addiction is crucial for early intervention. Some signs and symptoms to look out for can be:

Signs of addiction to fentanyl present as:

  • Consuming more fentanyl than initially intended or using it for an extended period.
  • Facing intense cravings and urges for fentanyl.
  • Failing to fulfill responsibilities at work, school, or home due to fentanyl use.
  • Devoting substantial time to obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of fentanyl.
  • Attempting to quit using fentanyl unsuccessfully.
  • Isolating oneself from social activities to use fentanyl.
  • Engaging in risky behavior, such as driving, while aware of the dangers of fentanyl abuse.
  • Persisting in fentanyl abuse despite adverse impacts on various life aspects.
  • Using fentanyl even when it worsens physical or mental health conditions.
  • Developing tolerance, requiring increased fentanyl doses for the same effect.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when reducing or discontinuing fentanyl use.

Find Fentanyl Rehab in Georgia Today

Understanding the signs and symptoms of fentanyl addiction is the first step toward reclaiming control and building a healthier future. Even though dealing with fentanyl addiction is a long-term challenge, like any opioid use disorder, the good news is it responds well to evidence-based treatments. Here at Hand-in-Hand, we’re here to help you every step of the way. 

If you or someone you care about is exhibiting signs of fentanyl addiction, seeking support is a crucial step towards recovery. Hand in Hand Recovery Center in Marietta, Georgia, specializes in men’s addiction recovery, offering tailored programs to address individual needs. We’re here to accompany you through every step of this transformative journey, offering comprehensive care to guide individuals toward lasting recovery. Contact us today to start building a life free from Fentanyl addiction.

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