If you believe you or someone else is experiencing fentanyl overdose symptoms, please call 911 right away. Fentanyl is an extremely potent potentially fatal drug and should not be underestimated.
Fentanyl, also known as fentanil, is an incredibly potent synthetic opioid pain medication with a rapid onset and short duration of action. This drug is considered to be around 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, while some fentanyl analogues such as carfentali, which are designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of the original drug, may be as much as 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl brand names include:
Individuals who abuse opioids, particularly heroin, are more likely to ingest fentanyl, knowingly or unintentionally. This puts them at an even higher risk of overdose.
In 2015 alone, 33,091 people died due to overdose on opioids like fentanyl.
Learning how to recognize the indications of a fentanyl overdose and getting professional substance abuse treatment may save a life.
Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms: Side Effects of Fentanyl
As an extremely potent opioid drug, fentanyl is very carefully prescribed and dosed by medical professionals. Those who abuse fentanyl may use the drug outside of prescription guidelines or without a prescription altogether, which can drastically increase their risk of lethal overdose.
Fentanyl’s most common side effects of Fentanyl use include
- Dry mouth
Some of the less common side effects of Fentanyl use include:
- Abdominal pain
- Anorexia and weight loss
- Flu-like symptoms
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
- Urinary retention abuse
Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms: Risks of abuse
With a powerful drug like fentanyl the risk of abuse is exceedingly high, especially considering the drug’s medical use is so limited to treating extreme cases. So when people take fentanyl in higher doses or more frequently than prescribed it of course elevates their risk for serious side effects and experiencing fentanyl overdose symptoms.
As far as recreational use, fentanyl is extremely dangerous. Using this drug in any way other than intended, such as snorting or injecting it, is not only illicit abuse of the chemical, but potentially life-threatening. In recent years drug dealers have been mixing fentanyl powder with heroin to increase potency or compensate for low-quality heroin. This illegally manufactured, non-pharmaceutical fentanyl cut into other substances caused an outbreak of overdose deaths in the United States and Canada over the past several years.
Combining fentanyl with other drugs can have effects that either compound the already severe side effects of fentanyl or contradict the effect and cause more chaos in the body. Using fentanyl with other substances is very hazardous, especially with drugs such as:
- Antidepressant medication
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study recently that showed:
- 82% of fentanyl overdose deaths involved illegally manufactured fentanyl
- Only 4% were suspected to originate from a prescription
National Forensic Laboratory Information System reported:
- 942 fentanyl seizures in 2013
- 3,344 fentanyl seizures in 2014
Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms: Signs to Look For
Being able to address a possible overdose means being able to recognize and understand some of the possible fentanyl overdose symptoms. While one of these may not be a definite indication, noticing a combination of symptoms may be a more serious issue.
A person experiencing fentanyl overdose symptoms may present with the following overdose signs:
- Pinpoint pupils
- Pale skin
- Choking sounds or gurgling/snoring noises
- Weak muscles
- Extreme sleepiness
- Very low blood pressure
- Dangerously slowed or stopped breathing
- Blue skin tinge nails and lips
- Loss of consciousness
- Intensely slowed heart beat
The effects of fentanyl overdose symptoms on an individual’s respiratory system and heart rate are the most serious relating to risk of death or permanent damage. Not only can this lead to coma or death, but even after surviving the overdose there can still be complications.
If not treated immediately, the impact of fentanyl overdose symptoms on the heart and respiratory system may cause residual problems such as permanent brain damage.
Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms: How Much Is Too Much?
It is difficult to determine the exact dose it would take for someone to experience fentanyl overdose symptoms. According to some medical professionals, 250 micograms of fentanyl might represent a lethal dose of fentanyl. However, most individual’s using heroin and other drugs are unaware that they have ingested the drug at all, let alone know how much fentanyl is in the doses.
At the end of the day, fentanyl overdose symptoms can vary depending on the individual, and the amount it takes to overdose will vary to. Some elements that impact the odds of overdosing includes:
- Other drugs taken
- Physical condition
In the event of an overdose of fentanyl you should seek immediate emergency medical assistance. Some cases require several doses of Narcan (Naloxone), the opioid overdose antidote, to stabilize the individual suffering from an overdose. Even if you have access to Narcan or Naloxone yourself, always contact emergency medical services to get assistance, because when the antidote wears off the overdose could return, or there may be other severe complications.
Opiate medications and street drugs have done a great deal of damage these past few years. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl have raised the risks and increased the death rates in a big way. Far too many lives are ruined, or brought to an abrupt end, because of overdoses when there is real help out there. Don’t wait until after an overdose. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.
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Cocaine is a strong stimulant categorized as a Schedule II controlled substance, commonly abused as a recreational drug. While this infamous substance has been illegal for recreational use for decades, it hasn’t lost too much of its popularity on the illicit market. But do people really know how dangerous this drug is?
