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Fentanyl addiction has become a public health crisis in Colorado and throughout the country. Although it is a prescription medication, fentanyl comes with serious risks and should never be taken without a doctor’s order. Even people who have a prescription for fentanyl can become dependent on the medication. Fentanyl addiction treatment is often necessary for those who continue using this medication despite experiencing serious consequences.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were nearly 92,000 fatal drug overdoses in the United States in 2020, and 74.8% of these fatalities involved opioids. Synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl, were responsible for 82.3% of opioid-related deaths.
Additional fentanyl statistics include:
We can help answer your questions and talk through any concerns.
Fentanyl is a dangerous drug because it is so strong. In fact, it is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, meaning that just a small amount of it can cause a fatal overdose. Some drug dealers may use fentanyl as an additive in drugs like heroin or cocaine to make them stronger. This adds additional risk, as people may not even realize they are ingesting something as strong as fentanyl.
With just a small dose of fentanyl, a person can begin to struggle to breathe. This ultimately leads to low levels of oxygen, which can cause coma, brain damage or even death.
If someone is misusing fentanyl, they will show some or many of these signs when under the influence of the drug:
When a person develops a fentanyl addiction, they will show signs of a substance use disorder (the clinical term for an addiction). Some signs that a person has developed a substance use disorder involving fentanyl include:
When a person develops a fentanyl addiction, treatment is often necessary to help them stop using the drug. There are numerous treatment options available, including medical detox, inpatient and outpatient care, partial hospitalization and aftercare.
Fentanyl addiction treatment typically begins with a medical detox program to provide patients with support and medication as they go through fentanyl withdrawal. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:
These withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable and can make it difficult to quit fentanyl. Medical detox programs can administer medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and make it easier for people to stop using fentanyl.
Medical detox is just the first step in the addiction treatment process. After going through detox, most patients transition into an inpatient treatment program. In these programs, patients live onsite at the rehab center as they receive addiction treatment. Inpatient facilities provide a variety of services, including individual and group counseling, 12-step meetings, medication management and recreational therapies.
Some patients begin with an outpatient program after completing detox, while others “step down” to outpatient care after undergoing an inpatient program. The difference between inpatient vs. outpatient treatment is that patients continue to live at home while in outpatient care. They attend appointments for counseling, medication management and other services at a facility but return home afterward.
A PHP is an intensive and highly structured form of care that provides at least 20 hours of service per week. These programs allow patients to continue to live at home or at the facility, but they receive daily or almost daily monitoring at a treatment center. Patients in PHP may report to a facility for four hours per day each weekday, for example, or continue to live onsite. Patients receive a variety of services while in PHP, including individual and group counseling, medication management and medical services.
After patients complete fentanyl rehab, they often benefit from participating in aftercare services to prevent relapse. Aftercare programs provide ongoing support, such as support group meetings and relapse prevention plans.
The length of time a person spends in fentanyl addiction treatment depends on their unique needs and the severity of their addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people generally need to spend at least three months in treatment in order to stop their drug use. Treatment is an ongoing process, and staying in treatment for a longer time is associated with better outcomes.
If you or someone you love lives with a fentanyl addiction, there are numerous benefits associated with seeking treatment. Fentanyl is a highly addictive drug, and because withdrawal symptoms are so severe, it is nearly impossible to stop using the drug without professional intervention. Professional treatment centers can provide medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.
Fentanyl treatment programs also provide counseling services to help you overcome the underlying issues that have led to addiction. These services can help you to identify your triggers for drug use, develop the skills to cope with stress and learn ways to prevent relapse.
If you or a loved one is in need of fentanyl addiction treatment in Colorado, The Recovery Village Palmer Lake is here to help. We offer a full continuum of addiction treatment programs, including medical detox, inpatient and outpatient care, partial hospitalization services, and aftercare programming.
Our 110-bed inpatient facility is situated just outside of Colorado Springs, in a scenic location that offers mountain views, a heated pool, two fully equipped gyms and a basketball court. All of our treatment programs provide evidence-based services, and we create individualized treatment plans for each client.
One of the cornerstones of addiction treatment in recent years is medication-assisted treatment. With MAT, we can help people with opioid addiction begin and maintain a long-term recovery.
Because heroin is an addictive, deadly and illegal substance, it’s common for people to wonder about what heroin looks like and how to recognize it – especially those who suspect a friend or loved one may be using.
Inpatient rehabilitation offers constant live-in care for people with substance use disorders. At an inpatient care facility, all evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation is supervised by medical professionals.
Women who are pregnant may find themselves wondering if it is safe to use hydrocodone during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Ultimately, using any kind of opioid while pregnant or breastfeeding should generally be avoided.
Medical detoxification, more commonly known as medical detox, this process is crucial to successful recovery. When you’re dependent on a substance, your body has to compensate for the constant presence of that substance.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Drug Overdose Deaths Remain High.” June 2, 2022. Accessed June 2, 2022.
United States Drug Enforcement Administration. “Facts About Fentanyl.” Accessed June 23, 2022.
Common Sense Institute. “Fentanyl’s Increasing Toll on the Colorado Economy.” April 11, 2022. Accessed June 23, 2022.
National Institute on Drug Use. “What is Fentanyl?” June 1, 2021. Accessed June 23, 2022.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The Science of Drug Use and Addiction: The Basics.” July 2, 2018. Accessed June 24, 2022.
Medicaid. “Overview of Substance Use Disorder (SUD)[…]inical Guidelines: A Resource for States Developing SUD Del[…]very System Reforms.” April 2017. Accessed June 24, 2022.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: […]uide (Third Edition).” January 2018. Accessed October 7, 2022.
The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.