Fentanyl, also known as the Duragesic patch, is a powerful prescription painkiller. In contrast to other prescription drugs that treat mild to moderate pain, Fentanyl is generally only prescribed for long-lasting relief from intense and chronic pain. Because of its potency and risks, the Duragesic patch should only be used when an individual needs long-term pain management and less potent medicines have proved ineffective .
Duragesic patches are a combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and propoxyphene that are placed on the skin for up to 72 hours of continuous pain relief . Fentanyl is commonly used orally, but can also be smoked, injected or snorted. In its prescription form, fentanyl is known as Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze. Street names for the drug include Apache, China girl, China white, dance fever, friend, goodfella, jackpot, murder 8, TNT, as well as Tango and Cash.
The Effects of Duragesic
Typical side effects of Duragesic therapy include abdominal pain, anxiety, confusion, constipation, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, euphoria, hallucinations, headache, impaired or interrupted breathing, indigestion, itching, anorexia, nausea, agitation, shortness of breath, sleepiness, sweating, urinary retention, vomiting, and weakness.
On the street, Fentanyl may be mixed with heroin or cocaine (and is itself sometimes sold as heroin), which dramatically increases the risk of fatal overdose. Signs of Fentanyl overdose may include:
- Severe breathing problems
- Drowsiness of unconsciousness
- Cold, clammy skin
- Low blood pressure
- Pinpoint pupils
- Slow heartbeat
Signs of Fentanyl Addiction
Fentanyl is considered a Schedule II opioid, similar to hydromorphone, morphine and oxycodone, which means it has a high potential for abuse and risk of fatal overdose. By some estimates, fentanyl is 80 times more potent than morphine. Whether an individual abuses Fentanyl once or for a prolonged period of time, Fentanyl addiction is a very real risk. Signs of Fentanyl addiction include: Tolerance (needing more of the drug to feel good) Trying to quit Fentanyl unsuccessfully Feeling preoccupied with getting or using Fentanyl Experiencing withdrawal when abruptly stopping use of the drug Typical Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Joint and muscle aches
- Insomnia or restlessness
- Sweating or chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Increased heart rate
Even when the situation seems hopeless, thousands of people can attest to the fact that Fentanyl addiction can be effectively treated and a healthy life restored. Residential Fentanyl rehab centers and outpatient prescription drug addiction treatment programs provide intensive therapy, relapse prevention planning and life skills training. The ultimate goal of Fentanyl rehab is a rewarding life free from drugs or alcohol.