How Mental Health Treatment Supports Fentanyl Recovery

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By Afshi

How Mental Health Treatment Supports Fentanyl Recovery: Within the boundaries of opioid misuse the side effects of fentanyl extend far beyond its immediate physical effects. Fentanyl is an extremely deadly drug, in fact, 0.002 grams consumed guarantees death. The deadly reputation of fentanyl often overshadows the detrimental effect it can have on a person’s mental health. 

Despite this not many people are aware of fentanyl, its characteristics, prevention, and cure for an overdose, causing them to become unfortunate and unexpecting victims of fentanyl addiction, and overdose.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a man-made synthetic opioid that is 50 times as potent as morphine and 100 times more potent than heroin. It was designed to relieve pain for cancer patients and people undergoing major surgeries. However, due to its addicting nature and high potency, it has been illicitly produced, sold, and consumed. This is the reason it is classified as a Schedule 2 control substance.

Medically it is Administered Via:

  • Injection
  • Lozenges
  • Nasal sprays
  • Transdermal patches 
  • Oral formulations

Illegally it is consumed by combining it with other drugs like heroin and cocaine. Fentanyl abuse can have adverse side effects on a person’s physical and mental well-being. 

This begs the question “What are the side effects of fentanyl abuse ?”.

Impact on Mental Health 

1. Dependency

Using fentanyl for recreational or even medical purposes can create a dependency for the drug in the body. This is only realised when to gain the same level of euphoria or pain relief a higher dose is required and cravings are not satisfied until a bigger dose is received. This is a sign of addiction.

2. Addiction

Due to the euphoric nature of fentanyl, it is combined with many other drugs for illicit use. So along with other drugs, an addiction to fentanyl can also happen, combining this with its ability to create a dependence fentanyl can become highly addictive.

3. Mood changes

When initially consumed fentanyl may induce feelings of euphoria and relaxation but as the effects start to wear off withdrawal symptoms and cravings start to accumulate leading to dysphoria and an irritable nature. Also, people with existing mental health disorders may experience exaggerated effects due to consumption of fentanyl.

4. Depression

Fentanyl may be seen as an escape from the troubles of real life, once again when the effect wears off the user realizes that everything is as they left it or worse. This leads to even more depression and addiction.

5. Negative outlook on life

Constant depression and addiction to fentanyl can create a negative outlook on life. With nothing going your way, it can inculcate suicidal thoughts and a loss of motivation to try to improve your situation.

6. Anxiety

Fentanyl use can lead to severe anxiety attacks, especially in the case of an intense craving or withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety and panic attacks can cause people to take deadly amounts of fentanyl leading to an overdose and putting them in critical danger.

7. Being secretive

Due to the stigma attached to addiction, a person may not disclose their vulnerability to their friends and family. They might become secretive, and avoid social interactions and as a result, their relationships might suffer adding on to the existing depression and anxiety.

8. Drug-induced psychosis

Fentanyl can cause drug-induced psychosis when consumed in large doses or in combination with all-in-one home drug testing kits USA

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia

Cognitive Impairment  

Fentanyl abuse can cause cognitive impairment, leading to difficulties in:

  • Attention and focusing
  • Memory 
  • Decision making 

Impact on Physical Health

1. Pain relief

Fentanyl binds to the opioid receptors in the brain making the consumer have a reduced perception of pain. 

2. Respiratory depression

The dangers of fentanyl abuse begin with the fact that it causes respiratory depression, the form of slow and shallow breathing. The slower breathing leads to lower blood oxygen levels in the body.

3. Sedation and drowsiness

Fentanyl makes the user lethargic, sleepy, and heavily sedated. It can also impair motor skills, reducing muscle and body coordination. 

4. Gastrointestinal effects 

Fentanyl can also affect the gastrointestinal system, leading to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation.

5. Unconsciousness

In case of an overdose, the low blood oxygen levels and low blood pressure combine to cause the user to fall unconscious.

6. Pinpoint pupils

Another overdose symptom is miosis in which the pupils of the eye appear constricted and smaller regardless of changes of lighting in a room. 

7. Discoloration on skin

Low oxygen levels due to fentanyl are also visible on the skin due to discoloration. The skin turns to a bluish or greyish hue and gets colder to the touch.

8. Weak pulse 

Low blood pressure due to fentanyl causes a weak pulse as the body struggles to maintain an adequate level of blood circulation.  

9. Cardiac arrest

In a worst-case scenario, a fentanyl overdose leads to a cardiac arrest, where the heart gives up and is unable to sustain the body. This leads to permanent brain and body damage, coma, and even death. 

Prevention and Cure For An Overdose

There is no fixed answer as to how long fentanyl effects last. It depends on:

  • Dosage size
  • Tolerance of the user
  • The way it was administered 
  • Metabolism

In such a case, knowing the side effects of fentanyl on mental and physical health, and the dangers of overdose, prevention is better than cure


1. Regulatory measures

By monitoring the production and distribution of fentanyl illegal production and trade can be recognized and reduced

2. Education 

Increasing public awareness and education about fentanyl is key to reducing the illicit use of the drug. 

3. Community collaboration

If different institutions combine their efforts including the health, law, and educational institutions a good impact can be made against the pandemic of fentanyl abuse.

4.Testing for fentanyl

As an individual, a good way to make sure your loved ones are not involved in fentanyl abuse is to test them for fentanyl using test strips or other fentanyl detection kits.

It is an affordable and convenient way and our fentalert testing pack direct to consumer kits can do just that. 


In case of an overdose, it is essential to administer naloxone as quickly as possible because every moment is critical. Naloxone is an anti-opioid used to treat opioid overdoses, in the case of fentanyl multiple doses may be required.


Fentanyl may be known for its deadly nature but it doesn’t mean life is any easier for surviving addicts. The stigma in our society against addicts leaves them secluded and ignored and with no other way to turn to, they opt for the only thing keeping them relaxed and calm. The side effects and symptoms of fentanyl are easily identifiable to the naked eye but to confirm it use Fentalert or any other fentanyl detection kit.

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