In 2017, there were 72,000 deaths as a result of drug overdose. Fentanyl was responsible for nearly 30,000 of those deaths.
Fentanyl addiction is an alarming trend that is on the rise in the US. It had the highest increase than the previous year compared to the other drugs that resulted in death.
Read on to learn what the fentanyl symptoms and warning signs are so that you can be on guard.
Symptoms of Addiction to Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a potent type of opioid that is only prescribed to people who are in severe pain that can’t be reduced by morphine or other less-powerful drugs.
Fentanyl is about 50-100 times stronger than morphine, which makes this a dangerous drug when used without the guidance of a doctor.
Taking larger doses than a prescription calls for will lead users to experience a high similar to that of taking heroin. But over time, an addict will need to have fentanyl in his or her bloodstream to feel normal. They will rely on the drug, not for a high, but to get through the day.
An addiction to fentanyl will often result in the user turning to illegal means of getting access to the drug.
Warning Signs a Loved One May be Abusing Fentanyl
When someone you care about is abusing fentanyl, you will be able to notice changes in their behavior. You will also note various physical and cognitive signs of their addiction.
Changes in their behavior can include social isolation and act in unusual or erratic ways. People who are abusing fentanyl may stop engaging in activities that they used to enjoy such as playing sports.
Physical signs you can be on the lookout for include vomiting and diarrhea, nausea, and dizziness. You will notice your loved one constantly fatigued and he or she will likely have swollen hands and feet.
Cognitive symptoms of fentanyl abuse include being confused or disoriented. A fentanyl user will likely have problems concentrating.
Anxiety and depression are also dangers associated with fentanyl use.
Is My Child Using Fentanyl?
If you suspect that your child is using fentanyl, you may want to consider staging an intervention.
But until you are sure that your child is using drugs for recreational use, it may be useful to write down your suspicions and track what you see.
Be on the lookout for a child who acts lethargic and is sleeping more than usual. Notice if he or she is withdrawing from friends and family.
His or her performance on school work will likely fall. Your child may stop caring about his or her job and volunteer opportunities and drop them (or be fired).
Your child may lie and be deceptive in order to get drugs and take them without you knowing. Secrecy is a tell-tale sign that something is going on.
Be aware that a person who uses fentanyl may act out in reckless and risky ways. He or she may engage in dangerous actions constantly.
You may notice that your child has cuts, bruises or other signs of harm. These could be due to poor decision making when under the influence of fentanyl. Suicide attempts may also be a sign of fentanyl addiction.
Of course, no one sign is proof that your child is using fentanyl, together, these signs can create a picture of a child who is abusing drugs.
Is My Parent Using Fentanyl?
When adults abuse fentanyl, there are far-reaching consequences. Your parent may struggle to find and keep a job.
Often, he or she will experience serious financial challenges due to the cost of getting fentanyl.
Once self-sufficient, many fentanyl addicts begin to perform poorly in their jobs and have failing relationships. He or she may no longer meet their obligations in their family, home or work.
You may notice that your parent doesn’t get a lot of things done in a day. When people are addicted to fentanyl, they spend most of their energy and time on getting fentanyl and using it.
Arrest and incarceration can also be a result of a fentanyl addiction.
Intervention for Fentanyl Abuse
People who are addicted to fentanyl often can’t quit, even if they want to. Many try to stop taking the drug and are unable to do so because of the intense cravings and the other withdrawal symptoms.
You can be your loved one’s lifeline as you support him or her by arranging an intervention.
Yet, intervention is more likely to be successful if you arrange it with the help of a professional interventionist. The last thing you want is to push your loved one away with a failed intervention.
An experienced expert can educate you on what to expect during an intervention. He or she will also help you plan and execute your intervention.
One of the most important aspects of an intervention is not allowing your guilt to get in the way of your loved one’s recovery. Whether you are a parent, spouse, sibling or friend, you may feel a sense of responsibility.
It is vital that you address these issues so that you don’t derail the intervention. There are healthy ways that you can support your loved one through intervention.
The final step in an intervention is making a concrete plan for your loved one’s treatment. Again, a professional interventionist will help you understand what is reasonable and what isn’t.
Final Thoughts on Fentanyl Symptoms and Warning Signs
We hope this guide on fentanyl symptoms and warning signs has been informative.
Though fentanyl is a powerfully addictive drug, there is hope. Treatment for your loved one is available. There is every reason to trust that with the proper help, your loved one can lead a meaningful life that is addiction-free.
Contact us today to get started on the next step of the recovery path for your loved one.