- Short-Term Effects Of Smoking Fentanyl
- Long-Term Effects Of Smoking Fentanyl
- Dangers Of Smoking Fentanyl
- Treatment For Fentanyl Abuse
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be smoked. It is available as a fentanyl patch, lozenge, or tablet. Fentanyl is an opiate and belongs in the schedule II drug class, making it potentially habit-forming for those who take this drug.
When it comes to the illicit drug market, fentanyl is sold as a powder that can also be smoked, snorted, or watered down and injected. To smoke fentanyl, a person can remove the gel from a transdermal patch. Once removed, it can be heated and then inhaled.
Fentanyl is used to treat chronic pain, but fentanyl use may lead to dependency. In addition to this, those who smoke fentanyl increase their risk of overdose due to the fact that fentanyl affects the central nervous system (CNS).
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), fentanyl can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Smoking fentanyl can lead to a number of serious side effects.
Short-Term Effects Of Smoking Fentanyl
There are a number of short-term side effects of smoking fentanyl, and this form of opioid use can lead to various health concerns.
Euphoria, Sedation, & Relaxation
When smoking fentanyl, a person experiences an immediate sedative sensation. They may have feelings of happiness and complete relaxation. The drug enters your bloodstream quickly, causing effects of euphoria to take place almost immediately.
Despite the feelings of sedation, there are side effects that can be more dangerous than you might believe. For instance, drownings, falls, and motor vehicle accidents may take place if a person experiences extreme drowsiness or dizziness.
A person may also feel constipated and nauseous, which can lead to stomach cramps or vomiting.
Long-Term Effects Of Smoking Fentanyl
A person who smokes fentanyl chronically over a long period of time may suffer from serious long-term side effects.
Damage To Lung Health
Due to inhaling fentanyl, your lungs may receive damage, especially after prolonged use. You may develop a chronic cough, dry mouth, or other serious concerns.
One of the many side effects of fentanyl use is shallow or slowed breathing. Your lungs can be further damaged from smoking the substance, leading to possible respiratory depression.
Damage To Heart Health
Constant fentanyl drug use can cause damage to your mouth and heart. Over time, you may experience tooth decay from the constant inhalation. If you develop gum disease, you have an increased risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
Other heart problems may take place due to the fluctuations in heart rate when a person experiences withdrawal or overdose symptoms.
Another long-term side effect of smoking fentanyl can be opioid dependence. If a person continues to smoke more to achieve a greater high, they may begin to partake in other forms of fentanyl abuse.
Cravings for the drug may develop after chronic drug use. This can lead someone to turn to other drugs or higher doses. A person may exhibit physical dependency symptoms during this time.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms from smoking fentanyl can be severe and may include:
- uncontrollable leg movements
- joint and muscle pain
- cold flashes
- sleeping difficulty
- cravings for the drug
Thankfully, medications such as methadone and buprenorphine can help reduce or ease opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Dangers Of Smoking Fentanyl
In addition to the numerous short-term and long-term side effects of smoking fentanyl, there are a variety of dangers as well.
Fentanyl can sometimes be combined with methamphetamine and heroin without a person knowing. This can have disastrous results, causing potential toxicity or coma.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that fentanyl can serve as a direct substitute for heroin due to its potency. This substitute can lead to breathing problems.
Illicit fentanyl is also a concern, as those who abuse the drug may not realize the drug is laced with other illegal drugs which may be more harmful when added together.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking fentanyl can lead to an opioid overdose and plays a part in the opioid public health crisis.
Due to the potency of fentanyl, a drug overdose can occur. A person using a fentanyl patch should remember to never concurrently use other CNS depressants such as the benzodiazepine xanax, alcohol, or oxycodone.
Fentanyl abuse can result in overdose death if naloxone is not immediately administered. Naloxone, or brand name Narcan, can reverse the life-threatening effects of overdose.
Treatment For Fentanyl Abuse
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- aftercare options
- group therapy support
- medication-assisted treatment with Suboxone
To learn more, please contact one of our healthcare professionals today.
Northeast Addition Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.