Unfortunately, it seems as if there is not one family left untouched by addiction. Families all over the world are being impacted by the effects of alcohol and drug abuse. Individuals everywhere are experiencing what it means to be bound by the disease of addiction. Many people here in New Jersey are facing the effects of various types of substance misuse and beginning to seek help for these issues. One of the types of addiction that a lot of people are suffering from is fentanyl addiction.

The effects of this substance abuse problem can be extremely severe and life-altering. So, those who suffer from this issue should seek professional help immediately. Through treatment and therapy, individuals who once struggled to overcome addiction in their lives can gain the skills and strength they need in order to become and remain free from the bondage of addiction. Thankfully, individuals who are fighting fentanyl addiction in New Jersey can get the help they need here at Discovery Institute.

What is Fentanyl?

Substance abuse is often thought of as a problem that involves excessive use of illicit drugs. But, in many cases of addiction, people actually become dependent on and begin to abuse legal, prescription drugs. Fentanyl is one of the prescription medications that have caused negative effects on people’s lives, including addiction and drug abuse. 

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid drug, is one of the most powerful and potent medications. Many people are aware of the strength and possible dangers of morphine, a powerful painkiller. However, fentanyl is actually stronger than morphine; in fact, it’s about 50-100 times more powerful and potent than this well-known substance. 

Medical professionals may prescribe fentanyl, a pharmaceutical drug, to patients who are suffering from intense or severe pain. Often, the individuals who use fentanyl are dealing with pain that is the result of a surgical operation or they are living with chronic (recurring) pain. 

Some common brand names of fentanyl are the following:

  • Sublimaze
  • Actiq
  • Abstral
  • Duragesic

Sadly, many people use fentanyl illegally. They may buy it from street sellers and, often, this drug is mixed with other substances, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin. This can lead to severe and even fatal results. Fentanyl has many street names, including China Girl, China White, and Dance Fever.

Fentanyl is a drug that falls under the opioid category, so it is in the same group as heroin, morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone. Opioid drugs can be habit-forming and the continuous use of these drugs can often lead to drug abuse and addiction. Individuals who frequently use opioids like fentanyl may eventually begin to build a tolerance for the drug they use, which can be extremely dangerous and harmful.

How Does Fentanyl Dependence Develop?

Addiction doesn’t develop overnight. Generally, people become dependent on drugs over a period of time rather than immediately. So, individuals who use fentanyl are not likely to develop a dependence on or addiction to this drug right away. It may take quite a while for individuals to become addicted to fentanyl. However, the process usually begins with frequent use of fentanyl. 

After using fentanyl for a while without getting treatment, some individuals may build a tolerance for the drug. This means that their bodies will get used to the effects of fentanyl and the regular doses of this drug will no longer produce the desired results. Once a person has built a tolerance for fentanyl, he or she may then begin to use higher doses of the drug or consume it more frequently than recommended. 

Using more of a prescription drug than is recommended is known as abuse. Also, using the substance in ways other than those which are recommended is considered drug abuse. Unfortunately, as a person’s body begins to build a tolerance for fentanyl, it may become dependent on the drug. This might cause individuals to feel uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when they are not using fentanyl.

Since people who regularly use fentanyl might begin to experience these withdrawal symptoms, they may feel that the only way they can feel “normal” is to use fentanyl again. This begins a cycle of substance use that can be quite harmful and lead to some serious results. 

Symptoms and Effects of Fentanyl Use

As with any type of addiction, the effects of fentanyl misuse can be life-changing. Sometimes, the signs of addiction may be difficult to identify. It’s not always easy to identify this problem, so, many people continue living with fentanyl dependence without truly realizing the truth about their problem. 

Some of the symptoms, effects, and signs of fentanyl use may be more short-term (immediate) while others may be long-term and appear only after a long period of fentanyl use and abuse. Upon initial use, fentanyl affects the brain’s pain receptors. Through this action, fentanyl can help to block pain throughout the body, causing the user to feel relief. Fentanyl use can cause a release of dopamine, a chemical that the human body naturally produces. This chemical is responsible for causing a “feel good” sensation. So, individuals who use fentanyl may experience things like happiness and euphoria.

Some of the signs and symptoms of long-term fentanyl use and abuse may include:

  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures 
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Itchiness
  • Breathing problems
  • Euphoric experiences
  • Vision problems (i.e. blurriness)

Although it is believed that fentanyl is not addictive, many individuals fall prey to fentanyl dependence and may begin to abuse the drug. Using an excessive amount of fentanyl can lead to overdose. 

Also, as mentioned earlier, it’s not uncommon for individuals to mix fentanyl with other substances in order to elevate the effects of this drug and produce pleasurable yet dangerous results.

Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

When a person’s body has become used to operating and functioning under the influence of a drug like fentanyl, it can be very difficult for the individual to stop using the drug he or she has been using. This is because the body enters a state of withdrawal when the person goes without using fentanyl. 

Withdrawal symptoms can be very intense and severe. Some of the common symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal include the following:

  • Chills
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Bodily pain
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep problems
  • Involuntary bodily movements

Withdrawal has often led people to relapse and return to drug use. This is why it’s so important to seek professional and medical guidance in order to safely end substance use. Through a detox program, individuals can stop fentanyl use without the fear of relapse as a result of withdrawal symptoms. 

Treatment for Fentanyl Abuse in New Jersey

Here in New Jersey, there are many resources available for those who are struggling with substance abuse. Addiction is serious and should be considered as such. This is why we provide care and treatment here at Discovery Institute. We are committed to helping people overcome substance abuse in various forms, including fentanyl addiction. So, if you are suffering from fentanyl use and desire to recover from this struggle, allow us to walk with you.

At Discovery Institute, our team recognizes the challenges and obstacles that may occur when it comes to recovering from substance abuse. We know that our clients have needs that must be addressed in order to ensure a successful recovery from addiction. Many of the individuals who come to us to get help benefit greatly from our various approaches to treatment.

Our treatment center offers many programs, including drug and alcohol detox programs, residential rehab, and intensive outpatient programs. We also offer individuals the chance to heal and recover through various therapies.

In individual therapy, clients can speak one-on-one with a therapist who understands and can lead and guide them through the challenges of the recovery process. Through group therapy, individuals can discuss their journeys with other people who are in recovery. This helps establish accountability and support systems among those who are working to end addiction in their lives.

We also offer holistic treatment because we understand that, in order to heal from addiction, individuals must be able to focus on various aspects of their lives, including their mental and emotional processes. Elements of holistic treatment may include things such as yoga and physical exercise. Through these components, people can work on their physical, emotional, and mental health as they also move toward an addiction-free life.

Let Discovery Institute Help You Fight Addiction

If you are in New Jersey and have been dealing with the effects of a fentanyl addiction or any other type of substance use problem, please know that you don’t need to fight this problem alone. Here at Discovery Institute, we are ready and willing to help you find your way to a life that is free from substance abuse and its negative effects.

In many cases of addiction, individuals who are suffering from this problem feel overwhelmed by shame, guilt, and hopelessness. But, there is hope for you; addiction treatment can help you overcome the shame of addiction and learn to live without drug and alcohol use. 

For more information about our services or to begin your journey to recovery from fentanyl addiction here in New Jersey, please contact us today by calling (844) 478-6563.



https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/fentanyl https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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