Fentanyl is a synthetic pharmaceutical drug similar to an opioid pain reliever, commonly used to treat severe pain during cancer treatment or after surgery. It is more than 100 times stronger than morphine. This drug is sometimes used to treat chronic pain for patients who are physically tolerant to other opioids. However, due to this drug's numbing and calming effect, not only hospital patients with severe medical conditions get interested in the use of Fentanyl. There is an alarming number of teenagers getting addicted to Fentanyl. Consuming too much has become deadly very quickly. If you suspect or know that your teen is struggling with opioid addiction, then contact us to learn more about adolescent opiate addiction treatment right away.
How Do Teens Get Addicted to Fentanyl?
First-time use often occurs in social settings when teens are using drugs they don’t know are laced with Fentanyl. The dangers of Fentanyl came into the collective public eye when a renowned musician named Prince passed away due to an accidental overdose. Fentanyl is considered the most potent painkiller on the market and is 50 times more potent than heroin. A study has shown that as little as ¼ milligram of Fentanyl can result in a fatal overdose. About a standard ibuprofen tablet contains approximately 250 mg, 1,000 times the amount of Fentanyl needed to take a person's life.
Alarmingly, fake prescription painkiller pills and sedatives that contain Fentanyl are being sold illegally across the country, causing deadly overdoses in people unaware of what they are taking. The lives of America's teenagers are endangered when they unknowingly purchase counterfeit medications on the streets that contain Fentanyl. And the worst part is that it can be deadly in frighteningly small doses.
Teen Fentanyl use is unfortunately becoming a serious statistic in the United States. Take, for instance, Los Angeles. It is one of the most populated counties in the US and is dealing with a rapidly increasing rate of teen fentanyl addiction and fatalities, no city in Los Angeles like Brentwood, Santa Monica, Westwood, Pacific Palisades, and Beverly Hills are safe from Fentanyl finding its way to a teenager doing drugs. According to the latest survey, the death toll relating to teen fentanyl addiction has reached 2,726 drug fatalities in a single year.
The main symptoms of Fentanyl abuse are euphoria, lethargy, mellowness, and drowsiness. Fentanyl rapidly creates a tolerance, so higher doses are needed to achieve the same high a few days later.
Additionally, Fentanyl induces many of the same effects as other opioids, but for a shorter period and greater intensity due to its high potency. Prolonged and continuous fentanyl use will increase the risk of severe health complications, including coma, overdose, and death. Knowing the common side effects of fentanyl addiction can help you determine whether it's time for your teen to get the necessary medical attention.
There are many visible symptoms and signs of using Fentanyl, including:
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Dry mouth
- Urinal retention
- Breathing issues
- Frequent constipation
- Hives or itching
- Vomiting and nausea
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
- Severe headaches
- Partial blindness
- Extreme anxiety or depression
- Disturbed sleep routine
- Excessive sweating
- Swollen extremities
Teens who abuse this drug can also experience sudden mood swings, from intense euphoria to extreme anxiety, leading to depression. Fentanyl abuse causes withdrawal effects in those who become dependent on it. These are similar to the symptoms caused by other opioids, like muscle and bone pain, runny nose, and other flu-like symptoms.
Fentanyl abuse can be challenging to overcome, especially because most users don't even know they're taking Fentanyl.
There are transitional housing programs or outpatient treatment for teens, and both provide lasting recovery to help them get back on the right track.
Notably, the main goal of this teen addiction treatment facility is to improve the quality of life for people struggling with mental health disorders or drug use. The medical experts use science-based medication plans to find out the underlying causes of drug addiction and offer the best treatment options for behavioral health issues and other related concerns.
There is a wide range of psychological and physical symptoms of Fentanyl abuse. If left untreated, this can lead to more severe outcomes. As a parent, you can make a significant impact and help your teen recover from their normal life. Part of helping your child recover from addiction is helping to prevent any relapses. Knowing the right thing to do and say during these trying times can also help your teen ease their burden.
Knowing the early signs of addiction will empower you to do this. Below are some other things that you can do to help your teen recover from Fentanyl addiction.
Be involved in their everyday life - Getting involved can mean getting to know their friends or encouraging them to invite friends over. Anything you can do to ensure that your teen is spending time with people that have a good influence on them.
Be a good role model - Addiction is very challenging to overcome, so make sure that you exhibit positive behavior for your teen. It would be wise to limit your vices to show them that they can do it too.
Open communication - Encourage your teen to talk to you about what is on their mind, about their day, interests, or issues. This will make them more likely to speak to you when they need help.
Set limitations - Making sure to hold your teens accountable will help prevent addiction relapse. Make clear rules for your teens and set reasonable consequences.
When considering the correct type of addiction rehab for your teen, an early task should be to determine if an inpatient or an outpatient treatment would be best. Learning as much as you can about these addiction treatment centers can ease the transition into a rehab program.
For Fentanyl abuse, inpatient or residential addiction treatment facilities provide a more immersive treatment than outpatient programs. The teens live on-site 24 hours a day and focus solely on their recovery during that period. Inpatient treatment is commonly sought by those with severe addictions and related issues.
