Fentanyl is a strong prescription painkiller, but because it’s an opioid, it’s also highly addictive. Even when used under medical supervision, fentanyl may still affect people in ways that lead to addiction. In cases like this, drug detox treatment is ideal. 

When it comes to addiction, some of the worst outcomes can be due to opioid use disorder. Fentanyl addiction can be life-threatening, and unchecked doses can lead to a fatal overdose. If you’re looking for drug detox treatment options near Dallas, TX, contact Santé Center for Healing today. Call 866.238.3154 or reach out to our team online.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s up to 50 times stronger than heroin and up to 100 times stronger than morphine. It was developed to help with severe and chronic pain issues, typically for people struggling with back injuries, cancer, nerve damage, major trauma, and surgery. The doses are usually given through a patch on the skin.

Opioids like fentanyl interact with opioid receptors in the brain. These addictive substances bring about feelings of contentment, pain relief, pleasure, and relaxation. However, consistent misuse of fentanyl can cause side effects that affect health negatively. In the short-term, some of these effects include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Hypoventilation
  • Narrowing of the pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Urinary retention

Fentanyl may also be produced and sold on the streets illicitly. Sometimes, fentanyl can also be mixed in with some batches of heroin or be disguised as very strong heroin. Some people may believe they are taking heroin and don’t know that they’re using fentanyl. These cases often result in overdose deaths.

What Are the Signs of Fentanyl Overdose?

Whenever a person uses fentanyl, there’s a risk of overdosing on it. Fentanyl is the cause of many U.S. opioid epidemic-related overdose deaths — and sometimes, as mentioned above, the people affected don’t even know that they’re taking fentanyl.

The risk of overdose increases when people use fentanyl illicitly, but an overdose can happen even when fentanyl is taken as prescribed by a medical professional. This is especially true for people older than 65 years or people with certain illnesses — such as kidney disease, liver disease, or sleep apnea. People who combine fentanyl with other addictive substances or take more than what was prescribed to them are also at an increased risk of overdosing.

If you’re worried that you or someone you care about may be at risk of overdosing on fentanyl or any other opioid, here are some fentanyl overdose symptoms to watch out for:

  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Cyanosis, or blue-colored lips and fingernails
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Limp body
  • Low blood pressure
  • Narrowing of the pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Reduced or loss of consciousness
  • Slowed or stopped breathing

However, if you immediately notice a triad of common opioid overdose symptoms — decreased level of consciousness, pinpoint pupils, and respiratory depression — you should get help right away. Those three signs are strongly suggestive of a fentanyl overdose happening.

When Should a Client Consider Drug Detox Treatment?

You shouldn’t wait until you need to watch out for signs of fentanyl overdose to get professional addiction treatment. When someone uses fentanyl or other opioids long-term, they become increasingly tolerant of its effects — which could lead to an increase in dosage frequency or size, and eventual addiction. This can happen even in cases when someone’s fentanyl use is done with the supervision of a doctor.

There are several types of professional addiction treatment you should consider, such as the following:

  • Drug detox treatment programs: Sometimes called medical detox — because it may require medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which involves the use of prescription drugs to help clients deal with the discomforts of withdrawal — a drug detox treatment is often a requirement for a client to get admitted into further addiction treatment, such as inpatient and outpatient ones. 
  • Inpatient treatment programs: Clients who choose this type of addiction treatment program have access to medical care and supervision 24/7, but they need to reside in a facility. This option is ideal for clients with a long history of addiction, problems with polysubstance use, or a dual diagnosis.
  • Outpatient treatment programs: There are several types of outpatient programs. Day treatment programs, also called partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), involve treatment sessions that last around 4–6 hours per day, five days per week. Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) involve about 2–3 hours of treatment sessions per day for, at least, two days per week. Standard outpatient treatment programs involve only 1–2 treatment sessions per week. 

Ready To Learn About Santé Center for Healing’s Drug Detox Treatment Options? 

Are you searching for drug detox treatment options near Dallas, TX? Contact Santé Center for Healing today by calling 866.238.3154 or reaching out to our team online.