In many instances today, a person buying opioids on the street is purchasing a mixture containing the synthetic opiate fentanyl. A tiny amount of fentanyl is enough to kill someone. Fentanyl is inexpensive, can come in many forms, and is extremely potent. As a result, fentanyl is becoming increasingly popular in street drugs. Awareness around fentanyl matters because the drug is showing up in surprising places. The drug is often cut into drugs like cocaine and meth or pressed into lookalike knock-off pharmaceuticals.
If you or someone you know is experimenting with street drugs or has an opioid addiction, it’s time to get help. DetoxLA is here to help you kick the habit in a family-friendly environment with a tight-knit community. Our medical detox in Los Angeles has a one-to-one ratio of staff to patients and provides luxury services unavailable at many drug rehabs. Reach out to us today at 818.671.4765 to speak with a trained representative about the benefits of choosing DetoxLA for your addiction treatment services.
Signs of Fentanyl Abuse
There are many common signs and symptoms of dependence and addiction. Signs of opioid or opiate abuse may include:
- Prioritizing use
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Increase in use
- Hiding amount of use
- Relationship issues
- Loss of interest
- Lack of responsibility
Fentanyl tolerance can develop quickly. Addiction to opiates like fentanyl can catch a person by surprise.
Withdrawal from Opioid Addiction
Withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant, and cravings cause those who have developed a dependency to seek more and more fentanyl to feel normal. Often, people do not realize they have developed a dependency until it’s too late.
Withdrawal symptoms from fentanyl can include:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Feelings of restlessness
- Cold flashes
Withdrawal symptoms can be severe depending on the length and severity of an individual’s addiction. Some acute withdrawal symptoms can persist for years.
Risk Factors for a Fentanyl Overdose
A person who has developed a substance use disorder involving fentanyl will likely have had to increase their dosage over time due to tolerance and to avoid withdrawal.
Mixing fentanyl with other substances can have dangerous negative consequences. Any substances that contain fentanyl increase the likelihood of a potential overdose.
Other factors can include:
- Injecting fentanyl
- Mixing fentanyl with cocaine, alcohol, benzos, or other prescription drugs
- Prolonged use of fentanyl or other opiates
- Physical health issues
- Mental health issues
- Recent relapse
- Using fentanyl or other drugs while alone
Narcan, a brand of naloxone, can help save someone’s life who is overdosing on opioids. This prescription is becoming increasingly available across the country to help save the lives of those affected by the opioid epidemic.
Emergency Protocols for a Fentanyl Overdose
Signs and symptoms of a fentanyl overdose can include:
- Weakness in extremities
- Turning a sickly bluish color
- Shallow breathing
- Gurgling sounds
- Weak pulse
If you suspect someone is overdosing on fentanyl, call 911. Ask emergency responders to bring more doses of naloxone. Then, try to engage the person who appears to have overdosed. If they remain conscious, try to keep them awake and communicate.
When administering the spray form of naloxone, spray once in each nostril of the person. Rub the person’s chest to promote breathing and blood flow throughout their body. Once emergency services arrive, allow them to take over the situation.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with an opioid or fentanyl addiction, consider keeping Narcan on hand in case of an emergency. It’s important to keep in mind that Narcan is a temporary fix. Fentanyl abuse is a sign that someone needs an intervention and professional treatment.
Reach Out to DetoxLa Today About Fentanyl Treatment Options
At DetoxLA, we specialize in helping our patients stop abusing drugs and discover healthy, positive ways to thrive in recovery.
We take pride in providing expert care by top medical professionals in a warm and inviting environment. Contact DetoxLA today at 818.671.4765 to speak with a trained representative about our programs and services for fentanyl treatment and recovery.