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Fentanyl Addiction Intervention Treatment in Florida



Fentanyl is a highly addictive and extremely potent opioid drug, making fentanyl addiction intervention and treatment in Florida essential for anyone addicted to fentanyl. It is similar to morphine; however, it has a much higher potency. It is often prescribed for pain management, but due to its highly addictive nature, once the person no longer receives a prescription, withdrawal symptoms can drive them to seek the drug illegally. The high potency of fentanyl greatly increases the chances of an overdose, making family intervention and treatment necessary for anyone struggling with addiction.


What is Fentanyl, and How is the Drug Used?

Fentanyl is a very powerful synthetic opioid. Synthetic opioids are drugs that are made in laboratories and designed to have a similar chemical structure to natural opioids that are derived from the opium poppy. Fentanyl increases dopamine levels in the brain, causing a state of relaxation, pain relief, decreases the perception of suffering, and promotes a feeling of well-being and euphoria. Fentanyl’s effects can be felt within minutes, and those effects can last 30-90 minutes. It affects everyone differently, depending on a person’s size, weight, overall health, the amount taken, whether it is taken in combination with another drug, and whether the person has a tolerance for opioids.

Fentanyl comes in many different, legally prescribed forms. They are:

  • Transdermal patch: a patch that you place on your skin
  • Buccal tablet: a tablet that you dissolve between your cheek and gums
  • Sublingual tablet: a tablet that you dissolve under your tongue
  • Sublingual spray: a solution that you spray under your tongue
  • Oral lozenge: a lozenge that you suck on until it dissolves
  • Nasal spray: a solution that you spray into your nose
  • Injectable: an injectable solution that should only be given by a health care provider.

Illegally used fentanyl is sold as a powder, dropped onto blotter paper, put in eye droppers and nasal sprays, or made into pills that look like prescription opioids. Fentanyl is also mixed with other illegal drugs as a cheaper option because it takes so little to produce a high. This carries a significant risk to the user because they may be taking stronger opioids than their bodies are used to or can handle, and their risk for overdose increases. Drug rehab programs in Florida provide proper medical detox and supervision to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent overdose.


What are the Short-Term and Long-term Effects of Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is reported to produce quicker and stronger effects than other opioids,and the unpleasant side effects present themselves quicker with more intensity. Some of those short-term side effects are sleepiness, confusion, disorientation, constipation, nausea, intense flushing or hot flashes, and breathing problems.

Long-term side effects are also present in those that abuse fentanyl due to the dopamine build-up in the brain after prolonged use. Long-term fentanyl abuse produces a wide range of effects on systems in the body. The systems that can suffer damage from fentanyl abuse are the gastrointestinal (stomach and intestines), musculoskeletal (muscles and bones), cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels), immune (protection against foreign substances and cells), and endocrine system. Fentanyl can also interfere with every functioning system in the body, causing chronic depression, pain, and the inability to experience pleasure. Proper addiction treatment in Florida and sobriety support can, at the very least, partially reverse many of these issues, making it possible to recover fully.


What are the Symptoms of a Fentanyl Overdose, and How is it Prevented?

Fentanyl can cause an accidental death with just one dose. Due to its potency, it is important to recognize the symptoms of a fentanyl overdose. If any of the following signs are present, a call should be made to 911 without hesitation:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Inability to respond to stimuli like lights and being touched
  • Inability to speak
  • Slow, shallow, or erratic breathing
  • Pale, bluish-purple, or ashen skin
  • Limp body
  • Erratic, slow, or missing pulse
  • Vomiting
  • Choking sounds or gurgling that may sound similar to snoring.

Once 911 has been called, administering Naloxone can quickly help reverse the effects of an overdose if given before permanent damage to the brain and other vital organs occurs. Naloxone is a medication that knocks opiates from the brain’s receptors and is typically seen in a nasal spray or an auto-injector. In the state of Florida, you do not need a prescription to obtain Naloxone. In the absence of Naloxone, someone present on the scene should follow the directions of the 911 operator and perform CPR if instructed and safe to do so.


Fentanyl Addiction Treatment and Detox in Florida

Due to its potency and higher risk for overdose, it is a life-saving decision to seek drug detox and addiction treatment in Florida for those who are struggling with a fentanyl addiction. The first step in recovery from fentanyl addiction is detox. People addicted to fentanyl can experience withdrawal symptoms from the detox process as early as a few hours after the last dose. Those symptoms include muscle and bone pain, sleep problems, diarrhea and vomiting, cold flashes with goosebumps, uncontrollable leg movements, and severe cravings. Drug rehab centers in Florida offer inpatient and outpatient services for those going through the detox process.

Once detox is complete, those working to overcome their addiction should enter an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program in Florida. Both programs offer therapies that include cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. Inpatient services require the person to live at a facility and focus solely on their recovery. In contrast, an outpatient drug rehab program requires the person to attend therapies but does not require them to reside at the facility. A combination of detox, treatment, and proper support increases the likelihood of an individual to successfully overcome a fentanyl addiction and lead a happy and healthy life.


Family Intervention for Fentanyl Addiction in Florida

Those addicted to fentanyl may not recognize they have a problem, or they may not be willing to accept the fact that they do. That, along with the high risk for overdose, makes interventions imperative in saving the lives of loved ones. The main goals of organizing an intervention are to help the addict to recognize they have a problem, understand the effects their addiction has on their lives and the lives of family and loved ones, and seek the help they need to overcome their addiction. Family interventionists in Florida are trained professionals that help families navigate the days before and the intervention itself. Interventions are difficult but necessary; meetings and hiring an interventionist allow the family to focus on helping their loved one face their addiction head-on and do so effectively. An ineffective intervention can have the opposite desired effect, making the person struggling with addiction defensive and unwilling to accept help.


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