About Fentanyl Addiction
Fentanyl is an opioid drug that is synthesized in a laboratory. Fentanyl is extremely powerful, one of the strongest prescription painkillers on the market today, and is only distributed legally by physicians. It is most often used during and following surgery to deal with severe pain during recovery and longer term for pain from cancers and other diseases. Fentanyl is relatively short acting when given as an injection, gum, mouth spray, or lollipop. For longer, time-released pain control, fentanyl is available in patch form for transdermal application. Fentanyl addiction can happen quickly as most will develop a tolerance to their therapeutic doses. Like other opioid drugs, fentanyl creates a rush of pleasure and euphoric sensations which make the drug attractive to those looking for a powerful high.
The risk of overdose when taking fentanyl is very high. The threshold between a therapeutic amount and an overdose is small, and this adds to the risk taken by individuals using fentanyl illicitly. The main cause of fentanyl addiction overdose is respiratory failure. Because this drug works by depressing the central nervous system, certain basic functions such as breathing are compromised when high doses of this drug are taken. Studies have shown that women experience chronic pain more than men do, and that fentanyl is one of the more abused opioids distributed by prescription to women. Fentanyl addiction is higher in women and teenagers than men.
Tolerance and Fentanyl Addiction
Fentanyl works quickly by binding with the opioid receptors within the brain, activating a chemical response. This chemical response can be intense as the levels of dopamine within the brain increase causing intense euphoria and a sensation of well being. Fentanyl molecules will bind with opioid receptors in the spinal cord as well, and the reduction in painful sensations provides relief for individuals suffering with severe chronic pain. Fentanyl addiction can occur when a tolerance to the drug begins to happen, and individuals begin to feel less pain relief and fewer pleasurable side effects. The bodies response to fentanyl tolerance can begin with psychological symptoms such as depression and irritability. The individual may only experience relief from these unpleasant side effects by increasing their dosing.
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Fentanyl Addiction Signs and Symptoms
Fentanyl is about 100 times as powerful as morphine is, and 50 times as powerful as heroin. Because of the way the body metabolizes and utilizes fentanyl, it is even more powerful when used in conjunction with other illicit drugs. Because fentanyl also works faster than other opioid drugs that cause drug addiction in teenagers, the intense rush happens as soon as the drug is injected or dissolved under the tongue. This is one reason fentanyl has become a huge drug problem within teen peer groups. When fentanyl is mixed with other illicit drugs such as heroin, its potential for overdose goes way up. Fentanyl addiction among teenagers is a growing concern and the demand for inpatient drug rehab for fentanyl addiction in Huntington Beach has grown with it. Some signs and symptoms of fentanyl addiction are the following:
Fentanyl Addiction Symptoms
Chronic Fentanyl Addiction Signs
- Chronic headaches
- Fainting and dizziness
- Depressed respirations
- Extreme lethargy and fatigue
- Anxiety and Hallucinations
- Confusion and agitation
- Irregular heart rate
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe depression
- Seizure activity
- High blood pressure
- Respiratory infections
- Increased tolerance
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