Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl is an opiate painkiller that is similar to morphine. However, it is much more potent, and can be fifty to a hundred times stronger than morphine. Its very strength as an opoid makes the problem of Fentanyl addiction important to address. The prescription use of this drug is to control and manage severe chronic and long term, severe pain, or the pain resulting from surgery. Fentanyl is often used to manage pain in people who suffer from chronic pain but have demonstrated physical tolerance to other opiates. In the prescription form, Fentanyl is available as one of the following: Actiq, Duragesic and Sublimaze.

In the same way as other opoid drugs like heroin and morphine, Fentanyl gives its pain killing effect by binding with the natural opiate receptors of the body. These receptors are concentrated mainly in the pain control centers of the brain which control both pain and emotions. The opiate drugs drive up the production of dopamine in the brain, leading to a state of increased euphoria. Opiate drugs like Fentanyl make the body increasingly dependant on them, by altering the brain.

Fentanyl addiction makes the addict incapable of proper judgment. Long term use of Fentanyl leads to Fentanyl addiction by slowly displacing the natural pleasure reinforcers of the body. The user’s ability to obtain reward from normal pleasures like family, friends, and so on, diminishes sharply. Eventually, this leads to the search for larger and larger doses of the drug to get pleasure, or maintain the high. The reward mechanisms become blunted and desensitized due to Fentanyl addiction.

When taken according to the prescription of a qualified physician, Fentanyl is a powerful pain management tool. It can be administered as an injection, as a trans-dermal pain patch, or orally. The danger of Fentanyl addiction arises from its strength, and the physical dependence it can cause in users. Any deviation from the prescription, taking the drug more frequently or in larger doses than prescribed, can easily lead to Fentanyl addiction. Abuse and overdose of Fentanyl can be extremely dangerous.

Side effects of Fentanyl include the euphoria produced by most opiate drugs. In addition, there may be drowsiness, sedation, confusion, nausea, constipation, unconsciousness, coma, and tolerance, leading to addiction. In some extreme cases, Fentanyl use or overdose can also lead to respiratory depression and finally respiratory arrest.

Fentanyl addiction is the habitual use of the drug with the aim of altering the state of the body or the mind, and getting an opiate like high. Fentanyl addiction is caused by, and accompanied by some easily identifiable symptoms. Abusers often take Fentanyl in much larger doses and over a much longer period, than originally recommended or intended by the doctor.

People dealing with Fentanyl abuse and Fentanyl addiction, have a compulsive need for the drug and are usually unsuccessful in their efforts to cut down or control their intake. They become totally need oriented, spending more time and energy in obtaining the next dose of the drug. Fentanyl addiction causes an all round disruption in the abuser’s life, as more and more other social and professional activities take the back seat to the addict’s over whelming need for the drug.

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Information on this page last updated on 06/10/2007