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Recognizing Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful and highly addictive synthetic narcotic. Like other lab-produced opioids, its original purpose when created in the late 1950s was pain relief in a medical setting. It has since become a factor in the opioid epidemic as it is sold on the streets and, even more dangerous, often used to lace heroin and other drugs to increase their addictiveness. In other words, drug users can come in contact with dangerous levels of fentanyl without knowing it. A single use can lead to overdose, especially when the user is unaware of its presence. An opioid addiction treatment program is where you or someone you know can break the cycle of fentanyl abuse and addiction.

The Nashville Treatment Solutions (NTS) addiction rehab center can help you or someone you love begin recovery from an addiction to fentanyl or other opioids. Fentanyl abuse is nothing to take lightly. Reach out today to learn more about this dangerous drug, fentanyl overdose symptoms, and how NTS can help you. Simply complete our online form or call 866.714.5630.

Fentanyl Abuse

Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. A few grains taken by someone used to a less intoxicating narcotic can be deadly. The illegal use of fentanyl has increased by ten over the last decade. Because opioid abuse is still widespread and the addiction and overdose epidemic continues, there are some things everyone should know about deadly opioids.

Some of the street names fentanyl include Apace, China Girl, China White, Goodfellas, Poison, He-Man, and Dance Fever. All use of fentanyl away from a medical setting or not as prescribed is considered abuse. The drug is commonly:

  • Injected (including the gel from a prescribed pain-relief patch)
  • Snorted
  • Smoked
  • Taken in pill form
  • Delivered sublingually from blotter paper

Like other opioids, fentanyl interacts with the brain’s pleasure centers and overwhelms the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. The effects include:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Sedation
  • Pain relief
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Retention of urine
  • Constriction of the pupils
  • Slowed breathing

Long-Term Effects of Fentanyl Abuse

The immediate physical symptoms of fentanyl use and abuse listed above are only part of the story. Continued fentanyl abuse can lead to additional and lasting effects such as:

  •     Difficulty concentrating
  •     Memory impairment
  •     Poor judgment
  •     Isolation and social withdrawal
  •     Intense cravings if a dose is missing or delayed
  •     Failure to meet school and work responsibilities
  •     Declining work or school performance
  •     Apathy
  •     Depression
  •     Suicidal thoughts

Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms

The most deadly outcome of fentanyl abuse is overdose. Not all overdoses end in death, but all are dangerous and take a profound toll on the body. Most people who experience a fentanyl overdose report very rapid onset – within seconds to minutes after taking the dose.

Medically and physiologically, what happens during a fentanyl overdose is:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Clammy skin
  • Hypoxia
  • Depressed respiration
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma

What you can look for if you suspect someone is overdosing on fentanyl:

  • Blue lips and fingertips
  • Gurgling sounds during breathing
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Seizures or unnatural stiffening of the body
  • Extreme confusion
  • Unresponsiveness

Call 911 immediately if you suspect an overdose is underway, as speedy access to medical intervention is critical.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Program at Nashville Treatment Solutions

Opioid abuse is dangerous, whether it is morphine, heroin, Oxy, fentanyl, or any other synthetic or opium-derived forms of this family of narcotics. At NTS, we offer evidence-based treatment in a luxurious setting where you or your loved one can focus on recovery under the care of a professional and compassionate team.

Don’t wait to find out how we can help. The sooner you reach out, the sooner recovery can begin. Call 866.714.5630 or use our online form. You don’t have to figure this out by yourself. We can help.