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How to deal with fentanyl overdose and addiction

13 September | 0 Comments | By Rachael

The prescription drug and heroin epidemic, which has been troubling the United States for more than two decades, forced the Trump administration to declare it a national emergency recently. Considering that opioids are highly addictive, it claims thousands of lives every year. In fact, narcotics and psychoactive substances have dominated the U.S. market for years, accounting for the highest consumption of pain pills across the world.

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of prescription opioids sold in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1999. Despite such a massive spike in the sale of prescription opioids, there has been no sign of reduction in the overall intensity of pain endured by Americans.

In 2015, over 52,000 Americans died of drug overdoses, with 33,000 deaths caused by opioids that included heroin and prescription painkillers like fentanyl. And among those deaths occurring due to opioid use, overdose deaths due to fentanyl use has sharply jumped to 32 percent in Massachusetts from 2013 to 2014.

Mixing of fentanyl and heroin

Fentanyl is about 50 to 100 times more powerful drug than morphine. Besides putting an individual at a high risk of developing an addiction, this drug has the potential to cause an instance of overdose. Because of this, medical practitioners are careful while prescribing fentanyl. They usually prescribe the drug to people struggling with intense pain experienced due to a range of factors, such as a surgery, cancer, etc. Fentanyl is not prescribed to treat chronic pain because of being highly addictive.

Fentanyl abuse is associated with a host of serious short- and long-term health consequences, including fatalities caused by an overdose. The risk of witnessing an overdose is likely aggravate in people who, unaware of the drug’s contents, tend to snort or inject the drug, take it in powdered form or swallow the pills. These pills are generally purchased from drug dealers or obtained through illegal means.

The powder form of fentanyl is often mixed with heroin. Unfortunately, in most cases, people are not even aware that the heroin already contain fentanyl.  As a result, one can witness the euphoric effects within seconds and overdosing on the drug is immediate. Such is the speed of the effects that users do not even get time to pull out the needle. People overdosing on the drug are likely to exhibit signs and symptoms, such as dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, pinpoint pupils, low blood pressure or slowed heartbeat.

Flushing out fentanyl

Trying to stop fentanyl addiction can lead to devastating health consequences, often leading to death. When a person becomes dependent on opioids for a prolonged period, his or her body tends to depend on the drug in order to function normally. As fentanyl hijacks parts of the brain responsible for cognition and functioning, one also experiences impairment of cognitive-behavioral skills.

Being highly addictive, it is a challenging task to overcome fentanyl addiction. However, withdrawal symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the usage and level of addiction. Some of the common symptoms include nausea and vomiting, sweating, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, joint pain, etc.

Treating addiction

Fentanyl overdose can cause serious consequences; it is, therefore, important to seek immediate treatment to minimize its risks. A fentanyl overdose can be fixed with the naloxone, which is used for treating other opioid overdoses. One can detoxify fentanyl using medications, such as buprenorphine and clonidine. These medicines are capable of suppressing various withdrawal symptoms.

Although the path to sobriety is filled with a range of painful withdrawal symptoms, evidence-based intervention programs and effective detoxification can effectively help in overcoming any kind of substance abuse. If you or your loved one is afflicted with the problem of drinking, contact the Detox Facilities Texas. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-671-4308 or chat online to access one of the best rapid detox centers in Texas.