Narconon International Drug Rehab and Drug Education
24 x 7 Drug Rehab Helpline. Tap on number to speak with a rehab counselor now.

Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse

Fentanyl is one of the strongest opiate drugs on the market. It is not a long-lasting drug so it is often used for surgery recovery and for breakthrough pain - meaning that when a person is already taking an opiate but has temporary pain that breaks through the opiate barrier, they may be given fentanyl.

Signs and Symptoms Fentanyl Use

Fentanyl can be a Lollipop

There are time-release formulations for fentanyl that provide strong pain relief over time. They come in two forms—a lollipop and a patch. Fentanyl also comes as a small piece of film that can be dissolved under the tongue and a pill meant to be lodged inside the cheek. In hospital settings, fentanyl can be injected although this is a highly dangerous way to abuse the drug. The difference in dose between one that is therapeutic and one that is deadly is very small.

Like with any opiate, the main symptoms of fentanyl abuse will be euphoria, drowsiness, lethargy and mellowness. Fentanyl very quickly creates a tolerance to high doses, so a dose that is adequate for the intended high one week will probably not create that intended high a few days later.

There are many other signs and symptoms of using fentanyl, either medically or illicitly, that are not desirable.

These include:

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Retention of urine
  • Suppression of breathing
  • Severe constipation
  • Itching or hives
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Headache
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Bad dreams
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Swollen extremities

Addiction is Also a Symptom of Fentanyl Abuse


Of course, addiction and its consequences are also a sign of fentanyl abuse but a family may have a harder time detecting the signs of addiction. In most cases, addiction is accompanied by a deterioration in personal integrity. It takes many unethical or criminal acts to maintain an addiction over time, either expenditure of large amount of personal money or thefts, prescription fraud, doctor-shopping or other crimes, to get the drugs that are needed. A fentanyl addict normally has secrets from most or all of the people he (or she) encounters on a regular basis. If the thefts are from a workplace, as often happens, then he will be living a secret life while at work. Hospitals, pharmacies and nursing homes are often the sites of fentanyl theft by desperate employees.

Different people become addicted at different rates. Some addicts try to prevent addiction by letting time pass between usages of strong opiates and some others will feel compelled to use the drug continuously once they start, which walks them straight into addiction. Those coming off heavy fentanyl abuse will often be weaned down to a lower level before going through withdrawal as unsupported withdrawal from strong opiates can be brutal.

Recovering from Fentanyl Addiction at a Narconon Rehab

The Narconon drug and alcohol rehab program in fifty locations around the world has developed a humane way of helping a person through withdrawal, and then taking them all the way to lasting sobriety.

If a person does not need weaning or medical detox, he can safely and tolerably come off his drugs in the Withdrawal Unit at a Narconon rehab facility. Each person is immediately given generous doses of nutritional supplements that help alleviate the worst of the body's reactions to withdrawal. A person coming into a rehab is normally in a terribly depleted condition, and these supplements begin the rebuilding process. They also assist the body in starting to eliminate the toxicity that exists from the drugs that were used.

Withdrawal Procedure

There are a number of methods and exercises that help a person both mentally and physically during withdrawal. Specific supplements can help with diarrhea or vomiting, or other symptoms. Assists are like gentle, focused massages and help relieve physical pain and mental anxiety. Objective exercises calm a person's mind and enable him to direct his attention toward recovery and future, not pain and past. Those going through this process often remark on how manageable this withdrawal procedure is.

This is followed by an innovative detoxification step. Opiate abusers experience a mental fog from using these drugs (as do users of many drugs). Drug residues that are not fully eliminated from the body can cause this fog to persist, even long after drugs are discontinued. The Narconon New Life Detoxification Program combines sauna, exercise and nutrition to activate the body's ability to flush these residual toxins out. The result is clearer thinking and an improved outlook on life. Most people also state that their cravings for drugs are greatly reduced. Some people even say these cravings are gone.

Life Skills Must Then be Restored

Life Skills Course

A person who wishes to stay sober for the long haul must then overcome a mental or psychological need for drugs. This means building the skills to deal with life as it is, without hiding or trying to escape. This is the final phase of the Narconon program. A series of life skills courses followed by practice in applying these principles helps a person over this hurdle.

The result is that seven out of ten graduates from the Narconon program find lasting sobriety after they go home. Learn how this program can help someone you love recover from an addiction that may seem hopeless. Call 1-800-775-8750 today.

See also Effects of Fentanyl Abuse



Back to Top

Rehab Help: 1-800-775-8750