Types of Addiction​

Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Recovery from fentanyl addiction is possible, and GateHouse is ready to help. For individuals who are ready to overcome their addiction, we offer a personal approach to treatment that is based on proven methodologies. We give you the tools needed to build a strong recovery by promoting personal responsibility and accountability. We are personally invested in our clients’ recovery process, and putting people first has always been the bedrock of our treatment philosophy.

Fentanyl addiction treatment requires comprehensive therapy to help battle the mental and physical cravings. Various forms of behavioral therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), have been proven to be effective in helping clients with this addiction.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid (a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant or made in a lab using the same chemical structure). It is 50-to-100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is a prescription drug that is typically used to treat patients with severe pain, often after surgery. However, it is also illicitly manufactured and often combined with other illegal drugs.

In its prescription form, fentanyl is known as Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze.

Common Street Names for Fentanyl

  • Apache
  • Dance Fever
  • Friend
  • Goodfellas
  • Jackpot
  • Murder 8
  • Tango & Cash

The Effects of Fentanyl on the Brain

Like many opioid drugs, fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which control pain and emotions in the brain. After misusing opioids too often, the brain adapts to the drug, lessening its sensitivity and making it hard to feel pleasure from anything other than the drug. 

Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse

Fentanyl’s effects include: 

  • Extreme joy
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Sedation
  • Problems breathing
  • Unconsciousness

Fentanyl Overdose Treatment

Naloxone is a medicine that can treat a fentanyl overdose when given right away. This medicine works by rapidly binding to opioid receptors and blocking the effects of opioid drugs. The downside is that fentanyl is more potent than other opioid drugs, leading to multiple doses of naloxone.

Because of this, if you suspect someone has overdosed, the most crucial step to take is to call 911 so they can receive immediate medical attention. Once medical personnel arrive, they will use naloxone if they suspect it’s an opioid drug overdose.

People given naloxone should be monitored for another two hours after the last dose of naloxone is granted to ensure breathing does not slow or stop.

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Fentanyl Facts

  • In 2017, 59.8 percent of opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl, compared to 14.3 percent in 2010.
  • In 2021, synthetic opioids like fentanyl were responsible for 71,000 deaths.
  • Over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
  • Two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage.
  • Illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF) is available on the drug market in different forms, including liquid and powder.
  • It is nearly impossible to tell if drugs have been laced with fentanyl unless you test your drugs with inexpensive fentanyl test strips.
  • DEA lab testing shows that 4 out of 10 pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose.
  • Many counterfeit pills are made to look like prescription opioids, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), and alprazolam (Xanax®); or stimulants like amphetamines (Adderall®).

Signs of Fentanyl Overdose

Recognizing the signs of fentanyl overdose can save a life.

Here are some things to look for:

  • Small, constricted “pinpoint pupils”
  • Falling asleep or losing consciousness
  • Slow, weak, or no breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Limp body
  • Cold, clammy, and/or discolored skin
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