Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate drug. Fentanyl legally is used as a strong pain reliever and as an anesthetic during surgery. Fentanyl is also illegally used and manufactured in illicit labs. The illegal use of fentanyl has been a major reason why the opioid crisis has accelerated in different locations in the United States, including in Southern California. Fentanyl is far more potent than heroin and is 100-times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl is a highly addictive drug. There are certain signs and symptoms that are indicative of fentanyl abuse and addiction.
Common Physical Signs of Fentanyl Abuse or Addiction
There is a fairly long list of physical signs and symptoms possibly associated with fentanyl abuse or addiction. Bear in mind that many of these symptoms can be signs of abuse or addiction of other types of drugs. These symptoms can also be indicative of different types of illnesses, diseases, or conditions. The most commonplace physical signs of fentanyl abuse or addiction include:
- Difficulty walking
- Muscle stiffness
- Slowed or altered heart rate
- Labored breathing
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting
- Slurred speech
- Weight loss
- Visual hallucinations
- Itching and scratching
- Pinpoint pupils
As mentioned previously, fentanyl is a very, very powerful drug. When it comes to the physical response to fentanyl, a very small amount of the drug can result in an overdose, including a fatal overdose. The stark reality is that a granule of fentanyl no bigger than a grain of salt can have dire health consequences depending on the physical status of a person who comes into contact with this hazardous substance. For example, if an infant comes into contact with a minute amount of fentanyl, that baby may experience significant and life-threatening responses to that exposure.
The manner in which fentanyl works on the brain and the body as a whole can result in a significant slowing of the working of an individual’s lungs. Ultimately, the drug can cause a person’s lungs to become so “relaxed” that they stop functioning altogether. The lack of lung function oftentimes is the underlying physical reason why overdoses occur when using fentanyl.
Fentanyl abuse and addiction is also likely to result in a person not taking care of his or her physical appearance. A person who abuses or is addicted to fentanyl will abandon such things as basic hygiene.
Common Emotional and Psychological Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse or Addiction
In addition to physical signs of fentanyl abuse and addiction, there are emotional and psychological symptoms as well. These emotional and psychological symptoms associated with fentanyl abuse and addiction aggravate and become more severe over time. Indeed, one or another of these fentanyl abuse symptoms may become so profound that they become debilitating for an individual.
Some of the most commonly occurring emotional or psychological conditions or issues that can arise from fentanyl abuse or addiction include:
- Post-traumatic stress syndrome (or PTSD)
In many cases, an individual laboring under a fentanyl addiction may experience more than one emotional or psychological issue or condition.
Common Social Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse or Addiction
Beyond physical as well as emotional and psychological symptoms associated with fentanyl abuse and addiction, there are going to be social signs as well. First and foremost, a fentanyl addict will withdraw from family and friends. Ultimately, a person addicted to fentanyl may generally terminate regular connections with family friends. In the end, a person abusing or addicted to fentanyl will place previous relations with people involved in that individual’s use of his or her drug of choice. What this means is that interpersonal interactions end up being with fellow fentanyl users and with dealers who provide the drug.
On a related note, when a person becomes addicted to fentanyl, he or she will stop engaging in activities that were once enjoyed. Ultimately, the only activity enjoyed by a fentanyl addict is using the drug itself. Using fentanyl and finding fentanyl become the sole activities in a person’s life.
Financial and Legal Signs of Fentanyl Abuse or Addiction
A fentanyl abuser or addict is also likely to have serious financial issues and ultimately legal problems. As noted previously, the use of the drug and obtaining fentanyl ultimately becomes the center of the life of a person laboring under an addiction to this drug. Thus, odds are strong that a fentanyl addict will face issues with maintaining employment.
In addition, a person who abuses or is addicted to fentanyl will expend a tremendous amount of money on the drug. While fentanyl can be obtained relatively inexpensively, which is one of the reasons the drug has appeal, a significant percentage of a person’s available income will go towards obtaining this drug of choice.
Eventually, a fentanyl addict is likely to face legal problems of different types. These are likely to include everything from collection and eviction lawsuits to criminal charges. Legal problems are likely to mount over time.