Home Drug Rehab Fentanyl Addiction: Some Important Facts Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Fentanyl Abuse:

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Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Fentanyl Abuse:

Fentanyl is one of the most potent opioids drugs used for therapeutic purposes. Its use is highly supervised by medical personnel when taken for therapeutic purposes but the risk of development of dependence always stays. Patients tend to keep using the drug even after there is no more medical need due to the euphoric and relaxing effects produced by it. People may also become addicted to it after taking it for recreational purposes. Even small doses of Fentanyl are associated with great degree of side effects. If a loved one is taking Fentanyl to manage pain, make sure to monitor the process to avoid any unexpected results.

Fentanyl Addiction

Table of Contents:

  • 1.Signs of Fentanyl abuse
    • Behavioral signs
    • Physical signs
  • 2.Side effects of Fentanyl abuse
  • 3.How to recognize a Fentanyl addiction?

Signs of Fentanyl abuse:

Signs and symptoms of Fentanyl abuse become apparent when it is used for long periods of time. Even people taking it as prescribed by the doctor become addicted to it without even realizing it. If you suspect yourself or a loved one of having become addicted to Fentanyl, look for signs and symptoms of abuse to find out the truth. A number of behavioral and physical signs can be observed in a person abusing Fentanyl.

Behavioral signs:

  • Lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Stealing money or other stuff to obtain the drug
  • Declined performance at school or office
  • Using the drug for non-medical purposes
  • Visiting different doctors in an attempt to get a prescription for Fentanyl
  • Going to different pharmacies to get Fentanyl in high amounts
  • Changed/ secretive/ weird behavior
  • Lying when questioned about behavior
  • Change in company/ anti-social behavior
  • Inability to meet deadlines and fulfill duties
  • Frequent fights with people
  • Inability to fulfill duties as a parent or spouse
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Legal and financial problems

Physical signs:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Difficulty to stay conscious
  • Weight loss
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Weight loss
  • Mental confusion
  • Injuries on venous sites due to injection of drug

Side effects if Fentanyl abuse:

Fentanyl is not at all a safe drug to take. Even people who take it exactly as prescribed by the doctor experience negative effects. So the side effects not only appear in the case of abuse but also when it is taken for therapeutic purposes. Since it is an opioid, its side effects are similar to that of other opioids such as heroin.

Here are some of the common side effects produced by Fentanyl abuse:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Excessive exhaustion
  • Itching
  • Rashes or hives on skin
  • Abnormal heart rate / slow heart rate / arrhythmia
  • Respiratory problems
  • Lightheadedness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Development of dependence
  • Appearance of withdrawal symptoms when an attempt is made to quit the drug such as vomiting, nausea, depression etc
How to recognize a Fentanyl addiction?

Fentanyl addiction can be difficult to detect because it starts with therapeutic use of Fentanyl. However, there can be certain hints that can help you recognize an addiction such as development of tolerance.

Mental health professionals all over the United States use The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to diagnose mental illnesses. The manual contains signs and symptoms of different mental disorders including addiction as described by American Psychiatric Association. The current version of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) says that the diagnosis of substance abuse depends upon a number of factors such as impaired control, excessive use of drug etc.

Here are 11 criteria as described by DSM-V to recognize an opioid addiction as that of Fentanyl:

  • 1.Taking opioid medication in more than prescribed amount or taking it for longer periods of time without any medical need
  • 2.When an attempt is made to to control or cut down Fentanyl use, it results into a failure
  • 3.Spending a great portion of time obtaining and using the drug
  • 4.Appearance of strong cravings when the drug is not taken
  • 5.Inability to fulfill major duties due to Fentanyl use
  • 6.Continued Fentanyl use despite it producing negative effects on the life of user
  • 7.Using Fentanyl at the cost of social life, career or other important things
  • 8.Continued use of Fentanyl even when it can cause physical harm
  • 9.Recurrent use of Fentanyl despite it producing a lot of problems for the user
  • 10.Development of tolerance
  • 11.Appearance of withdrawal symptoms after quitting Fentanyl

Following scale can be considered to find out presence of addiction:

  • Zero to one of the above criterion met: No Addiction
  • Two to three criteria met: Mild Addiction
  • Four to five criteria met: Moderate Addiction
  • Six or more criteria met: Severe Addiction

Fentanyl addiction is a serious addiction. If left unattended, it will only end at death. Make sure to recognize if you or a loved one is suffering from Fentanyl addiction and get all the help necessary. Rehabilitation centers can be immensely helpful to enable a person recover from Fentanyl addiction. It is the need of the hour to create awareness regarding prescription painkiller addiction to reduce the number of victims dying from opioid overdose. Fentanyl addiction can be more deadly than heroin addiction. Even its medical use is not safe and may end up in an addiction or overdose.


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