Fentanyl is one of the most potent and commonly used opioids. It is rarely prescribed for long-term use and is typically only used to treat severe pain that has not responded to other pain medications. Due to the potency of fentanyl, this drug is highly addictive and can be easily used. People who use fentanyl, even briefly, are at risk of becoming addicted to the drug.
Fentanyl addiction can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to identify, especially if the person is actively trying to hide their addiction. Knowing the signs of fentanyl use and addiction can help you determine if your loved one is abusing this drug and enable you to seek fentanyl addiction treatment options in Massachusetts.
7 Signs Someone Should Seek Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Options in Massachusetts
1. Behavioral Changes
A warning sign of fentanyl use includes noticeable changes in behavior even if they have only been abusing the drug for a short time. This is due to the potency of the drug.
Some behavioral changes from fentanyl use include:
- Extreme lethargy
- Mood swings
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Engaging in risky or dangerous behavior
Individuals addicted to fentanyl may also stop caring for themselves and neglect personal hygiene and basic needs such as proper nutrition and exercise. The deeper someone is in their addiction to fentanyl, the more they will likely neglect health and wellness.
2. Psychological Changes
In addition to behavioral changes, others signs of fentanyl use are psychological changes. Opioids like fentanyl can make it difficult to concentrate or remember things. This means that a person may seem to be daydreaming or not paying attention when in conversation.
Additional psychological signs of fentanyl use include:
- Impaired judgment
- Rapid mood swings
3. Physical Changes
Obvious physical signs of opioid use typically only occur when taking more of the drug than prescribed. Drowsiness or “nodding off” is one of the most common physical signs of fentanyl and opioid use. A person may appear to suddenly fall asleep during a conversation or nod off at an inappropriate time.
Other physical signs of fentanyl use and addiction include:
- Labored or shallow breathing
- Upset stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Pale skin
- Ulcers or sores in the mouth
- Sunken eyes
The more severe the addiction, the more severe and noticeable the physical signs of fentanyl use.
4. Experiencing Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
When someone uses fentanyl regularly, their body becomes dependent on it. This means that to feel “normal” and for the body to function properly, a person must take fentanyl. When a person addicted to fentanyl is not taking the drug, they may experience opioid withdrawal symptoms. The severity of withdrawal symptoms varies widely.
Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Muscle aches and pains
- High blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate
- Upset stomach
Because these withdrawal symptoms can be severe, a medical opioid detox is recommended.
5. Overdosing On Fentanyl
Because of the potency of fentanyl, consuming more than what is prescribed can easily result in an overdose. A fentanyl overdose can be dangerous and even deadly if not dealt with immediately.
The most common signs of an opioid overdose include:
- Depressed breathing
- Pinpoint pupils
- A faint pulse
- Loss of coordination
If you believe someone is experiencing a fentanyl overdose, seek medical help as soon as possible.
6. Drug-Seeking Behavior
People addicted to substances like fentanyl will often go to great lengths to obtain the drug. Common drug-seeking behaviors include “doctor shopping” to get more than one prescription for the drug, stealing prescriptions from friends or family, and stealing or borrowing money to buy the drug.
7. Experiencing Negative Life Consequences
Drug addiction can negatively impact every aspect of a person’s life. Unfortunately, many people struggling with fentanyl addiction will continue to use the drug despite these negative consequences. Life consequences that may occur due to fentanyl use and addiction include financial hardships, losing friends or loved ones, job loss, and legal trouble.
Getting Help For Fentanyl Addiction
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to fentanyl, the best decision you can make is to seek fentanyl addiction treatment options in Massachusetts. At Swift River, we offer individualized plans of recovery to help you or your loved one overcome fentanyl addiction and lead a fulfilling life in sobriety.