Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine or heroin. It’s available as a prescription to treat pain and known in prescription form as Actiq®, Duragesic® and Sublimaze®.  Listed as a schedule II drug by the FDA, it’s typically only given along with cancer treatment or to patients who don’t respond to other prescription opioids due to tolerance or chronic pain episodes. 

The fentanyl that’s available for recreational use is sold illegally in powdered or pill form. It’s also put in eye droppers and nasal sprays and can be mixed with other drugs without the user being aware of it. The reason drug dealers tend to mix it with other illegal substances is that very little fentanyl is needed to produce a high, making it a cheap, highly effective option for cutting other drugs. This fact has contributed to an increased number of opioid-related deaths.

Fentanyl’s street names include Apace, China Girl, Poison and Tango & Cash. Due to its prevalence, low cost and powerful effects, many other substances, such as cocaine, heroin, MDMA, methamphetamines and benzodiazepines, often contain fentanyl without the user knowing. 

Fentanyl ravishes you mind, body & Spirit

Don’t go through the process of recovery alone. Changing Tides’ addiction treatment programs are designed for you!

Signs of Fentanyl Addiction

People suffering from addiction don’t always show signs of the battle they’re fighting. In many cases, they’re able to hide their addiction to fentanyl and other opioids from others, even close friends, family members and spouses. That’s why a general awareness is needed when people ask, “What is fentanyl addiction?” and “How is fentanyl addiction treated?”

There are, however, signs and symptoms of fentanyl addiction and drug abuse that’ll start to be obvious and produce harmful consequences. These include behavioral, physical, cognitive and psychosocial symptoms, such as:

  • Withdrawing socially
  • Frequent missed appointments or days at work/school
  • Slurred speech and constricted pupils
  • Not completing daily tasks and responsibilities
  • Being “sick” often due to the time needed to recover from fentanyl use
  • Acquiring prescriptions for other opioid medications
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Problems with attention and concentration
  • Depression and mania
  • Periods of excitement and happiness followed by depression and apathy

A Breakdown of Fentanyl Addiction in North Carolina 

National overdose deaths in the U.S. are on the rise and have more than quadrupled since 1999. These numbers have only increased during the pandemic. The CDC reported that mental health struggles such as increased anxiety and depression, along with suicidal ideation, played a role in the rising numbers of substance abuse disorder and drug overdose deaths.

In North Carolina, overdoses involving the synthetic opioid fentanyl have disproportionately accounted for most overdose deaths. In 2020 alone, over 70% of overdose deaths reported in North Carolina were likely due to illicitly manufactured fentanyl or a combination of it with other substances. 

Overdoses Relating to Drug Abuse

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that overdoses in 2020 were up 40% from the previous year, and that number continues to rise at an alarming rate. With an average of one in nine people dying from a drug overdose in North Carolina, the state is on par with national statistics showing nearly 100,000 deaths in 2020 nationwide. 

Although drug overdoses disproportionately affect marginalized populations, both in North Carolina and across the nation, the epidemic affects people across all demographics. Fentanyl continues to take the lives of thousands each year, regardless of their  race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability or socioeconomic status. 


Don’t let Fentanyl Addiction take over your life.  You can overcome it and start a new path…

The first step is to contact Changing Tides

Why Is Fentanyl So Dangerous?

Fentanyl, like other opioids, binds to the same opioid receptors that control pain and emotion. Use of opioid drugs produces diminished sensitivity to other signals coming into the brain and creates euphoria and confusion as a result. People who are addicted to fentanyl and other opioid drugs tend to be unable to control pain and emotions. Other effects include sedation, breathing difficulties, nausea, drowsiness and unconsciousness.

The most dangerous part of fentanyl is the low amount needed for an overdose to occur. All it takes is 0.25 milligrams of fentanyl to send the body into a life-threatening state of sedation and respiratory distress. When combined with other drugs, even less than 0.25 milligrams of fentanyl can lead to overdose. This is why mixing fentanyl is a leading factor in many overdose deaths.

The Dangers of Illegal Fentanyl

In many cases, people who use illegal drugs are unaware of the trace amounts of fentanyl that are included. This creates a dangerously high potential for overdose, and even buying from a consistent supplier fails to lower that risk since suppliers are unaware of how many times a substance has been cut. 

Due to the highly addictive nature of opioids and their ability to relieve severe pain, the body can become quickly dependent on fentanyl. In these cases, immediately stopping use can be dangerous on its own, requiring fentanyl addiction treatment to safely stop using it. 

Types of Fentanyl Addiction Treatment 

At Changing Tides, we offer several treatment options for patients who are addicted to fentanyl, from day treatment/partial hospitalization (PHP) to intensive outpatient programs (IOP). In both settings, we provide proven rehabilitation strategies and individualized care to help clients focus on healing from their addiction and compulsive drug seeking to avoid future relapse. 

Day Treatment/Partial Hospitalization 

Our day treatment/partial hospitalization option provides more intensive care than the intensive outpatient programs that are available. Following a complete intake assessment and history, our staff helps patients manage withdrawal symptoms in a private setting designed to provide as much comfort as they’d experience at home. Since the acute withdrawal phase of opioid addiction can be life-threatening, it’s important for patients to detox from the drug under careful observation. There are also medications that can be used to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms and treat fentanyl addiction with fewer risks to the patient’s overall health.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

The intensive outpatient programs available at Changing Tides are designed to help residents understand the core of their addiction and how to change its pattern. Through individual cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, medication management and psychoeducational groups, our outpatient program staff provide a safe space for residents to find ways to cope with past trauma, unhealthy patterns or choices that led them to drug addiction in the first place. 

Did you know we take insurance?

Call us now at 252-715-3905 or click the “Get Started” button below. Our team will do the necessary research to run a no-cost, confidential approval of your specific policy so you can start treatment today.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment at Changing Tides

Located 30 feet from Kitty Hawk beach, Changing Tides provides treatment in a beautiful setting designed for healing. Residents have private access to the beach, along with a seasonal pool to help them find calm and relaxation during the detox and rehabilitation process. Combined with assistance with fentanyl withdrawal and behavioral therapies, Changing Tides treats patients struggling with opioid dependence and other types of substance use disorder.

How We Can Help

The staff at Changing Tides live on-site and are available around the clock for every stage of the addiction treatment journey. Rated one of the best drug and alcohol treatment centers in North Carolina, our facility provides a safe, comforting place for residents to heal from the physical and emotional wounds caused by active addiction. 

We also provide services such as individual and group therapy, family therapy and peer support from other people in recovery who’ve been through the journey. If you’re looking for fentanyl addiction treatment in the Outer Banks, Kitty Hawk or Charlotte area, we’d love to speak with you and show you how we can help. 

Contact Us Today

If you suffer from fentanyl addiction or have a loved one who’s facing it, you already know how quickly addiction can cause havoc in someone’s life, family, career and health. There’s never a better moment than now to reach out for help and prevent yourself or your loved one from becoming another statistic. To speak with a fentanyl addiction specialist today, call (252) 715-3905 or visit our admissions page.

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Our caring and compassionate staff can guide you all the way through the admissions process.