Heroin and fentanyl are highly addictive opiates. These narcotics can cause addiction after only a few days of use. You do not need to have an “addictive personality” to become dependent on fentanyl or heroin. People with chronic pain, anxiety, and unprocessed trauma are especially susceptible to becoming dependent on these powerful opioids. Fentanyl and heroin provide temporary, almost-immediate relief from pain and emotional turmoil, but the relief comes at a cost. Contact Greater Boston Addiction Centers to learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs by calling 877.920.6583. Overcoming opioid addiction is challenging, but the result is more precious and joyful than many people can imagine.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an extremely powerful, easy-to-manufacture synthetic opioid designed to treat palliative care patients. Counterfeit drug manufacturers order fentanyl from China—or make it themselves—in order to up the potency of counterfeit Xanax, OxyContin, and Norco. It is also mixed with illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, and meth. Fentanyl is approximately 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It is frequently linked to overdose and death in Boston and around the world. A health alert recently published by the CDC notes an acceleration in U.S. overdose deaths in 2020. Fentanyl is largely to blame for this increase. Even taking physician-recommended amounts of fentanyl and carfentanil can be fatal. The side effects of fentanyl are similar to those of heroin:
- Extreme sensitivity to any discomfort
- Slurred speech and lack of balance
- Obsession and anxiety surrounding medication
- Sweating and shaking
- Muscle spasms
- Extreme mood swings
- Extreme lethargy
- Profound, unexplainable changes in behavior
Opioids like heroin and fentanyl rob people of their personalities, dreams, families, finances, and the will to live. Using high doses of opioids–especially when combined with other drugs– can cause organ failure, respiratory depression, and death. Recovering from opioid dependency takes time, support, and the right environment. Our staff has the resources and temperaments to help people regain control of their lives.
How Do Heroin and Fentanyl Affect the Brain?
Opioid receptors affect how we perceive and regulate pain and emotional discomfort. Heroin and fentanyl bind to opioid receptors found throughout the brain and body, flooding the brain’s reward centers with dopamine, a naturally occurring feel-good chemical. When used for long periods of time, opioids like fentanyl and heroin disrupt the body’s natural ability to create the neurochemicals responsible for regulating pleasure, pain, and distress. Activities that once gave people joy no longer cause the brain to release pleasurable chemicals. Acquiring the drug becomes their sole focus. Taking higher and higher doses creates physical and psychological dependency. Once the body and brain rely on these added chemicals, it is dangerous to stop taking them without medical supervision. The following programs have proven to be instrumental in the treatment of heroin and fentanyl addiction:
- Comprehensive rehab programs
- Intensive outpatient program
- Partial hospitalization program
- Evening intensive outpatient program
- Traditional outpatient program
How to Wean Off Opiates
Recognizing your health needs and the risks of long-term addiction is the first step in getting help. It’s simply not possible for men and women facing a fentanyl or heroin addiction to just stop using. Detoxing without medical support can cause sickness, seizures, and other health risks. You’ll spend time working with our professionals each day. We offer residential treatment and sober living referral options for both men and women for people who need additional support. These programs give you access to treatment and a place to rebuild.
Call Greater Boston Addiction Centers for Help Today
For men and women seeking fentanyl or heroin addiction treatment in Boston, our team offers a comprehensive range of programs guided by experienced, compassionate, accessible therapists. Take the first step today by calling Greater Boston Addiction Centers at 877.920.6583 or connecting with us online.