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Beating Your Addiction: Finding the Best Fentanyl Treatment in Idaho

Fentanyl – also marketed under several trade names, including Actiq, Duragesic, Instanyl, and Abstral – is a powerful opioid pain reliever. The drug was first synthesized from poppies in 1960, but didn't become commercially available until the 1990s, with the invention of the Duragesic patch. Since that time, it has grown to become the most popular synthetic opioid pain reliever in clinical settings. Though this drug can offer fast-acting relief to those suffering from moderate to severe pain, it is also powerfully addictive and potentially dangerous.

All about Fentanyl as a Drug

Fentanyl belongs to a class of drugs called opioids. These powerful drugs are synthesized from poppies, making them close relatives of heroin. Though Fentanyl itself is a relatively new drug, opioids have figured prominently in human history, with evidence for their use dating back to prehistoric times. Opioids are popular drugs at least in part because the body is primed to process and react to these drugs through various opioid receptors.

Fentanyl binds to opioid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as in the gastrointestinal tract. Consequently, Fentanyl has wide-ranging effects on brain function and emotion, movement and balance, and gastrointestinal function. This drug is classified as a central nervous system depressant, which means it slows activity in your brain, and as an analgesic, which means it eases pain.

Fentanyl is widely used among hospital and critical care patients. It's been shown to be especially effective at treating breakthrough pain – a type of pain that appears suddenly during the use of another pain reliever – which means that many Fentanyl users struggle with severe and chronic pain. It can also be used on its own to treat mild to moderate pain, and doctors sometimes combine it with a benzodiazepine to help alleviate pain.

How Fentanyl Affects the Body

Fentanyl is available in several delivery mechanisms, and the specific effects of the drug are partially dependent on which mechanism you use. Fentanyl patches offer transdermal pain relief that can last several days, though the patches require 12 to 24 hours to reach full effectiveness. Several manufacturers also make lozenges. Fentanyl is also available in an intravenous formulation, as well as in nasal sprays and inhalers.

The side effects you experience depend on how you use the drug. Intravenous users, for example, are vulnerable to blood-borne infections, particularly if they share needles. Users who rely on inhalers may suffer from sinus problems, while the transdermal patch can give rise to skin problems and prolonged highs.

Because Fentanyl is a powerful narcotic, the short-term effects of the drug are often overwhelmingly pleasant. For most users, these short-term benefits create a powerful incentive to keep using the drug, potentially giving rise to addiction and dangerous long-term use symptoms.

Short-Term Effects of Fentanyl

The short-term effects of Fentanyl vary somewhat from person to person, depending on body chemistry, health, age, and other factors. In general, you can expect to experience at least a few of these effects shortly after taking Fentanyl:

  • Changes in mood, personality, or perception
  • Sleepiness, grogginess, or depression
  • Difficulty focusing
  • A sudden rush upon first using the drug
  • Relief of pain
  • Feelings of relaxation, happiness, and even euphoria
  • Nausea, dizziness, and vomiting
  • Slowed respiration
  • Slowed pulse and lower blood pressure
  • Unconsciousness
  • Constipation
  • Strange or disturbing dreams
  • Dry mouth
  • Fainting
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sinus issues such as bloody or runny nose or frequent sneezing
  • A pounding sensation in your ears
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurred vision

Long-Term Effects of Fentanyl Abuse

Long-term use of Fentanyl greatly increases your odds of addiction, particularly if you are a recreational user or use Fentanyl for purposes or at dosages other than those recommended by your doctor. The amount of time it takes to become an addict varies with a number of factors. People with a personal or family history of addiction, those with mental health conditions, and people experiencing chronic stress are more vulnerable to addiction. In addition to addiction, which yields a host of unpleasant symptoms, some other long-term effects of Fentanyl use include:

  • Changes in personality or mood
  • Decreased intelligence and cognitive processing power
  • Cardiovascular problems such as changes in blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke
  • Changes in weight and nutritional status
  • Coma
  • Respiratory problems
  • Seizures
  • Disturbing dreams
  • Infertility and changes in sexual function
  • Increase in anxiety and depression – over time, Fentanyl can change your brain chemistry, leading to serious mental health issues.
  • Changes in memory, especially short-term memory
  • Weight gain
  • Lethargy and sleepiness
  • Sudden death

Fentanyl also interacts dangerously with other depressants such as alcohol, and mixing these drugs – even in small doses – is potentially deadly.

