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What Is Fentanyl? The Dangers of this Deadly Drug


Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used to relieve extreme pain which is on the radar for Pembroke Pines drug rehab centers. This drug has drawn a great deal of attention in recent years because it’s use, abuse, and overdoses associated with the drug are on the rise. According to a report by the CDC and Brandeis University, “The national rate of synthetic opioid overdose deaths was at or below 1 per 100,000 from 2010 through 2013, then more than tripled from 2013 to 2015, reaching 3.1 per 100,000.1.”

Pharmaceutical vs Illicitly-made Fentanyl

Prescribed by doctors to ease severe pain, fentanyl is a pharmaceutical drug that is significantly more powerful than morphine. When prescribed by a doctor, fentanyl is usually in the form of a patch or lozenge. These forms of fentanyl allow for the drug to be released at a low, controlled rate. For instance, the patch releases the drug slowly over 48-72 hours and the effects wear off between 13 to 24 hours of it being removed. However, fentanyl is also being made illegally and sold as an illicit street drug. Illicitly-made fentanyl is extremely dangerous because it has made the drug easier to access and is commonly mixed with other substances such as heroin or cocaine.

How Fentanyl affects the brain

Manufactured to mimic the function of natural opioids, fentanyl works by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain which control the pain and pleasure points, as well as emotions. As with all opioids, your brain begins to adapt to the presence of the drug, and the effects become less and less with each use. The increased tolerance leads to the user taking greater and greater doses to achieve the same feeling, or high. Additionally, the extreme effects of this drug create a sensation that the user cannot get elsewhere and keeps the user returning to find the same high again and again.

Fentanyl Addiction

Due to the nature and strength of the drug dependence and addiction happens rapidly, whether pharmaceutical or illicitly-made fentanyl is used. The great likelihood of dependence is what often leads to addiction. Whether or not a person is addictive, if you are dependent, then detox is inevitable.

Effects of Use:

  • Extreme High
  • Nausea
  • Disorientation
  • Constipation
  • Lack of Consciousness
  • Respiratory Problems

Fentanyl Overdose

Fentanyl overdoses typically occur when an illicitly made version is being used, or when taking an unprescribed dose. The signs of an overdose include shallow breathing and a slow heartbeat, disorientation, disorientation, and lack of consciousness or responsiveness.

The Detox Process

The withdrawal process for fentanyl is similar to any opioid detox. The symptoms are often compared to that of severe flu symptoms and the longer a person used the drug and the greater the doses, the more severe the symptoms will be. Someone in the middle of detoxing from fentanyl may experience the following symptoms:

  • muscle and bone pain
  • sleep problems
  • diarrhea 
  • vomiting
  • chills
  • uncontrollable shaking/shivering
  • severe cravings

If you or a loved one is looking to detox from this deadly drug, whether a prescription drug or street drug, Compass Detox is on of the Pembroke Pines drug rehab centers that have an experienced team of experts to help you on the road to recovery. Call us today at (800) 263-3869!