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Medically Reviewed By:
Dr. Patricia Sullivan MD MPH on 10/21/2021
Addiction to Meth and Fentanyl
Are you suffering from an addiction to meth and Fentanyl? We’re here to tell you that you’re not alone.
Meth and Fentanyl are becoming a common drug of choice combination in the United States. There are reasons for this increase in use, mainly the availability and potency of meth and Fentanyl, synthetic drugs made in clandestine labs.
Users prefer this mix of drugs because it allows them to regulate and balance the physical effects of these two strong and addictive drugs.
The bigger picture tells the troubling story that addiction impacts over 20 million Americans. There are also millions of Americans who identify as being in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.
In this guide, we cover meth and Fentanyl addiction.
If you need help overcoming an addiction to meth and Fentanyl, contact us today at (888) 906-0952 for a free treatment consultation. Overcoming addiction is a challenge, but with the right resources and support, you can achieve sobriety.
- Meth and Fentanyl Addiction Explained
- Fentanyl and Meth Speedball
- Treatment Option for Meth and Fentanyl
- Why do Individuals Use Drugs?
- How Does One Get Help for Meth and Fentanyl Addiction?
Attraction to Meth and Fentanyl
New growth in drug mixing has been occurring in the United States, specifically between methamphetamines and opiates.
The mixing of Meth and Fentanyl, in particular, is on the rise, according to the National Library of Medicine.
Data suggest users who are using meth and opiates together are attempting to “function normally.”
Individuals believe that meth was acting as a substitute for their opiate addiction, particularly Fentanyl.
Mixing the two drugs may allow users to control the effects they are feeling.
For example, some might use meth in the morning with a low dose of Fentanyl and then use only Fentanyl at night.
Others who are homeless or find themselves in unsafe situations may use meth at night to stay up to keep themselves safe.
Mixing meth and Fentanyl can also give the user powerful euphoric experiences, which adds to the attraction.
The use of meth, like a lot of addictive substances, comes with tolerance. Individuals using meth will grow more addicted as the use of it rises. Tolerance leads users to take larger doses, more often, and in different ways.
People are always looking for ways to alter the drug’s experience.
A quick stat on meth use in the United States
Under a million people aged 12 and up (0.4 percent of the US population) struggled with meth addiction in 2017. These individuals stated that their meth use was causing negative consequences in their lives.
The NIDA has found that meth users often lose the ability to feel the pleasure of any kind outside of the drug after consistent use. Of course, this only applies to decades-long use, and even so, the brain can heal and repair itself.
Alongside the collapse of feeling nondrug-related pleasures, the symptoms from meth withdrawals can be extreme.
According to the NIDA, initial withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, fatigue, and extreme craving for the drug.
More long-term withdrawal damage includes:
- Extreme anxiety
- Mass confusion
- Disturbances in mood
- Violent behavior
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
These are the most common symptoms shown by a chronic meth user. Psychotic behaviors are one of the most recognizable symptoms of individuals experiencing meth withdrawals. These symptoms can continue for months to years after an individual has stopped using the drug.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate that continues to increase in use across the United States. The drug is known for creating “rushes” of emotions and energy within a user. The intensity of feelings from Fentanyl depends on how quickly it gets to the brain. That is why Fentanyl use by injection is also increasing. Fentanyl being shot directly into the bloodstream allows the user to feel its impact faster.
Symptoms that come with Fentanyl include:
- Warm skin
- Dry mouth
- Heavy feelings to the body
- Severe itching
- Clouded mental function
- Slowed heart rate
- Slow unstable breathing
A mixture of these symptoms can be life-threatening. Often, users who use too much of the drug will fall into a coma or stop breathing altogether. The NIDA explained that opioids are easy to abuse because they depress pain receptors. Fentanyl does just that. Along with reduced pain receptors, tolerance for the drug also rises at a sharp rate. This results in larger doses injected and leads to more tolerance of the drug. The body adapts quickly to the amount of Fentanyl in the system, making it harder to use small doses of Fentanyl. This also amplifies the symptoms felt during withdrawal.
Meth and Fentanyl Speedball
What is a speedball? A speedball involves mixing two drugs of differing categories to achieve the desired result. Meth is a stimulant, otherwise known as an “upper,” while Fentanyl is considered a depressant or a “downer.”
The symptoms of stimulants include anxiety, increased blood pressure, and irregular heartbeats. Depressants can counteract some of these intense effects, leading to drowsiness, calm, and lowered breathing rate.
The NIDA described the combination as a “push-pull reaction in the body and brain.” This combination can have disastrous consequences. Individuals who partake in using meth and fentanyl speedball could face death from overloading the brain.
By taking a speedball, overdosing is likely to occur and can have other consequences.
The NIDA list of speedball overdose symptoms includes:
- General Confusion
- Blurred Vision
- Lack of Sleep
- Loss of Motor Skills
- Risk of death from stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, or respiratory failure.
- Extreme loss of breath
Many of the side effects associated with Fentanyl and meth are also felt while under the influence of a speedball. According to the NIDA, Fentanyl symptoms should be taken into consideration when coming off a speedball high. The symptoms of a speedball can be amplified from the drug mixture, increasing the likelihood of severe damage.
