Find Help for a Fentanyl Addiction at a Treatment Center in Ohio
Overdose deaths in Ohio have been steadily increasing since 2011, and they reached a peak in 2017 with nearly 5,000 fatalities. Accidental overdoses decreased after that, but in 2020, they went up again to 5,017. In 2020, these overdose deaths were due to illicit fentanyl and fentanyl analogs at a rate of 81%. It looks as if fentanyl overdose deaths are going up again, so we need to get a handle on this problem before it becomes uncontrollable.
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency placed fentanyl in Schedule II of the Schedules of Controlled Substances. This means that fentanyl has a high potential for causing users to abuse it. It is capable of causing users to develop a severe physical dependence or a severe psychological dependence on the drug. As a Schedule II substance, fentanyl must also be considered to be a dangerous drug.
Fentanyl binds to the opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors are located in the areas that control emotions and pain. When people ingest fentanyl, they begin to feel extremely happy, but they also experience very negative effects. These include constipation, confusion, sedation, nausea, and drowsiness. In addition to that, they are at risk of developing a tolerance for the drug and addiction that may lead to unconsciousness, respiratory depression and arrest, coma, or death.
After an addiction to fentanyl begins, you may want to reduce or stop your use of the drug. By this time, it is impossible because fentanyl addiction leads to highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the substance. The symptoms may even begin as early as a couple of hours after you took your last dose. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:
- Severe cravings
- Uncontrollable leg movements
- Cold flashes and goosebumps
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Difficulties sleeping
- Bone and muscle pain
The symptoms listed above are extremely hard for people to endure, so they give up and return to their fentanyl use.
A Guide to Withdrawal
Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can last for days as your body becomes accustomed to living without ingesting the substance. Although the harshest withdrawal symptoms subside, some less intense symptoms can linger for several weeks. Drug treatment centers offer detoxification programs that help you tolerate withdrawal symptoms until your body is completely free of opioids. Entering a detox program is a better option for you or your loved one so that you are not suffering needlessly during the detoxification process.
In a detoxification program, medical professionals administer medications that relieve the withdrawal symptoms and reduce the cravings for the substance. This program is known as “medication-assisted treatment” (MAT), and it uses medications that have been approved for use in drug treatment centers. This includes the opioids buprenorphine and methadone.
The physicians will prescribe the appropriate medication for you or your loved one and the length of time that you will need to take this medication. Methadone and buprenorphine are opioids, so you may be required to taper off of these medications after the detoxification process is over. Your physician may also determine that you will need to continue to take methadone or buprenorphine as a long-term solution for your addiction.
Unfortunately, the only problem does not appear to be fentanyl. The 81% of fatalities listed were due to fentanyl and other substances as well. For example, 80% of overdose deaths from cocaine were also related to fentanyl, and a full 79% of fatalities caused by psychostimulants also included fentanyl. Another 76% of the fatalities caused by benzodiazepines were also mixed with fentanyl, and 67% of the natural or semi-synthetic opioids were due to fentanyl as well. Lastly, 83% of the deaths attributed to heroin in 2020 also had fentanyl involvement.
Some people are at an increased risk of developing a fentanyl addiction. One of these groups of people includes those who are taking large doses of fentanyl, but there is still a risk when you are taking lower doses. If you have been taking fentanyl for a long period of time, this increases your risk of developing an addiction. As a matter of fact, an addiction to an opioid drug can begin in as little as two days.
What Can You Do to Help Someone Who Is Addicted to Fentanyl?
You can encourage someone to get help for a fentanyl addiction by suggesting that they check into White Light Behavioral Health. After you receive treatment for your physical addiction by undergoing the withdrawal process, you would only be 50% finished with your treatment. The detoxification process is only the beginning. You may also have a psychological dependence on fentanyl, and the psychological dependence is treated with therapy in a treatment center like White Light Behavioral Health.
Types of Treatment Available
Whether it’s in an inpatient or outpatient facility, the treatments offered for addiction are typically the same. The most common treatments include behavioral therapies provided in both one-on-one and group settings. Some of the most effective treatments include the following.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common treatment for substance use disorder. This therapy shows people that the emotions that they are experiencing and the actions they are taking are not necessarily rational or logical. You may be experiencing these emotions because of something that occurred in the past, and CBT will help you recognize that. This leads you to understand the motivations behind your abuse of fentanyl, and you can learn to overcome your addiction.
Contingency management is another highly effective treatment for substance use disorder. This behavioral treatment uses the principles of operant conditioning. With this treatment, you will receive something of monetary value in exchange for following your treatment plan. For example, after you offer a urine sample that turns out to be negative for fentanyl, you will receive a prize or a gift card. This therapy is excellent for use with your brain’s reward system. While you are using fentanyl, it takes over your brain’s reward system, and contingency management is a way of competing with fentanyl’s work on the reward system.
Motivational interviewing focuses on the insecurities and negative feelings that you have when you are addicted to substances. It is dedicated to helping you find the internal motivation you need to change your negative behaviors. It is an approach that realizes how hard it is for people to make necessary changes in their lives, so it is very empathetic.
Individual therapy is necessary during the treatment process. In many cases, people indulge in substance use because they are looking for a way to live with their difficult emotions and situations. You may have several emotions and thoughts that you need to work through with your own personal therapist, and individual therapy is the only place to do this.
Group therapy is equally as necessary for the treatment of substance use disorder as individual therapy. In group therapy, you will receive the support of your peers. This is instrumental because your peers are having experiences that are very much like the ones that you are having. You will have the opportunity to discuss your issues with a sympathetic audience, and this builds relationships with other group members and broadens your support base. When you are struggling, you can lean on friends that you have made from your support groups, and vice versa.
Family therapy is important because when you have the support of your family you are much more likely to remain in your treatment program. In family therapy, each person gets the opportunity to discuss his or her concerns and issues. The therapist also has the chance to explain to your family members what typically occurs when someone has a substance use disorder. Everyone may even learn how to communicate better with everyone else.
Why Should You Get Help for Your Substance Use Disorder?
Substance use disorder gets worse as time goes by. It is a chronic disease, so it requires ongoing medical and psychological treatment. When you decide to treat your substance use disorder, medical professionals can help you manage it throughout your life.
A substance use disorder does not just affect your own health and wellness. Relationships with your family and friends also suffer. In addition to this, 20.3 million people are experiencing substance use issues, and 37.9% of these people also have a mental health disorder. These people may have been using substances as a way to medicate the symptoms of their mental health disorders, but this isn’t the best thing to do in this situation. If you have a mental health disorder, you can receive a diagnosis for it and treatment in a drug treatment center.
When you receive the right treatment for your substance use disorder and any other disorders that you may have, you have a much better chance of overcoming your addiction. If you are ready to obtain treatment for your substance use disorder, contact us at White Light Behavioral Health today.