Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types
Fentanyl is one of the strongest opiate drugs on the market. It is not a long-lasting drug so it is often used for surgery recovery and for breakthrough pain—meaning that when a person is already taking an opiate but has temporary pain that breaks through the opiate barrier, they may be given fentanyl.
Time-release formulations for fentanyl provide strong pain relief over time. They come in two forms—a lollipop and a patch. Fentanyl also comes as a small piece of film that can be dissolved under the tongue and a pill meant to be lodged inside the cheek. In hospital settings, fentanyl can be injected. For the individual abusing the drug outside a hospital, this is highly dangerous, as the difference between a therapeutic dose and a deadly dose is very small.
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As with any opiate, the main symptoms of fentanyl abuse are euphoria, drowsiness, lethargy and mellowness. Fentanyl very quickly creates a tolerance to high doses, so a dose that is adequate for the intended high one week will probably not create that intended high even a few days later.In most cases, addiction is accompanied by a deterioration in personal integrity. It takes many unethical or criminal acts to maintain an addiction over time—either expenditure of large amounts of personal money or thefts, prescription fraud, doctor-shopping or other crimes, to get the drugs that are needed.
A fentanyl addict normally has secrets from most or all of the people they encounter regularly. If the thefts are from a workplace, as often happens, they will be living a secret life while at work. Hospitals, pharmacies and nursing homes are often the sites of fentanyl theft by desperate employees. Different people become addicted at different rates. Some addicts try to prevent addiction by letting time pass between usages of strong opiates and others feel compelled to use the drug continuously once they start, which walks them straight into addiction. Those coming off heavy fentanyl abuse will often be weaned down to a lower level before going through withdrawal, as unsupported withdrawal from strong opiates can be brutal.
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