Understanding Addiction to Fentanyl

Fentanyl isn't easily available to recreational users, and research suggests that more than 60% of addicts began using Fentanyl under the direction of a doctor. Many Fentanyl users have serious, life-threatening illnesses that cause them to struggle with chronic pain. Over time, they or their physician may steadily increase their Fentanyl dose, relying more and more on this powerful drug. This creates dependency in the body, and this is a significant prerequisite to addiction.

Some recreational users, though, are able to access the drug through unethical doctors or drug dealers who have access to medical supplies. These users quickly become addicted to Fentanyl because of its powerful narcotic effects.

Addiction can look like a personal choice, but it's anything but. Research has repeatedly and conclusively demonstrated that addiction is a disease, spurred by chemical changes in the brain and body. When you become addicted, your body makes you think that you “need” the drug to feel normal In fact, any addicts no longer enjoy a high with Fentanyl, relying on the drug instead to simply get through the day. If you feel like you can't be normal without Fentanyl, you need to know that this feeling is a product of addiction. By seeking treatment for Fentanyl addiction, you can move past your chemical dependence.

If you think you might be an addict, you probably are. The defining characteristic of addiction is continuing to use a drug in spite of negative consequences – even if those negative consequences are theoretical, such as the risk of suffering a heart attack. If you're still not sure, ask yourself the following questions. If you find yourself answering yes to several, you're likely an addict:

  • Have you broken the law to get drugs by doctor shopping, forging prescriptions, stealing a loved one's prescriptions, or lying about your medical symptoms?
  • Do you take more than the recommended dosage of Fentanyl, apply multiple patches at once, or otherwise ignore your doctor's advice?
  • Do you lie to people you love about your drug use?
  • Have friends or family expressed concern about your drug use?
  • Do you worry you won't be able to feel normal without Fentanyl?
  • Do you have health problems due to your use of Fentanyl?
  • Has your mental health gotten worse since you started using Fentanyl?
  • Have you experienced either psychological or physical withdrawal symptoms?
  • Do you drive, operate heavy machinery, or work while high?
  • Do you pair Fentanyl with alcohol or with other drugs to get a stronger effect?
  • Do you have a family history of addiction, or have you yourself faced addiction before?
  • Do you spend much of your time with other drug users?
  • Do you abuse Fentanyl to cope with depression, anxiety, or another mental illness?
  • Do you lie to your doctor about your use of Fentanyl?
  • Do you have unexplained health symptoms that could be due to drug abuse?

Addiction is a progressive disease, which means ignoring your Fentanyl addiction only allows it time to get worse. Seeking help for your Fentanyl addiction now is the best thing you can do to minimize your risk of serious side effects and maximize your chances of a successful, permanent recovery.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment in Idaho and Dual Diagnosis

Fentanyl is a powerful drug even at the low end of the dosage scale. It can make it easier to sleep, inducing a dreamlike and pleasant state. Fentanyl also offers relief from psychological and physical pain. It's no wonder, then, that the drug can be a powerful temptation for people who struggle with mental health issues. More than half of Fentanyl addicts also have a mental health condition. In some cases, the illness predates the addiction. In this scenario, people with mental illnesses rely on Fentanyl as a form of self-medication and a way to alleviate the pain of mental illness.

Occasionally, Fentanyl addiction can actually contribute to the development of mental illness. Over time, Fentanyl changes your biochemistry, making you more vulnerable to mental health concerns. Additionally, Fentanyl can yield serious negative changes in your life. For example, you might lose your job or develop problems in your relationship as a result of your addiction. This, too, can spur mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

When you experience addiction and mental illness as the same time, you have what's known as a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis necessitates immediate and comprehensive help. Fentanyl rehab coupled with Fentanyl detox is often the best option.