Understanding some of the symptoms that come with speedball use is vital. If you are an avid user of addictive substances, it is important to understand why mixing Meth and Fentanyl is unhealthy and could lead to death. The feelings that are experienced are not worth the consequences.
Furthermore, mixing meth and Fentanyl can lead to additional challenges in the detox process. However, medical professionals working in meth and fentanyl detox programs develop and follow a strong protocol to help patients detox.
Treatment Options and Methods for Meth and Fentanyl
Recovering from addiction is not an easy road to travel. It takes commitment and the yearning to be stronger than your addiction.
So how do you get help for a Meth and Fentanyl addiction? Is recovery even possible? The NIDA emphasizes yes, it is possible.
The medical and scientific world has found a way to approach substance use disorder (SUD) and effectively treat it.
With proper tools and guidance, a SUD can be managed so that individuals do not have to worry about falling back into bad habits.
These management systems are also known as substance treatment. They are special programs that are personalized to your needs for recovery.
Often, groups or individual therapies are implemented to change an individual’s way of thinking.
These therapies focus on negative behaviors and ways of thinking and readjust them into positive patterns.
Therapy also teaches individuals how to handle struggles of life without resorting to drug use. They also allow an individual to learn their triggers and how to avoid them best. A lot of addiction treatment options take several weeks, but others can last longer depending on the severity of the individual.
Furthermore, relapsing is a part of recovery for many individuals (although it doesn’t have to be).
It is a common misconception that relapsing is a sign of not recovering the right way.
Before dismissing therapy and addiction recovery altogether, understanding the options available to you is vital in deciding. The NIDA list the following therapies as effective for addiction recovery.
Patients will be assisted in recognizing, avoiding, and coping with situations that could lead to substance use.
Positive reinforcement is implanted for individuals who remain drug-free, attend counseling, or take their medication properly.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Strategies that help individuals ready to change their behaviors and enter treatment.
Individuals work with their families to address substance abuse patterns to improve family relations.
A form of individual therapy delivered in a 12-week session format to prepare individuals for entering 12-step programs. 12 step programs are designed to assist with social skills during and post-treatment.
Understanding how the treatment will help you is the first step, no matter what you’re going through.
Going to rehab for meth and fentanyl addiction is not a sign of weakness but strength. When battling an addiction to harmful substances like meth and Fentanyl, treatment is the best way to get back to a happy and productive lifestyle.
If you’re looking into your options now, you are likely mustering up the energy for the fight. If you’re on the fence or feel a bit double-minded about seeking treatment (one minute you want to, the next you don’t), please know that’s normal.
The most important thing is pushing forward and doing the right thing anyway. Getting yourself help is the best thing you can do.
Side note: Learn about the Stages of Change in Addiction.
Why do Individuals Use Drugs?
There are many reasons why individuals use drugs. Mostly, it’s because of the way the drugs make you feel. Drugs can change your entire mood, dull, or bring out intense feelings. Drugs interact with different receptors that control your emotional and physical state.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that some drugs like Fentanyl mimic neurotransmitters in the brain, providing false signals to different receptors.
Meth causes neurons to release heavy amounts of neurotransmitters, causing a disruption in natural creation.
The influence drugs have on dopamine creation is one of the many reasons it is so difficult to seek treatment and see it through.
Dopamine is the happy neurotransmitter in the brain, which makes us happy when doing something positive that we enjoy.
Addictive substances cause dopamine to be released in large amounts, so natural enjoyment cannot create dopamine in the same quantities as substances.
Additionally, life drives many individuals to drug use. Let’s discover some of the biological, environmental, and mental factors that lead to drug use.
If the home is unsafe, it causes many young individuals to seek an escape. For many, drugs fill this gap and help create a division from the struggles at home. Additionally, if parents use drugs in front of young adults, they will likely pick up on the habit.
Mental Health Problems
When mental health goes untreated, individuals will begin looking for ways to counter their problems. For many people with depression, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD), addictive substances are a way to break away from unpleasant emotions.
Difficulty with school, work, and relationships
Struggles in professional settings like school or work can create a desire to use drugs to avoid thinking about them. Alongside this, relationship problems can also cause individuals to pick up drugs.
If friends or family use drugs regularly, substance use may seem like a norm. Also, young adults are known for pressuring others into doing things they might not do otherwise.
Young adults who began using substances at a young age have affected the brain and body. Creating an addiction at a young age often leads to drug abuse when older. Many young individuals do not seek treatment, so they never stop using drugs.
Biology is critical in how drugs will affect your body. The NIDA says that some people will try drugs once and not like the experience and never use them again. On the other hand, some people will become hooked to the feeling those drugs created, becoming addicted. The organization says that science, as of right now, has no way of testing how individuals will react to a drug before trying it.
How Does One Get Help for Meth and Fentanyl Addiction?
Addiction can take a toll on you, your loved ones, work, and schooling if not addressed. Meth and Fentanyl damage your body and mind, and this increases as time goes on. Early intervention is key, and it is worth getting help now and having a bright future.
Call us at the provided number below and get started on overcoming addiction. Addiction is a disease that many individuals will struggle to overcome, but it is possible. With the right help and support, addiction can become a part of the past. Living a healthy, substance-free future starts now.
Sources on Meth and Heroin Addiction Data
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