5 Signs Someone is Struggling with Fentanyl Addiction
Opioids are a class of drugs that can make you feel sleepy and less able to understand what’s happening around you. Opioids are addictive and include the illegal drug heroin. Heroin comes from the poppy plant. Other opioids can be completely manufactured. One of those is fentanyl. Fentanyl is similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more powerful.
There is an opioid epidemic in this country. Widespread prescribing of legal painkillers such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine contributes to this problem. These legal drugs can lead to dependence on painkillers. That in turn can lead people to seek out drugs illegally if they can’t continue to get prescriptions.
Fentanyl is a drug that can be prescribed legally. But it’s often obtained illegally by people who continue to suffer from pain. When it’s obtained illegally, fentanyl can easily be abused. About 64 percent of the 101,035 Americans who died from a drug overdose between October 2020 and October 2021 used fentanyl. Some say fentanyl is the number one killer of Americans between 18 and 45.
Most fentanyl overdoses occur when the drug is distributed illegally in the form of pills, powder, or liquid.
Recognizing When Someone Has a Problem
Recognizing the signs of fentanyl addiction can be tricky. Many people struggling with fentanyl addiction often are fighting addiction to more than one substance. Watch for:
- Behavioral changes at home and at work.
People taking fentanyl often feel numb and tired. Fentanyl users may become withdrawn and experience mood changes. An increase in work or school absences or a lack of interest in social activities could be a sign there’s a problem.
- Changes in physical appearance.
Take note of someone of normal weight who suddenly loses a lot of weight without meaning to. And be aware if someone usually well-groomed suddenly isn’t anymore. Many users of fentanyl can look alarmingly skinny. Day after day, their hair may be uncombed or their clothes may look or smell unwashed. A fentanyl user may appear drowsy and even fall asleep during a conversation. They may have pale skin and sunken eyes. They may find it hard to catch their breath and show signs of swelling in their legs, hands, and feet.
- Psychological changes.
Opioids, in general, make it difficult to concentrate. Fentanyl users may seem depressed, anxious or confused. They may be convinced someone is watching or following them.
- Worrisome posts and comments on social media.
Try to find out who the person you’re worried about is spending time with. Listen for terms in conversation like Blues, Apache, China Girl, Goodfella, Friend, and Dance Fever. These are slang terms for fentanyl. If possible, keep a watchful eye on social media and text messages. Drug dealers often use emojis to communicate what they’re selling. Here’s a list of emojis as they relate to the sale of some illegal drugs.
- Signs of withdrawal.
Fentanyl withdrawal can be quite painful for some people. Symptoms can include intense bone and muscle pain, goosebumps, chills, yawning, tearfulness, diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, and irritability.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, reach out to denova Collaborative Healthcare. Call us at 602-777-6337. You can also access our services from anywhere in the state of Arizona through the convenience of virtual care.