Depression and Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl is a depressant, but that doesn't mean it makes you depressed. Instead, the relief it offers from the pain of depression can be extremely tempting for people who struggle with ongoing depression. Additionally, chronic illness is associated with an increased risk of depression. And since many people with chronic illnesses take Fentanyl to deal with pain, many Fentanyl users are already at an increased risk of developing depression.

Whether you began taking Fentanyl as a recreational user or under a doctor's guidance, if you're experiencing symptoms of depression, you need help. It's not enough to quit Fentanyl; instead, you need assistance managing your depression as well as finding healthier ways to treat the disease.

Some Fentanyl addicts fail to realize they have depression. This is especially common among users who become depressed after they start taking Fentanyl. If you experience symptoms of depression, don't try to treat your symptoms with drugs. Instead, seek help. The most common symptoms of depression include:

  • Chronic procrastination
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Nightmares
  • Night sweats
  • Anger and agitation; these symptoms are especially prevalent among men, who may feel uncomfortable expressing feelings of sadness.
  • Chronic sadness or crying
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, or hopelessness
  • Difficulty getting along with loved ones
  • The inability to enjoy activities you once loved
  • Unexplained physical ailments

Anxiety and Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl has fairly strong sedative effects. People with anxiety struggle to feel relaxed, and are often unable to sleep, so the sedative effects of Fentanyl can be intoxicating and highly addictive if you have an anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, Fentanyl tends to make anxiety worse over time, in at least two ways. First, the psychological dependence upon the drug can give rise to chronic anxiety, particularly when you can't gain immediate access to Fentanyl. And second, Fentanyl is known to change brain chemistry, potentially making your anxiety worse, or even causing anxiety you didn't previously have.

If you suffer from anxiety – whether the anxiety existed before your addiction or seems to be a product of it – you need professional help that will likely include rehab. Every anxiety disorder is a bit different, requiring disorder-specific treatment. Unsure whether you have an anxiety disorder or just a stressful life? Check out the below symptoms of several common anxiety disorders:

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • Chronic anxiety
  • Obsession with order, cleanliness, or hygiene
  • Engaging in obsessive and compulsive behaviors, such as hand-washing, counting, locking doors, or even praying, to alleviate anxiety.
  • Fear of germs or dirt.
  • Controlling and perfectionist tendencies.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Chronic, near-constant anxiety that is not well-explained by stress or another issue
  • Anxiety that feels physical or out-of-control.
  • Fear that is not rational in a given situation; feeling terrified of a burglar in your home makes sense, but feeling terrified of leaving your home suggests an anxiety disorder.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Feelings of depression.
  • Nightmares.

Panic Disorder

  • Sudden, unexplained panic attacks that are not well-explained by another condition, such as the flashbacks that sometimes occur with post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Fear of leaving your home due to concerns about having another panic attack .
  • Sudden changes in heart rate, blood pressure, or muscle tone – panic disorder makes panic attacks feel physical; some sufferers even believe they are having a heart attack.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Recurrent intrusive memories, flashbacks, or nightmares.
  • Anger or difficulty controlling your emotions.
  • Avoiding places that remind you of the trauma.
  • Racing heart, sweating, tremors, or shaking.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Unexplained physical ailments.

Phobias

  • Unexplained fear of a mostly harmless object, such as needles, snakes, spiders, cars, planes, etc.
  • Persistent, almost obsessive avoidance of the source of your fear; most people dislike needles, but if you're able to get your blood drawn, you might not have a phobia. People with phobias typically go to great lengths to avoid the thing they fear.

Eating Disorders and Fentanyl Addiction

Eating disorders are correlated with a number of personality traits – perfectionism, obsessive tendencies, and a rigid desire for control. While Fentanyl is not in itself a weight loss drug and does not necessarily cause eating disorders, the symptoms of an eating disorder can cause sufferers to turn to drugs to cope. Similarly, the personality of many people with eating disorders can make them more vulnerable to addiction. For example, a perfectionist may be drawn to Fentanyl because it allows her to go about her day without feeling anxious or unproductive.

