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What Are the Dangers of Fentanyl?

a man sits with his hands over his ears while leaning on a table appearing distraught over the dangers of fentanyl use

Opioid use and addiction are increasingly common across the United States. What many call the “opioid epidemic” began with synthetic opioids like OxyContin and is now dominated by fentanyl. Unfortunately, opioids are highly addictive and relatively easy to get. Like other synthetic drugs, opioids are becoming increasingly deadly. Fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs in fatal doses. Fentanyl addiction treatment is the safest, most effective way to avoid overdose, opioid-related death, or further drug use.

If you or someone you love is struggling with the side effects of fentanyl, it’s time for treatment. A Better State is here to help. Our holistic outpatient programs provide accessible fentanyl addiction treatment in New Hampshire. With a range of partial hospitalization program (PHP) and intensive outpatient program (IOP) treatment options, we can help you prevent fentanyl overdose. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about the dangers of fentanyl and get started today.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl, like other opioids, comes from the opium poppy. Opium is a natural substance used for centuries for pain relief and euphoric experiences. Unlike natural opiates, fentanyl is synthetic, meaning it’s made in a lab. Synthetic opioids, whether made in a medical or illegal lab, create stronger, more dangerous, and more addictive drugs that block pain receptors in the brain and create a feeling of euphoria. Fentanyl has a range of side effects on the body, including:

  • Shaking
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of the extremities
  • Anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Itching
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Changes in heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in vision
  • Depression
  • Night terrors
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness

These are only some ways fentanyl affects the body. When taken with other drugs or alcohol, these symptoms can worsen and become more dangerous. Frequently prescribed for chronic pain or surgery, people use fentanyl and other opioids to self-medicate for emotional and psychological pain. Like other opioids, fentanyl changes a person’s brain chemistry making it especially hard to stop talking without treatment.

The Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse Can Lead to Overdose

Fentanyl is 100 times stronger than hospital-grade morphine, making it more dangerous and lethal than other opioids. Like other drugs, it releases unnaturally high dopamine levels in the brain. This leads to a dopamine “reward effect,” causing the brain to crave more dopamine when the drug wears off. Unfortunately, as the opioid slows down the brain and body’s processing speed, it can affect organ systems and cause the heart to stop completely, leading to coma or death.

The more often someone takes fentanyl, the higher their tolerance will become. This means that the more fentanyl they consume, the more their body will need to feel the same effects. Unfortunately, for many, this can lead to fentanyl overdose and sudden death. This increases the risk of addiction, overdose, and opioid-related death.

When someone develops a dependence on prescription opioids like Vicodin and OxyContin, they may turn to street fentanyl to mitigate withdrawal. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates prescription fentanyl, it’s hard to know what fillers and binders are in street fentanyl, making it even more dangerous. When someone attempts to quit fentanyl use, they will experience withdrawal. Opioid withdrawal is excruciating and complex, often leading to relapse, other drug use, and overdose.

Prevent Fentanyl Overdose with Treatment in New Hampshire

Unfortunately, fentanyl use has risen across the United States over the past several years. Quitting opioids without treatment is rarely successful. If you or someone you love struggles with fentanyl or other opioids, know you are not alone. The team at a Better State is here to help.

At A Better State, we believe in a different addiction treatment. Whether you’re struggling with prescription or street fentanyl, our team can help you uncover and heal the root cause of fentanyl addiction for long-term recovery. Our trauma-informed clinic provides accessible outpatient programs for:

  • Anxiety treatment
  • Depression treatment
  • PTSD treatment
  • Cocaine treatment
  • Meth treatment
  • Art therapy
  • Opioid and opiate treatment
  • Trauma therapy
  • Benzo treatment
  • Prescription drug treatment

With individual, group, and family therapy, our daytime and evening IOPs and PHPs can help support your recovery.

Learn More About the Dangerous Side Effects of Fentanyl from A Better State

Don’t let fentanyl take over your life. Contact us at 781.412.1488 to learn more about the dangers of fentanyl and about our holistic outpatient fentanyl addiction treatment in New Hampshire.