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What Are the Long-Term Effects of Fentanyl

long-term effects of fentanyl

Each day, people across the country struggle with opioid dependency. Unfortunately, opioids, especially fentanyl, are increasingly addictive, accessible, and dangerous. While many people, heroin and OxyContin, are the leaders in opioid addiction and overdose, fentanyl is stronger and results in more overdoses and deaths than other opioids. The best way to avoid fentanyl overdose and opioid-related death is through a fentanyl addiction treatment program. Luckily, there are programs across the country ready to support fentanyl detox and recovery.

If you or someone you love is using fentanyl, don’t quit cold turkey. Call A Better State now. Our outpatient programs help people across the New Hampshire area recover from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about our fentanyl addiction treatment programs and to get started today.

What Is Fentanyl?

Like other opioids and opiates, fentanyl originally derives from the opium poppy. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. While people have medicinally used opium recreationally for centuries, synthetic opioids create stronger, more dangerous versions of the drug. Fentanyl works by blocking pain receptors in the brain and creates a feeling of euphoria. It releases high levels of dopamine that make the drug highly addictive. Frequently prescribed for chronic pain or surgery, people often self-medicate for emotional and psychological pain. Fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine, making it more dangerous and lethal than other opioids.

How Fentanyl Affects the Body

Fentanyl and other opioids change a person’s brain chemistry. The drug enters the bloodstream, slows down the body’s processing speed, releases the pleasure chemical dopamine, and numbs pain. Because of this, it’s easy to abuse fentanyl. Unfortunately, opioids are powerful pain relievers prone to tolerance. This means that the more often someone takes opioids, the more opioids they will need for the same effect. This can happen with fentanyl and those who use heroin laced with fentanyl. For chronic pain, opioid tolerance builds quickly, often leading to opioid addiction.

Fentanyl has a range of side effects on the body, including:

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

These are only some ways fentanyl affects the body. As the drug slows down processing speed, it can completely slow the heart and lungs. The most dangerous side effects of fentanyl can cause a coma or death. Unresponsiveness, low body temperature, and nodding in and out of consciousness are signs of a fentanyl overdose. If someone shows these signs, they cannot seek medical attention alone. These and other signs, like convulsions and vomiting, are signs to call 911 immediately.

Begin Fentanyl Addiction Treatment in New Hampshire Today

Fentanyl is increasingly common across the United States. Some people may turn to fentanyl when their prescriptions for OxyContin or Vicodin run out. Heroin users have increasing difficulty accessing heroin, leading many to use street fentanyl. While prescription fentanyl is legal and frequently prescribed, street fentanyl is often stronger and more dangerous. Street drugs like heroin, cocaine, and meth can be laced with fillers and other drugs that increase their potency and risk of overdose.

A Better State’s fentanyl addiction treatment program can help if you and your loved ones are struggling. Our outpatient PHP and IOP programs provide behavioral and alternative therapies, including:

  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Mindfulness meditation therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Individual therapy

Our dual diagnosis programs are here to help you and your loved ones recover from fentanyl and other substances. We have a treatment program for you with mental health treatment and accessible program hours.

Learn More About Fentanyl Addiction Treatment at A Better State Now!

Fentanyl and opioids are increasingly dangerous. If you or someone in your life is struggling with fentanyl, don’t wait. Call A Better State today at 781.412.1488 to learn more about our programs.