Increase in Fentanyl Use
Fentanyl has been used medically for half a century as a pain killer for those who do not respond to lesser forms of opiates for pain management- usually terminally ill cancer patients.
Since the early 2000s, fentanyl has seen a widespread increase in illegal usage throughout the United States. Whether the synthesis is done in a pharmaceutical or clandestine setting, the result remains the same- narcotics dealers acquire the drug and repackage it in all manner of ways.
It’s most commonly found on the black market as an additive to heroin because even small amounts can drastically enhance the potency of other opiates—also making them far more deadly but at inconsistent levels. Ultimately, this has been the catalyst for the surge of overdoses throughout the United States.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
Despite being synthetic, fentanyl is still an opiate, therefore will require nearly identical treatment to other opioid addiction treatments. This will entail monitored inpatient treatment, including individual and group therapies as well as counseling.
Following inpatient care, the person will likely have to continue medication-assisted therapy (MAT) to ease the cravings as well as the lingering withdrawal symptoms. These medications are the same for all opioid addictions and may include:
Buprenorphine (Subutex)- Can be habit-forming but doesn’t get the patient high. It is very effective at relieving withdrawal symptoms.
Naltrexone- Non-addictive and very effective. It prevents any association between fentanyl and the usual euphoria one would get from it.
Suboxone- Buprenorphine mixed with Naloxone (Narcan). It’s helpful but not as effective as any of the other methods.
MAT also allows the person a relatively withdrawal-free transition back into normal life, which is accompanied by stresses such as steadily working and rebuilding relationships with family and friends, etc.
Strong support systems are vital as well as maintaining a distance from any triggers that may lead a recovering addict to relapse. With the help from friends and family, sober support groups, or even sobriety coaches, the odds of maintaining successful sobriety are exponentially boosted.
Addiction Treatment Center in Bentonville, Arkansas
If you believe you might be addicted to fentanyl (or someone you love is), call us today. We can let you know what is available for your treatment, or simply what the next step might be.