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The Rising Issue of Fentanyl Addiction

Two people talking about the rising issue of fentanyl addiction

The powerful opioid fentanyl is most known for its frequent involvement in fatal drug overdoses. However, its use also comes with other risks. Specifically, fentanyl shares a common property with all opioids—the ability to produce clinical addiction. In the last few years, misuse of opioids has increased across the United States. These rising numbers not only create more potential cases of overdose. They also generate more possible points of addiction. This means that you or your loved one may have an increased need for fentanyl addiction treatment. To learn more about the rising issue of fentanyl addiction in the U.S., contact Northpoint Recovery in Idaho today at 208.486.0130.

About Fentanyl Abuse

Before the onset of the pandemic in 2020, opioid abuse was already a widespread problem in the U.S. This term applies to situations where you:

  • Use prescribed fentanyl or some other opioid in ways your doctor didn’t approve
  • Take prescription opioids prescribed to another person
  • Use an illegally made form of fentanyl or another opioid

How has the pandemic impacted the rising issue of fentanyl addiction? First, it’s led to the rising issue of fentanyl abuse. That’s true because the pandemic triggered an increase in people taking opioids illegally or improperly. In turn, this increase has exposed more Americans to a potential overdose. It’s also exposed more Americans to opioid use disorder. This condition includes any diagnosable substance abuse problem related to fentanyl or other opioids.

About Fentanyl Addiction

A built-in risk for addiction comes with the use of any opioid. That’s true whether you take a drug or a prescription medication. What causes opioid addiction?

When fentanyl or another opioid travels to your brain, it triggers several significant chemical changes. First, it makes you feel euphoric. That’s the term for a significantly heightened degree of pleasure. Over time, recurring fentanyl use can also produce opioid dependence. This state causes your brain to:

  • Expect you to keep on using fentanyl
  • Rely on that continued use to maintain its everyday chemical balance
  • Produce mental and physical effects that help ensure you use more fentanyl

Fentanyl dependence can morph into fentanyl addiction. People affected by addiction feel involuntarily driven to keep finding and using fentanyl. They also start ignoring the many drawbacks of this involuntary use. Effects such as these reveal the underlying nature of the rising issue of fentanyl addiction.

Calculating the Rising Numbers of Fentanyl Addiction in the U.S.

It’s difficult to calculate the rising numbers of fentanyl addiction precisely. Why? Most people who use fentanyl take it in illegal drug form. In many or most cases, no doctor knows about their drug use. As a result, they don’t get checked for symptoms of opioid use disorder.

However, researchers do have some idea of how many Americans misuse prescription fentanyl. Today, almost 540,000 people fall into this category. Researchers also know how many Americans have prescription drug-related opioid use disorder. Roughly 5 million people fall into this category. Without a doubt, hidden within these figures are rising numbers of fentanyl addiction. Still, fentanyl is just the sixth-most misused prescription opioid in the country.

Contact Northpoint Recovery Today to Learn More About the Rising Issue of Fentanyl Addiction

You may know fentanyl primarily for its overdose risks. But this potent opioid is also a potential source of addiction. The pandemic helped speed up an existing trend toward increasing fentanyl use. Inevitably, this increase expands the nationwide risks for addiction.

Want to know more about those risks? Just Contact Northpoint Recovery today at 208.486.0130. You can also reach us online. We’re dedicated to providing you with accurate information on emerging drug trends. We’re also dedicated to providing the help you need to recover from fentanyl’s addictive effects.