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Effects of Fentanyl Addiction

a woman struggles with the effects of her fentanyl addiction

Fentanyl addiction can have severe and potentially life-threatening effects on physical health, mental well-being, and overall quality of life. Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that is much stronger than drugs like heroin or prescription opioids. It is primarily used medically for pain management, but it is also illicitly manufactured and sold on the black market, contributing to addiction and overdoses.

If you or a loved one are currently struggling with fentanyl addiction, it’s time to seek treatment. Fentanyl addiction treatment can be life-saving. At Northpoint Seattle, our team is prepared to help you take your first steps towards recovery. Reach out today at 888.483.6031 or online to discuss treatment options.

Understanding Fentanyl Abuse

The only safe way to take fentanyl is under the close supervision of a doctor. If you are consuming fentanyl in any other way, then there is a problem. Fentanyl can be incredibly dangerous due to its potency and interaction with other substances. Fentanyl is one hundred times more potent than heroin and fifty times more powerful than morphine. This means it is more addictive than other drugs. But it also means that there is an increased risk of overdose.

Fentanyl abuse is not always purposeful. Often, other recreational drugs are laced or “cut” with fentanyl. That means a person might take a regular dose of a drug such as cocaine or heroin, putting themselves at risk for an accidental fentanyl overdose. Professional help should be sought in order to successfully overcome fentanyl abuse and addiction.

Effects of Fentanyl Addiction

The effects of fentanyl use can look different on anybody. Many people consume fentanyl accidentally through other recreational drugs that could also be dangerous. The effects of fentanyl abuse will depend on how much you’ve taken, how it was taken, and your individual physical and psychological makeup. Short-term effects of fentanyl use include:

  • Euphoria
  • Sleepiness
  • Mood and perception changes
  • Muscle weakness or rigidness
  • Constipation or stomach pain
  • Shallow breathing
  • Dry mouth

The long-term effects can also look different on anybody, but can also be life-threatening. The physical effects of fentanyl use include respiratory depression, gastrointestinal damage, increased risk of illness or infection, damage to the frontal lobe, and more.

Respiratory Depression

Fentanyl, like other opioids, can slow down breathing to dangerous levels. Respiratory depression is a significant risk factor for overdose, which can be fatal.

Gastrointestinal Damage

Long-term effects of fentanyl addiction can include gastrointestinal damage such as bowel obstructions, intestinal holes, and inflamed stomach tissues.

Risk of Illness or Infection

Intravenous use of fentanyl and sharing of injection equipment can increase the risk of infection and illnesses such as HIV and hepatitis. Fentanyl also suppresses your T and B immune cells, making it more likely for your body to contract an infection or illness.

Damage to the Frontal Lobe

Long-term psychological effects of fentanyl abuse can cause several changes to the brain and introduce new mental health disorders that were not previously an issue. Fentanyl abuse effects can also include damage to the brain’s frontal lobe, which can hinder spatial awareness, memory, and attention.

Fentanyl Withdrawal

If you or someone you know is struggling with a fentanyl addiction, you must seek medical assistance when you stop taking it. Withdrawal from opioids can be painful and dangerous and should always be performed in a medical setting.

Call Northpoint Seattle to Learn About Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl, on its own, can be a very dangerous drug. A fentanyl addiction can be life-threatening, and intervention should occur sooner rather than later to avoid the risk of overdose. At Northpoint Seattle, our team is prepared to help you overcome your addiction and lessen your withdrawal symptoms. Call us today at 888.483.6031 or reach out to us online to discuss your treatment options.