Opioid painkillers can be highly addictive, and the prescription drug fentanyl is no exception. Fentanyl is a highly potent painkiller that creates a feeling of euphoria similar to heroin. This drug comes in many different forms, which unfortunately means there are many different ways for someone to abuse it. From nasal sprays to lozenges, a person has numerous options for abusing fentanyl.
You may encounter fentanyl under its brand name. The following medications are known to contain fentanyl:
Adults are typically prescribed fentanyl for chronic aches and pains. It is also sometimes prescribed to help patients cope with pain after surgery. At least 50 times more powerful than morphine, fentanyl is an extremely powerful painkiller. If a patient is not properly warned of the potential dangers of fentanyl, it can be easy for them to abuse the drug and develop an addiction. At Silver Ridge, our treatment programs are specifically designed for midlife adults who are struggling with addiction.
Fentanyl Abuse Symptoms & Effects
Even when prescribed by a doctor, fentanyl comes with serious risk of addiction. Like heroin, fentanyl floods the brain with dopamine and alters its physical structure. The euphoric feeling of fentanyl is so intense that people who run out of their prescription will sometimes seek it illegally just to experience it again. Cutting off fentanyl use all at once can cause serious withdrawal effects, which further discourages an abuser to stop using it.
Physical effects of fentanyl abuse may include:
- Slow, heavy breathing
- Chest pain
- Difficulty urinating
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
Fentanyl overdose can be deadly, especially if the user has no tolerance for opioids. Reports of fentanyl overdose have increased in recent years, even as its medical use decreases. It is important to address this addiction as soon as possible.