In the United States, three million people have an opioid use disorder, according to the National Institute of Health. One of the most powerful opioids available today is fentanyl. At Kiwi Recovery, we encourage anyone with an addiction to fentanyl to turn to our fentanyl addiction treatment program by calling 617.751.6610.
It is sometimes difficult to understand that addiction is an illness like any other and that breaking free from it requires specialized treatment. Learn more about fentanyl, why it is so addictive, and what can cause an addiction to this type of drug.
An Overview of Fentanyl Addiction
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. It was created to treat severe pain but is now illicitly available for recreational purposes. The FDA lists it as a Schedule II drug because of how easy it is to get addicted to it.
One of the most concerning issues with using fentanyl illegally is that it can easily be mixed with other substances and is extremely potent. This puts the person consuming it at risk of all manner of effects.
The most common signs and symptoms of fentanyl addiction are:
- Mood swings
- Doctor shopping
- Slurred speech
- Lying about drug use
- Needing more of the drug
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
Fentanyl, like other opioids, affects your central nervous system, diminishing or eliminating pain and providing a sense of euphoria. This is what can lead to addiction.
Your brain registers that using the drug creates pleasurable feelings, and it will want to repeat the experience. As such, it will begin craving the drug.
Fentanyl Addiction Causes: Who Is at Risk?
It’s important to understand that fentanyl addiction can happen to anyone. That said, several factors can make some people more likely to develop an addiction than others.
One of the most significant risk factors for fentanyl addiction is family history. If you have a close loved one who has an addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, or behaviors (like gambling), you are more at risk of developing an addiction.
These genetic links are not clear yet, but scientists have found that some people may get a more powerful dopamine surge in response to drugs like fentanyl, making addiction occur more rapidly.
Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions
Other fentanyl addiction causes include co-occurring mental health conditions. Having conditions like depression, PTSD, or anxiety, can cause symptoms that seem impossible to manage.
For many people, turning to alcohol or drugs can offer deceptive relief. Although the substances can reduce some of the symptoms for a short while, they can also make them worse in the long run.
Having experienced trauma and living in a high-stress environment is also one of the leading causes of fentanyl addiction. Trauma can cause lasting emotional, physical, and psychological damage that can lead you to reach for anything that offers a bit of relief. Just as with a mental health condition, however, the drugs will only make things worse.
Those who have medical conditions that cause chronic pain can also be more likely to develop an addiction to opioids like fentanyl. Managing chronic pain is never easy, and using opioids over a long period can lead you to start relying on them, first to avoid pain and then just to feel normal.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment for Young Adults at Kiwi Recovery
Fentanyl addiction is a life-threatening condition that you should start treating as soon as possible. As with other illnesses, trusting professionals to guide you through the process of recovery can help you toward a brighter future.