Cocaine not only harms the individual physically, but also harms their psychological and neurological health. Not to mention their personal and professional lives. So what are the side effects of cocaine?
What are the Side Effects of Cocaine: Short Term
This stimulant creates an intense but short-lived feeling of euphoria that is often immediately followed by some uncomfortable side-effects. This is typically why people who use the drug experience such intense cravings for more. Ultimately, there is an assortment of short term side effects of cocaine, including:
- Loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- High body temperature
- Contracted blood vessels
- Increased rate of breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Bizarre, erratic, sometimes violent behavior
- Intense euphoria
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Intense drug craving
- Panic and psychosis
- Seizures and sudden death
That last one is especially important because this is something most people fail to realize about cocaine. The reality is, no matter how much of the drug is used or how often, cocaine can cause a stroke, heart attack, seizure or respiratory failure resulting in death with even the first use of a seemingly insignificant amount.
What are the Side Effects of Cocaine: Long Term
Like any other substance put into the body over an extended period of time, a powerful drug like cocaine can cause long term side effects. Some of these long term side effects are directly correlated to the method of use such as:
- Sniffing cocaine can damage tissues in nose, causing the loss of the sense of smell, sniffling, nosebleeds and hoarseness
- Injecting cocaine can cause infectious diseases and abscesses, or allergic reactions and collapsed veins
- Smoking cocaine can cause respiratory failure
Other more general long term side effects of cocaine include:
- Permanent damage to blood vessels
- Weight loss
- Severe tooth decay
- Sexual problems
- Reproductive damage and infertility (for both men and women)
- Irritability and mood disturbances
- Increased frequency of risky behavior
- Delirium or psychosis
- Severe depression
- Tolerance and addiction (even after just one use)
- Liver, kidney and lung damage
What are the Side Effects of Cocaine: Health Risks
Cocaine is extremely destructive to the body. Just a few examples of how the side effects of cocaine ravage the body include:
- Heart health
Cocaine can impact you heart health in a number of ways. The drug causes inflammation of the heart muscle, increases heart rate and increases blood pressure while constricting the arteries supplying blood to the heart. This can lead to heart attack, even in young people without heart disease.
Cocaine can also trigger a deadly abnormal heart rhythm called arrhythmia.
The most common way cocaine is used is through snorting because the method sends the drug quickest to the brain to be absorbed. But snorting cocaine can cause a variety of serious lung issues, like:
Chronic cocaine users often have shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and chest pain.
The side effects of cocaine on the brain can constrict blood vessels, resulting in strokes. Again, it can happen with even young people without other risk factors for strokes. Cocaine’s impact on the brain also causes seizures and can lead to bizarre or violent behavior. Chronic users can even experience bleeding inside the brain and swelling of the walls of the cerebral blood vessels.
Some studies have indicated that cocaine use also harms the gray and white matter in the brain, impairing cognitive functioning.
- Lungs and respiratory system
Snorting cocaine damages the nose and sinuses. Regular use can cause nasal perforation. Gastrointestinal tract. Cocaine constricts blood vessels supplying the gut. The resulting oxygen starvation can cause ulcers, or even perforation of the stomach or intestines.
Long term use of cocaine can cause sudden, overwhelming kidney failure through a process called rhabdomyolysis. Cocaine is also nephrotoxic, meaning users will do damage to the kidneys simply by introducing the substance into the body. In people with high blood pressure, regular cocaine use can accelerate the long-term kidney damage caused by high blood pressure.
The metabolite of cocaine called Cocaethylene also damages kidneys.
What are the Side Effects of Cocaine: Withdrawal Symptoms
Common withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Agitation and restless behavior
- Nerve pain
- Muscle aches
- Intense cravings
- Generalized discomfort or uneasiness
- Increased appetite
- Vivid and unpleasant dreams
- Slowing of activity
All of the side effects of cocaine indicate that a safe medical detox supported by experienced professionals in the field of addiction treatment can be a pivotal turning point. While detoxing off of any drug can be a frightening concept for those who do not know what to expect, it often means the difference between a life worth living and suffering from a fatal illness.
Addressing the withdrawal symptoms and side effects of cocaine addiction is an important piece of getting better and getting your life back. All you have to do is take the first step. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.
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Xanax is a brand name of the drug Alprazolam; one of the most popularly prescribed medications in the country, and yet it is associated with plenty of side-effects and very serious health problems. In the benzodiazepine (benzo) category of medications Alprazolam is the most prescribed and often most abused substance on the list. Xanax is used to treat:
It is also prescribed to be used as a muscle relaxer, stress reliever and sleep aid. However, it has earned its name on the DEA list of schedule IV controlled substances, and comes with a laundry list of side effects. These side effects will vary in frequency and intensity depending on many factors. Some are more common, while others are indications of a more serious health risk.
