As a central nervous system depressant, with the ability to gravely compromise the respiratory system and stop breathing entirely when used incorrectly, fentanyl is indeed life threatening- but it doesn’t have to be! There are those who are truly in need of the prescription narcotic, but when the opiate based pain reliever is abused, the effects of fentanyl are dangerous, and can be fatal. Fentanyl abuse and addiction often lead to fentanyl overdose. The symptoms of fentanyl addiction should be heeded as soon as possible to prevent lasting damage to both the mind and body. Many argue the demonizing of many opiate drugs is unfair to those in desperate need of pain relief, and assert powerful opiate based drugs should not be restricted, but because many opiate based substances are addictive, even when taken as prescribed, the risks of developing chronic addiction or substance use disorders is great. We have not yet figured out how to accurately balance the need for effective pain management and harm reduction.
Red Flags of Fentanyl Abuse
One of the dangers ascribed to opiate prescription medications is one’s penchant to double dose in the event of severe pain. Doing so with opiates will increase one’s tolerance for opiate substances, and require mounting dosages of fentanyl and like drugs to achieve the same pain relieving effects. It is the subtle signs which are often neglected serving as the induction of substance use disorders. The following are red flags to look out for if you suspect yourself or a loved one to be experiencing the onset of fentanyl abuse:
Taking more doses of fentanyl than prescribed
Justifying taking more of the drug even when pain is not present
Taking the drug to feel better, emotionally
Taking fentanyl to numb mental pain and thoughts
Taking fentanyl is altered forms: ie. crushed pills
Recognizing the Effects of Fentanyl
Sometimes the effects of opiate based medications are not obvious enough to detect abuse and developing addictive disorders. Becoming familiar with the budding symptoms of addiction may spur the induction of detox and withdrawal programs early on, before chronic addiction is established entirely. Marked change in one’s typical behavior, or obsession with taking fentanyl are major signs to keep an eye out for. If you or a loved one spend most of your time trying to obtain fentanyl, you may consider it a necessity of your illness, but the underlying cause could be a less apparent need for the drug your body has established after continued use. Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal are a sure-fire way to identify budding physical dependence to fentanyl. One of the lesser known, or ignored, effects of fentanyl is the neglect and abnegation of hobbies and activities once loved, but recently cast aside for reasons unapparent. Fentanyl may create instances developing mood disorders and depression, where there were no signs of such disorders previously.
What Are the Short Term effects of Fentanyl?
The short term effects of fentanyl may be played off as temporary results of using the drug, but each symptom should be closely monitored, and fentanyl use should be tapered off as soon as possible. Be sure to consult your doctor about your pain treatment regimen. It’s not healthy to continue taking a potent opiate for longer than you need, as your tolerance to powerful painkillers will increase, and many opiate pain relievers will be ineffective in the event of future traumas, injuries, and necessities of pain management treatment. Short term effects of Fentanyl use include:
Nausea & Vomiting
Slow or Troubled Breathing
What are the Long Term Effects of Fentanyl?
Slow Heart Rate
High Blood Pressure
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