Whether you've had an eating disorder for years or have only recently developed one, you are in imminent danger. Eating disorders are fatal for about 10% of their victims making early intervention a life-or-death matter. When you pair an eating disorder with an addiction, you can die. Some of the side effects people who use drugs and who have eating disorders sometimes experience include:

  • Cardiovascular problems, including stroke, heart attack, and cardiac arrest
  • Chronic malnutrition
  • Osteoporosis, broken bones, or serious injuries
  • Brain damage
  • Growing excess body hair
  • Losing your hair
  • Peeling skin
  • Fainting, seizures, or confusion
  • Going increasingly longer periods of time without food
  • Aggressive binging sessions
  • Excessive exercise

Fentanyl Addiction and Cross-Addictions

Though you might be fixated on Fentanyl at the moment, addiction isn't really about the drug you use. Instead, addiction is a disease that makes you vulnerable to addiction to any drug. Even after you attain sobriety, you'll be vulnerable to subsequent addictions. Fentanyl users are particularly vulnerable to the draw of other opioids, including heroin.

When you quit one drug only to replace it with another, you have a cross-addiction. Cross-addictions usually occur in the first few months after you quit, but can happen anytime. Among Fentanyl addicts, behavioral addictions are especially common because addicts may not realize how profoundly addictive certain behaviors can become.

Sex and Fentanyl Addiction

Sex is a natural feel-good drug, inducing a powerful rush and intense feelings of relaxation. If you rely on Fentanyl to give you a feeling of euphoria, sex is a natural substitute, though one that can lead to serious problems. There's nothing wrong with enjoying sex, but sex addiction occurs when your enjoyment becomes a source of difficulties in your life. Sex addicts continue having sex even when they don't want to because they “need” sex to feel normal. This greatly increases your vulnerability to STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and other dangerous challenges.

If you have several of the following symptoms, you may have a sex addiction:

  • Being unable to think about anything but sex.
  • Neglecting other responsibilities to have sex.
  • Feeling like you “need” sex rather than just wanting it.
  • Getting a rush from sex, particularly casual sexual encounters with strangers. There's nothing inherently wrong with casual sex, and everyone gets a rush from sex sometimes. But if you find you're chasing sex to get a “high,” it's a sure sign you have an addiction.
  • An escalating pattern of sexual fetishes. Sexual fetishism is normal. However, if you find your fetishes are constantly changing, or that you need increasingly extreme stimulation to get the same results, you may be an addict.
  • Consuming excessive quantities of pornography, such as by spending your entire work day searching for porn.
  • Getting strong “cravings” for sex that only get worse until they are satisfied.
  • Harming loved ones to get sex.
  • Paying for sex.
  • Engaging in predatory or aggressive sexual behavior, such as publicly masturbating, sexually harassing strangers, or yelling sexual comments at people you do not know.
  • Feeling guilt, shame, or remorse about yours sexual behavior (Note that many people have feelings of guilt about sex, so negative feelings about sex are not, in and of themselves, sufficient to warrant a diagnosis of sex addiction).

Gambling and Fentanyl Addiction

Gambling is a serious and common problem, with a stunning 15% of adults struggling with gambling addiction at some point. The rush of gambling neatly mimics the rush of Fentanyl and other drugs, making it a popular cross-addiction. Many forms of gambling remain illegal in some states, which means gambling forces you into an underground world and subjects you to the ongoing risk of arrest. Severe debt and financial problems are also common, with some gamblers turning to bookies to help pay their debts. The strong connection between gambling and organized crime means that a gambling addiction could deprive you of more than your money; it could also claim your life.

If you experience several of the following symptoms, you are probably addicted to gambling:

  • Prioritizing gambling as an integral part of your life.
  • Gambling several times per week.
  • Lying to others about your gambling.
  • Going into debt to gamble.
  • Gambling to recover gambling debts, or when you don't really have the money to gamble.
  • Borrowing money to gamble.
  • Gambling even when you want to stop.
  • Gambling while using drugs or alcohol.
  • Neglecting responsibilities to gamble.
  • Feeling guilt, shame, or remorse about your gambling.

Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction in Idaho

Addiction is similar to most chronic illnesses in that it comes with a relapse rate of 40% to 60%. You can maximize your chances of making your first quit attempt your last by choosing a treatment method that works for you and your needs. Every addict is different; some prefer the near-constant support of Fentanyl rehab, while others would rather remain rugged individuals and attend 12-step meetings a few times a week. There's no right or wrong answer, as long as you seek some form of treatment. Ask lots of questions about the facility or treatment provider you select, and remember that, if one treatment method doesn't work, you can always change your mind and try something different.

Drug Rehabilitation

Drug rehab is the single most effective option for treating Fentanyl addiction because care is comprehensive and round-the-clock. Each rehab facility offers something a bit different, but most offer at least the following services:

  • Family assistance programs such as family counseling or assistance talking to your family.
  • Individual therapy designed to help you better understand your addiction, what caused it, and how it affects your life. If you began taking Fentanyl to deal with chronic pain, for example, your therapist can offer you healthier alternatives for coping.
  • Group support programs, such as 12-step meetings or group therapy.
  • Activities to help you master new skills and keep your mind off of your desire to use drugs.
  • Assistance from a doctor as you go through the detox process.
  • Help with any medical conditions you have, including dual diagnoses. If you have anxiety, for example, your doctor may recommend an anti-anxiety medication to help you cope and to reduce your reliance on Fentanyl.

Therapy During Fentanyl Rehab in Idaho

Almost all rehab facilities offer therapy. But you can also pursue therapy on your own, or try a new therapist after you complete your initial treatment in rehab. You'll have a chance to discuss a range of challenges and concerns in therapy, including:

  • Your triggers for drug abuse.
  • Why you began using drugs.
  • What you can do to reduce your cravings and desire to use.
  • How to create and implement a long-term sobriety plan.
  • Advice and education about the disease of addiction.
  • Assistance getting your career, relationships, and life back on track.
  • Help with daily stress.
  • Assistance managing and dual or cross diagnoses from which you may suffer.

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Medical Care and Fentanyl Detox in Idaho

Fentanyl wreaks havoc on your mind and body. You may need medical assistance to reverse the damage and test for potential long-term problems. Additionally, opioids such as Fentanyl come with serious withdrawal symptoms. It's wise to talk to your doctor before quitting to determine if you're healthy enough to go through withdrawal. Your physician may be able to prescribe you medications to reduce the effects of withdrawal, or to make lifestyle recommendations that can improve your overall health. And finally, if you suffer from mental health symptoms, a physician is the only person who can prescribe mental health drugs such as antidepressants.

Support Groups for Fentanyl Addiction

Many support groups are free, including Narcotics Anonymous (NA), which is the world's oldest and most popular recovery program. NA utilizes a 12-step model that encourages you to maintain permanent sobriety, make amends to those you've hurt, and work to help other addicts overcome their addiction. If you want some extra help from a peer who's been there, you can pick a sponsor. Your sponsor is a recovering addict who is further along in the program than you are. You and your sponsor will together negotiate the terms of your relationship, but most people use their sponsor as a font of information and wisdom, as well as a support person in the event of a crisis. If you prefer working with other people who have struggled with addictions similar to your own, consider Pills Anonymous instead. This sister program to NA offers support to people who are addicted to prescription medications.

NA also offers help to struggling families, in the form of its family group, Nar-Anon. Teenagers who love an addict can seek help from a similar program Nar-a-Teen.

Although NA is not overtly religious, it does make both direct and indirect spiritual references. Many groups pray, and it's common for meetings to take place in churches. Though the program has helped thousands of people who don't practice any specific religious faith, some atheists, agnostics, and non-Christians prefer secular programs such as SMART Recovery and Rational Recovery.