The care offered at inpatient rehab centers varies. As a parent, you should check the rehab centers' policies and philosophies before admitting your teen. An inpatient drug rehab program will offer your teen a nurturing and controlled environment that will provide:
- Psychological therapy through peer support.
- Detox with full medical supervision.
Inpatient care provides your teen with a daily routine. This routine can be used for therapy, counseling or to help them cope with their addiction without distractions. They will never be left fighting their fentanyl addiction alone.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a potent pharmaceutical synthetic opioid considered 50 to 100 times more potent than other opioids like morphine, oxycodone, or heroin. It is a prescription drug commonly used to treat patients with cancer, severe or chronic pain who are considered tolerant of other available opioids. It comes in different forms, usually prescribed in transdermal patches or oral lozenges.
Research shows that the reported cases of death linked with drug overdose continue to beat records in the United States. Fentanyl is one of those leading drugs. Some dealers or traders mix this drug with cocaine, heroin, or a combination of both to increase its effects, sometimes without the users' knowledge. This leads to an even greater chance of overdose and death.
How Does Fentanyl Work in Your Body?
Fentanyl works by binding the body's opioid receptors, which are situated in the human brain. Like any other opioid, it massively increases dopamine levels. This chemical reaction leads to numbness of pain. It also affects people's emotions and feelings, resulting in extreme pleasure, euphoria, sadness, mellowness, and relaxation.
Most Common Side Effects
- Irritation and redness of skin when the patch is applied
- Loss of appetite
These effects should go away after days or a few weeks. If they become intolerable, however, immediately consult your doctor or health practitioner.
Serious Side Effects
- Serious breathing issues
- Low blood pressure
- High blood pressure
- Physical addiction and dependence
- Stomach cramps
- Unexplained chills
- Body aches
If you experience severe side effects, call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
Why Do People Use Fentanyl?
This drug is used to help patients reduce pain, especially after surgical procedures or during cancer treatments. It is also used in cases where a patient has a sudden pain increase, and it must be immediately relieved, regardless of their regular treatment.
What is the Fentanyl Addiction Rate in the USA?
According to the latest data from the National Vital Statistics System, drug overdose deaths in 2019 were 21.6 per 100,000. This is much higher than the recorded information in 2018, which was 20.7.
How long does it take to get addicted to Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful prescription painkiller that acts quickly. There are no specific time frames nor doses to determine if a person is already addicted. Users of all ages, even teenagers, are susceptible to its effects. Tolerance will develop after prolonged use or misuse, and more doses will be required. What's alarming, even a small change in quantity can make a person end up in an emergency room. To avoid addiction and severe side effects, it is best to consult and follow your doctor's prescription.
Can Methadone Help Fentanyl Addiction?
Methadone is a synthetic opioid used to control moderate to severe pain. It stabilizes the withdrawal symptoms and serves as a pain reliever component for detoxification and healing in addiction cases. This drug is a Schedule II narcotic, legal to use but can also cause mental impairment, dependence, and addiction. However, it can be used to manage opiate addiction.
Can You Resist Becoming Addicted to Fentanyl?
Improper use of Fentanyl can be life-threatening. The best way to prevent yourself from becoming addicted is not to use the drug without the guidance of medical practitioners.
Do Addicts Know They are Buying Fentanyl or Heroin?
People with addictions might have lost control over their actions. Fentanyl or heroin addicts continuously seek and crave for the substance, whatever the cost might be. They are only focused on getting the drug and will sacrifice the relationship with their friends, family, or even their own life. To put it simply, it is the drug that controls their behavior.
America's opioid epidemic is killing nearly as many people as vehicular accidents do every year. Over the years, thousands of people — especially teens — have died from accidentally overdosing on prescription or illicit painkillers, and millions more have become drug-dependent. As a result, medical officials and the state public health from communities and governmental entities across the United States work closely to manage this growing, lethal public health crisis.
Nearly 50,000 people in the United States have died from opioid-related overdoses since 2019. Drug misuse and addiction to opioids — including prescription pain relievers and synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl and heroin — is a severe national crisis affecting public health and social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the average financial burden of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is around $78.5 billion a year, including healthcare costs, addiction treatment, criminal justice involvement, and loss of productivity. The opioid epidemic is very costly, but nothing compares to the lives lost. Something must be done to curb the rise of opioid misuse, as these drugs could kill as many as half a million people, especially teens, in the next decade.
Finding the best teen drug rehab center that deals with fentanyl addiction is essential. Consider these helpful tips to choose the most appropriate one.
1. Research the fentanyl addiction treatment centers and their services. This will help you and your teen decide if you should enroll in care services to mitigate any possible health risks. Finding the best rehab center will successfully help your loved one start on the path of recovery.
2. Plan your budget and consider the expenses you will incur in fentanyl addiction treatment medication. Inquire about rates. Find the treatment centers with the best programs and affordable pricing.
3. Review the treatment programs. They will guide your teen towards recovery. The best treatment services are proven and effective, helping the patients heal and start a new life.
4. Ask for referrals. Ask friends or relatives about rehab centers. They might help you choose one with the best quality of care.