Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and, therefore, part of what drives the fatalities of the opioid epidemic in the United States. According to the California Department of Public Health, in California, there were nearly 6,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2021. Fentanyl abuse has become a public health problem in recent years, leading to an increase in fatalities. In fact, this type of addiction can lead to severe physical and psychological health complications. Fentanyl addiction treatment can be a long and challenging journey, but it can be overcome. Call 877.466.0620 to speak with someone from the caring and compassionate team at Destinations for Teens about how to spot fentanyl addiction signs in teens and our fentanyl addiction treatment options across California.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that acts quickly on the brain’s receptors, producing an intense euphoric sensation. It is often prescribed for chronic pain sufferers, cancer patients, and those in palliative care. However, illicitly-made fentanyl is cheaper and more potent than prescription fentanyl, making it a popular street drug. The smallest dose of fentanyl can be fatal if someone does not have a tolerance to opioids. This is why people who abuse fentanyl are at a high risk of overdosing. Fentanyl abuse can develop in multiple ways. Some people begin using fentanyl recreationally and, over time, become addicted. In other cases, people start using fentanyl as a prescription drug, and their use develops into addiction. Teens may begin using the drug out of curiosity or peer pressure, unaware of the dangers of the substance. Fentanyl is a highly addictive substance, and individuals can quickly develop dependency.
What Are the Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse in Teens?
Teens who abuse fentanyl expose themselves to severe risks, ranging from overdose to mental health disorders. Ingesting fentanyl is a severe violation of the central nervous system (CNS), leading to respiratory distress, coma, and even death. Fentanyl is also potentially dangerous for teen mental health, as it can cause anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. It can also lead to the development of addiction, which is a chronic and lifelong disease.
What Are the Signs of Fentanyl Addiction in Teens?
As a parent or loved one, you may notice changes in your teenager’s behavior if they develop a fentanyl addiction. Some of the most common symptoms of fentanyl addiction include:
- Reckless behavior
- Isolation from loved ones
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Changes in academic or work performance
Teens may also display physical symptoms such as frequent sweating, poor coordination, and dilated pupils. Sometimes, they may also attempt to steal or borrow money from loved ones to sustain their habit.
How to Help a Younger Loved One Struggling with Fentanyl Addiction
If you suspect a loved one has a fentanyl addiction, it is essential to offer support and guidance. Start by gently communicating your concerns and letting them know you are there to help them. Please encourage them to seek professional help from a doctor or therapist specializing in addiction treatment. Avoid making them feel guilty or judged, and keep conversations about the addiction and possible treatment options open and honest. The most effective way to treat fentanyl addiction is through a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan. Treatment can include detoxification, medication-assisted therapy, counseling, behavioral therapy, and support groups. Therapy aims to help teens understand their addiction better and learn how to cope with triggers and situations that may lead to relapse. Depending on the severity of the addiction, teens may require inpatient or outpatient care.
Find Teen Fentanyl Addiction Treatment in California with Destinations for Teens
Fentanyl addiction is a severe, life-threatening condition. Early recognition of the symptoms of fentanyl addiction can save your teen’s life. If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction, you can find the help and support you need at Destinations for Teens. Our team of professionals is here to support you throughout your recovery journey and help you regain a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. Contact Destinations for Teens today at 877.466.0620 to learn more.