Help for Your Family: Dealing with Fentanyl Addiction

Getting sober is just the first step on a long journey toward regaining control over your life. Addicts often burn bridges with loved ones, and putting these pieces of these fractured relationships beck together is a vital part of the recovery process. If you need help setting things right with your family, you have a number of options, including:

  • The family education and outreach programs that many inpatient rehab facilities offer.
  • Family support groups such as Naranon. Find a local meeting here.
  • Family therapy.

It's not always easy to make amends to those whom you've hurt, but it is most assuredly worth it. It may have taken months or even years for your addiction to harm your relationships, so it should come as no surprise that putting the pieces back together can take time. Be persistent and willing to listen, and remember that the biggest victims of drug addiction are often the family and friends who have to sit helplessly by as a loved one destroys their life. With enough commitment to working through it, you can and will get your family and your relationships back.

Lifestyle Remedies to Help Beat Fentanyl Addiction

No single lifestyle change can cure your addiction, and a few tweaks here and there are no substitute for dedicated, professional treatment. Lifestyle changes can, however, improve your chances of long-term sobriety and help you avoid a relapse. Try pairing some of the following changes with a healthy recovery program:

  • Get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. Exercise helps you withdraw from drugs more quickly. Equally important, exercise can help you avoid the depression that commonly coincides with drug withdrawal.
  • Replace your drug addiction with a healthier “addiction” such as painting, yoga, exercise, or even just walking your dog every day. The busier you can stay, the less likely it will be that you relapse.
  • Work on developing a regular schedule. Over-scheduling yourself makes it harder to use drugs, and a predictable day can reduce the stress that so often occurs alongside withdrawal.
  • Dedicate your time to your recovery. Consider taking time off of work if you can, or getting your spouse to help with your kids. Addiction is a disease, and just as you might need some extra time and space to recover from surgery, so too will you need time to recover from your Fentanyl addiction.
  • Tell friends and family that you're quitting drugs, and ask them for your help.
  • Avoid contact with other addicts, and with places that you historically went to when abusing drugs.
  • Enlist the assistance of a sponsor – someone farther along in their recovery journey upon whom you can call when the going gets rough.
  • Get at least eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Meditate when you experience a craving.
  • Remind yourself that drug cravings are a normal part of the recovery process and that, if you can ride out cravings, they quickly go away.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Drugs can undermine your nutritional well-being, and healthy foods can help you combat cravings.
  • Do everything you can to create a comfortable, nurturing, and supportive home life. Abusive relationships, unsupportive partners, or other addicts with whom you live can all undermine your ability to remain clean and sober for the long haul.

Understanding Long-Term Sobriety and the Need for Fentanyl Rehab in Idaho

The walk from addiction to sobriety is often a long and challenging one. But by becoming sober, you'll learn much about yourself, and you'll gain the chance to combat not only your addiction, but the interpersonal and mental health concerns that led to it in the first place. Most addicts relapse at least once, but by listening to your medical team's advice, taking it slow, and committing to permanent sobriety, you can reduce your risk of relapse.

You might have heard that cravings will last forever; maybe this sounds terrible or has left you scared of even attempting to quit. While cravings do last longer than you might like them to, they most certainly don't last forever. Instead, they gradually taper off, eventually dwindling into nothing. The first two weeks are usually hardest, with many Fentanyl addicts experiencing both physical and psychological withdrawal. Thereafter, your cravings become more manageable, usually only lasting a few minutes.

As your cravings continue to lessen, you'll likely find that you only crave Fentanyl when you're triggered – such as when you're in pain or stressed out, or when you're around another person who abuses the drug. As you resist temptation, though, you'll gain mastery over these triggers until you no longer experience any cravings at all. The amount of time this takes varies and depends on a number of factors, but can range from several weeks to a year or longer.

It's common to feel discouraged when you start experiencing cravings, but the journey toward sobriety has the power to teach you that you really can do anything you set your mind to. Fentanyl is no joke; the addiction is strong and intoxicating, and quitting isn't easy. But thousands of addicts just like you have quit this dangerous drug, and you can, too. The first step toward a better life is admitting you have a problem. From there, you may be surprised to learn how quickly help arrives and how willing loved ones are to help you as you take your first tentative steps toward sobriety.