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.