Fentanyl Addiction

There’s no question why the Department of Homeland Security is considering designating fentanyl a Weapon of Mass Destruction. It’s by far the deadliest drug out there. Some may wonder though why it’s taken DHS so long to consider such a designation. After all, fentanyl has been a weapon of mass destruction ever since it hit the streets.

According to a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) report, fentanyl accounted for nearly 50% of all opioid overdose deaths in 2016. That’s triple the rate of just six years prior. Fentanyl also factored in 40.3% of cocaine-involved overdose deaths, 31% of benzodiazepine-involved overdose deaths and 20.8% of antidepressant-related overdose deaths over the course of the same year. As more and more illicit fentanyl gets added to heroin, cocaine and counterfeit prescription pills, those alarming numbers are set to increase exponentially.

But fentanyl doesn’t just kill people; it also gets them addicted. In fact, fentanyl gets people really addicted. And fentanyl addiction is quickly ramping up to be the most serious substance abuse issue in America.

Fentanyl is the deadliest drug out there. And fentanyl addiction demands rigorous treatment. Call ALEF to find out how we can help.

Call ALEF now to find out how.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s 50-100 times stronger than heroin. (Carfentanyl, a fentanyl analog, is 1000 times stronger than heroin.) Licit fentanyl is used both to treat pain (especially in palliative care) and as an anesthetic (for surgery). It can be administered intravenously, orally, nasally or via an epidural patch. Illicit fentanyl is used recreationally. And while illicit fentanyl is primarily used to strengthen heroin or cocaine, it’s often also pressed into counterfeit prescription pain pills and sold to unsuspecting buyers.

Fentanyl produces a litany of common side effects, including:
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Sedation
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Poor Coordination

More serious side effects from fentanyl use can include:
  • Respiratory Depression
  • Serotonin Syndrome
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Addiction
  • Coma
  • Death

Licit fentanyl has been around since 1960, and it’s been approved for use in America since 1968. In fact, it’s on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Illicit fentanyl however is a relatively recent phenomenon. The drug is generally manufactured at illegal labs in China or, more and more frequently, Mexico. And it can be anywhere from 100- 10,000 times stronger than heroin. That incalculable range of potency is largely what’s behind the rampant rise in fentanyl overdose deaths. And while naloxone can reverse the effects of fentanyl overdose if it’s promptly administered, such exorbitant doses also require ever speedier administration.

ALEF and Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl withdrawal has all the hallmarks of heroin addiction, except it’s often much more acute. So too with fentanyl addiction itself, which is generally more difficult to recover from than heroin or other opioids. Fortunately, fentanyl addiction can not only be treated, but it can be completely curbed.

ALEF employs state-of-the-art, evidence-based Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) to effectively fight fentanyl addiction. That means we combine prescribed medicines (buprenorphine or Suboxone) with comprehensive counseling and therapy. This enables us to reduce any discomfort from fentanyl withdrawal, as well as eliminate the consequent cravings brought about by fentanyl addiction.

ALEF is fully licensed and certified by the State of North Carolina, and we adhere to every local, state and national guideline and requirement concerning the nation’s registered Opioid Treatment Providers (OTPs). We also pride ourselves at providing the most advanced opioid addiction treatment options available. Why? Because we believe opioid addiction can be beat if an OTP both goes by the book and uses the best available methods. In fact, we insist upon it.

Don't Let Fentanyl Addiction Ruin You.
Let ALEF Help.

ALEF is committed to providing effective treatment for fentanyl addiction. And we're proud to be on the forefront fighting this deadly drug.

fentanyl - Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Centers