What Are the Side Effects of Xanax: Common
The more moderate side effects of Xanax include:
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Decreased sex drive
- Feeling light headed
- Slurred speech
- Memory impairment
- Weight gain/loss
- Blurred vision
- Changes in appetite
What Are the Side Effects of Xanax: Less Common
There is a very extensive list of side effects people have reported in connection to Xanax that are less common. Some of these side effects of Xanax include:
- Abdominal/stomach pain
- Body aches
- Drastic behavioral changes
- Decreased frequency and/or volume of urine
- Dry mouth
- Ear congestion
- Irregularities with eyes
- Irregular heartbeats
- Joint pain
- Loss of bladder control
- Painful urination
- Swollen joints
- Tightness in the chest
- Uncontrolled movements
- Unpleasant breath odor
- Yellow eyes or skin
What Are the Side Effects of Xanax: Severe
There are also some side effects that are listed that are more severe than others. Some of these should be taken extremely serious, and can be signs of a much more severe and potentially life-threatening condition.
- Suicidal thoughts
- Vomiting Blood
- Chest pains
- Breathing problems (deep and slow or fast)
- Ear pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Feeling unusually cold
- Hearing loss
- Lack of feeling or emotion
- Loss of control of limbs
- Severe sleepiness
In 2012, a study released by SAMHSA found that benzo drugs like Xanax accounted for around 35% of drug-related visits to hospital emergency and urgent care facilities.
What Are the Side Effects of Xanax: Withdrawal Symptoms
Xanax works very fast and has a relatively short half-life, which causes withdrawal symptoms to begin very rapidly once the individual discontinues their use, which is why a Xanax addiction detox program is so important. Most people will start to feel withdrawal symptoms within 12 hours once they stop using Xanax, and those symptoms will peak within 3-4 days. Residual and long-term symptoms of withdrawal can even last for up to months at a time.
Going through a medical Xanax addiction detox program is so important because of the severity of some of these symptoms, especially in combination with other substances such as alcohol which will increase the discomfort. The most common withdrawal symptoms from Xanax include:
- Blurred vision
- Muscle aches
- Tension in the jaw and/or teeth pain
- Numbness in fingers
- Tingling in limbs
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Alteration in sense of smell
- Loss of appetite
- Heart palpitations
- Impaired respiration
There are other side-effects that happen when combining Xanax with other substances, especially with other depressant type drugs such as alcohol. When combining Xanax with alcohol, it can create even more serious health problems, like:
- Behavioral changes
- Severe sedation
- Psychomotor agitation
Withdrawal from either substance can be risky, but the combined effects can be lethal.
What Are the Side Effects of Xanax: Important Factors
When it comes to the Xanax side effects, or side effects for any drug, there are important factors that come into play. For instance, the amount of the substance used matters. If someone takes a higher dose of Xanax more frequently, they will most likely experience side effects different than someone who takes lower doses less frequently. The method of use can also impact the side effects.
Also, any additional substances or medications being used along with Xanax can cause the side effects to become more severe. Someone combining Xanax with other sedatives may experience side effects in a different way than someone combining Xanax with stimulant drugs.
Finally, side effects may also vary for anyone dealing with pre-existing health conditions or co-occurring mental health disorders. If an individual already has kidney or lung problems, their side effects may be very different than someone who is physically healthy but struggles with a mental illness like bipolar depression.
What Are the Side Effects of Xanax: Addiction
Out of all the side effects for Xanax, addiction is definitely a serious problem. Developing a physical dependence that then evolves into a substance use disorder can not only cause extensive damage to the individual’s life, it can exacerbate all other side effects and symptoms.
Extended use of a drug like Xanax can cause new health problems. With the brain, benzo drugs can cause malfunctions in coordination and damage brain cells. It can affect how the brain operates and have lasting psychological effects. One of these can be the cravings for the drug, as well as dramatic mood shifts.
Some research published in 2016 actually suggests that long-term use of benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax significantly increases the risk for brain, colorectal, and lung cancers.
Addiction is something that doesn’t only manifest in a physical form. Drug addiction also takes a mental and emotional toll. All the effects can be extremely difficult to overcome, and can even be dangerous when unmonitored. Anyone trying to overcome Xanax addiction should attend a safe medical detox program. Even with some prescriptions of symptom controlling medications, a quick detox can be very tough and uncomfortable. A drastic drug detox should never be attempted without medical supervision.
With Xanax addiction treatment, there should be a strong medical staff to assist in a comfortable transition from active substance abuse. There should also be levels of personal and professional therapy and a specialized team dedicated to designing an aftercare program that meets the specific elements of a long-term recovery plan. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.
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