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Fentanyl Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles, CA

Fentanyl is a highly addictive drug at the forefront of the current opioid crisis. Because it is both cheaper and more potent than opioids like heroin, fentanyl is widely becoming one of the most abused drugs on the street. Fentanyl is responsible for a large percentage of overdose deaths in the United States.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid. The effects of fentanyl are similar to morphine, although fentanyl is nearly 100 times stronger. Because it can be synthetically manufactured, it is also far cheaper than morphine or heroin. This is a dangerous combination often, as people accustomed to heroin use may accidentally overdose on fentanyl by taking too large of a dose. Many people may use fentanyl thinking it is weaker than heroin because it is so much cheaper without realizing it is a far more potent substance.

Fentanyl is a Schedule II substance. A Schedule II substance is considered by the United States government to be approved for medical use but also runs a high risk of being abused. In this case, fentanyl may be used to treat severe pain in a medical setting. Because of the risk of abuse and addiction, fentanyl may only be used in extreme circumstances, such as when a person has developed a tolerance to other pain relief medications.

What Are the Symptoms of Fentanyl Use?

Due to the potency of fentanyl, symptoms of use are often strong. When injected, fentanyl will cause effects within seconds. Effects of fentanyl can be serious and cause a negative impact on a person’s mental and physical health. Some symptoms of fentanyl use include:

  • Euphoric feeling
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Inability to focus
  • Appearing sedated or “out of it”
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stomach issues, including nausea, vomiting, or constipation
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Poor hygiene

Dangers of Fentanyl Use

Fentanyl use can be dangerous for a variety of reasons. Not only are the effects of fentanyl use harmful, but it is also incredibly easy to accidentally overdose while using fentanyl. Injecting the drug directly into the bloodstream also introduces new dangers outside of the effects of drug use. Some dangers of fentanyl use include:

  • Respiratory system failure
  • Heart failure
  • Ulcers or sores in the mouth
  • Drastic loss of weight
  • Numbness in limbs and appendages
  • Severe depression or thoughts of suicide
  • Fever
  • Coma
  • Seizure
  • Death
  • Increased likelihood to develop a bloodborne illness from shared or dirty needle use. Examples of bloodborne diseases include hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV
  • Skin diseases caused by dirty needle use

Can You Overdose on Fentanyl?

Due to the potency of the drug, it is incredibly easy to accidentally overdose on fentanyl. An overdose occurs when the body takes in too large of an amount of a toxic substance. When the body becomes overloaded by toxicity it can no longer process the substance and fails as a result. This can lead to coma or death. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you believe you or someone around you has overdoses on fentanyl.

Am I Addicted to Fentanyl?

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, is a book used by medical professionals to diagnose a variety of different disorders. Substance use disorder is one mental health condition that often uses the DSM-5 during the diagnosis process. 

The DSM-5 lists eleven symptoms that represent a substance abuse problem. A medical professional will evaluate a person’s symptoms based on these eleven criteria during the diagnosis process. The eleven criteria of a substance abuse disorder are:

  • Taking a substance in larger doses or for a longer amount of time than intended
  • Feeling that you need to cut down or stop substance use but failing to do so
  • Spending a significant amount of time seeking out, using, or recovering from substance use
  • Experiencing cravings or urges to use a substance
  • Failing to meet obligations at home, work, or school as a result of substance use
  • Continuing to use substances despite it causing problems at home or in relationships with others
  • Self-isolating or losing interest in social and recreational activities as a result of substance use
  • Continuing to use substances despite the fact that it puts you in danger
  • Continuing to use substances despite having a physical or psychological that can be worse by substance use
  • Building up a tolerance to substance use, meaning that you need to use more often or in larger amounts to achieve the desired effects
  • Developing of withdrawal symptoms that will occur when substance use stops

Not only is the DSM-5 used for diagnosis, but it can also be used to determine the severity of the disorder. For example, if a person displays two or three of the above symptoms, they would be diagnosed with a mild substance abuse disorder. Four or five symptoms suggest a moderate condition, and six or more symptoms represent a severe disorder. 

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Options

Because fentanyl is such a powerful drug, addiction will often cause severe dependency and withdrawal. Withdrawal can be a difficult process, especially when potent opioids are involved. Someone entering recovery from a fentanyl addiction should not attempt to go through the withdrawal process alone. It is essential to seek the help of medical professionals, who can provide support and supervision during the detox process. 

Substance abuse treatment should always be catered to the needs of the individual. Each person in recovery may respond differently to various types of treatment, so no one treatment program will work for everyone.

Psychotherapy options, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy, can be beneficial in the treatment of substance abuse. Group meetings, such as SMART Recovery or Narcotics Anonymous, may be helpful tools for people who find group support helpful.

If you or a loved one may be suffering from fentanyl addiction, the first step is to seek a medical professional’s help. Getting help with addiction treatment is a vital step in the recovery process. Symptoms associated with withdrawal are often challenging and can be dangerous to face alone. Treatment facilities can help guide you through the initial stages of the recovery process safely and effectively.

At AM Health Care, we believe in finding the recovery method that will work best for you. Every person has different needs when it comes to addiction treatment, and not one thing will work for all people. We can find the facility and program that best fits your needs to receive the best chance at recovery possible. Please reach out to us at 818-383-1297 to learn more about substance abuse treatment options.

Our facilities that offer Fentanyl Addiction Treatment:

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Frequently Asked Questions

AM Health Care offers all levels of care for inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance treatment. We have six different facilities that each specialize in a different aspect of addiction and mental health recovery, ensuring that wherever we offer AM Health Care treatment, you or a loved one will be placed in the hands of an experienced professional.
While we will do our best to accommodate any requests toward any of our six different facilities, we cannot guarantee placement at any one location. This is because each AM Health Care facility offers different levels of care for either substance treatment or mental health treatment. When you contact the AM Health Care team, we will do our best to accommodate your needs and place you in a facility that will help you the mo
AM Health Care accepts most major insurance providers' PPO policies. The best way to know if your insurance will cover your treatment at AM Health Care is to get in touch with our team. If you'd like to have us reach out to you about your insurance, use our verify insurance form.
Siri Sat Khalsa, MD, Medical Director
Clinically Reviewed By
Siri Sat Khalsa, MD
Dr. Siri Sat Khalsa is a board certified Addictionologist with over a decade of experience as a specialist in detoxing and treating patients with alcohol and substance use disorders. As a graduate of USC medical school and Harbor UCLA residency, she spent 10 years a Family Practitioner before discovering her passion for caring for patients struggling with addictions. Her approach is to safely detox patients as comfortably as possible and to then focus on caring for the anxiety and depression and other mental health issues that typically accompany substance use disorders while simultaneously crafting plans to sustain long term sobriety.

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