Fentanyl Abuse Signs
Fentanyl is an opium-derived narcotic used legally as an anaesthetic in operating theatres and in intensive care departments to manage severe pain, especially in cancer patients. The brand name of the drug is Duragesic and medical professionals prescribe it as transdermal (skin) patches that released it slowly into the body over a period of time.
The main purpose of the drug is to treat chronic pain but it is also highly addictive and users need to be closely monitored by physicians while they are using Fentanyl to avoid becoming addicted. Read on for common symptoms that affect addicts taking the drug.
Physical Fentanyl Abuse Signs
Just like with all opiates, fentanyl attaches to the opiate receptors in the body which changes the reward receptors in the brain. After binding to the opiate receptors, the level of dopamine which is synthesized increases. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter located in the brain and which influences movement, behaviors and motivation amongst other things. Increased production of dopamine initiates relaxation and feelings of euphoria it is classified as class II prescription medication and is extremely addictive and has a high risk of abuse.
It isn’t always easy to identify if a person is abusing Fentanyl but there are signs to look out for even after an individual has developed a tolerance to it. A very common sign is that an addict’s pupils will have contracted and be permanently tiny, like pin points, even when it is dark.
Fentanyl also makes the user extremely relaxed and lack alertness which may cause them to nod off or fall asleep in unusual and inappropriate situations such as in the middle of a conversation or when they are standing up.
Emotional Fentanyl Abuse Signs
Fentanyl is known to induce euphoria in some abusers but this seems to be determined by each individual as not every abuser experiences it. The euphoria disappears after some time and the person then becomes irritable until they take another dose. Some abusers develop feelings of guilt which evolve into thoughts of suicide.
Characteristics of Fentanyl Abuse
Fentanyl abusers often experience and display a change in personal characteristics. The main behavioral change will be drug-seeking behavior such as tampering with a prescription in an attempt to obtain larger amounts of the drug. Doctor surfing to obtain prescriptions from several doctors is another common characteristic among abusers. Other characteristics that can indicate a person is abusing Fentanyl include deteriorating performance at school or work, social withdrawal from friends and family as well as reduced interest in carrying out routine activities.
Fentanyl Abuse Withdrawal symptoms
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after taking Fentanyl for a long time is indicative of an addiction and these will appear just a few hours after taking the last dose. Withdrawal symptoms include sweating, nausea, diarrhea, chills, cramps, vomiting, nausea, twitching, muscle pain, agitation and a craving for more drugs.