Trying to manage an addiction to fentanyl can make your loved one feel like they’re adrift at sea. The sheer physical compulsions associated with an addiction of this nature are completely debilitating and can impact their physical well-being, mental health and social connectivity on every level.
Additionally, a fentanyl addiction can drive an individual into solitude to keep their addiction going, while trying to hide the shame they feel for the way their fentanyl use has overrun their existence.
As a loved one to an individual who might be contending with a fentanyl use disorder, it’s vital to understand that you – and other supportive friends and family who can provide help and guidance – are a critically important component to helping your loved one overcome a disease of this nature.
While it may be difficult, finding ways to initiate a conversation about their addiction can prove to be a potentially lifesaving interaction.
What Are the Symptoms of Fentanyl Addiction?
Some of the more common symptoms associated with a fentanyl addiction can include:
- Nodding Off
For many individuals, using fentanyl causes them to enter a trance-like state known as nodding off. When someone is abusing fentanyl, they may appear alert one second and then go in and out of consciousness as the drug takes over their system.
This type of reaction can happen anywhere after your loved one uses, including when they’re sitting up at the dinner table or even while standing.
- Drastic Weight Loss
Fentanyl addiction can suppress your loved one’s appetite, leading to extreme weight fluctuations due to the impact of their drug use. If you notice that your loved one has lost a considerable amount of weight without any valid reason, take notice. This is a definite red flag that there’s something unhealthy going on and it needs to be addressed.
- Significant Shifts in Personality
A fentanyl addiction can dramatically change how your loved one behaves. For example, if they’re normally easygoing and friendly, they can become irritable and short-tempered while under the influence of fentanyl.
If your loved one begins acting extremely agitated and erratic, unable to sit still or manage their responses, there is a good chance something negative is going on to cause this behavior and should be discussed.
While these are some of the most common signs that your loved one may be struggling with a fentanyl addiction, some other red flags can include:
- Poor work performance
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Lack of motivation
- Decreased interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Socializing with new friends that may seem questionable
- Mood swings and trouble managing emotions
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Financial problems
- Engaging in secretive behaviors
- Unexpected legal troubles
How to Identify Fentanyl Abuse Symptoms
Every person is unique, making their addictive behavioral patterns specific to them and their circumstances. However, there are a few key indicators that can help you identify if your loved one is struggling with a fentanyl addiction. These include:
- Obvious Behavioral Changes
Your loved one’s addiction will impact every area of their life. They will seek out fentanyl and use it even though their substance use negatively impacts their health, personal relationships and daily functioning.
The behavioral changes that result from their addiction are often the first signs that their addiction is growing out of control and can include frequent arguments, engaging in risky behaviors and neglecting personal hygiene.
- Physical Signs of Drug Use
Fentanyl addiction can have devastating effects on your loved one’s physical health. Being able to identify the physical impact of their substance use is essential for you to address their addiction and begin working with them to enter into a safe clinical setting.
It’s common for your loved one to show certain physical signs that may include insomnia, nausea, trembling hands, dilated pupils and track marks (if they use intravenously).
- Drug Paraphernalia
While you don’t want to invade your loved one’s personal space, you can look for paraphernalia in shared living spaces. If uncertain whether or not to search the individual’s personal space, consult with a therapist or addiction professional beforehand.
Some telltale signs of fentanyl use may include pipes for smoking the substance, spoons to heat their drug mixtures before injection, needles for intravenous use, and drug residue from prior ingestion.
In the case of fentanyl, it’s imperative that you don’t touch anything that may have had the drug on it. Why? Because in its powdered form, one milligram – or a grain about the size of a single piece of sea salt – is enough to cause an overdose if it contacts your skin.
Is Your Loved One Displaying Fentanyl Addiction Symptoms? There Is Real, Life-Changing Help
When dealing with a fentanyl use disorder, there truly is no time to waste in addressing the addiction.
If you believe your loved one is living with an addiction to fentanyl, there are qualified treatment facilities that can address their disease in a safe and clinically sound environment.
The best place to start is with a simple conversation, discussing the obvious dangers of fentanyl use with them and the positive impact that residential treatment can have on their life.
This can be the encouragement they need to finally overcome their substance addiction and begin their journey back to health and prosperity.
Holistic Opioid Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
If you have a loved one in the grips of an opioid addiction, there is help.
It is our firm belief at Ranch Creek Recovery that your loved one can recover from their disease and rebuild an abstinent, productive life.
We address addiction recovery and relapse prevention head-on through our non-12-step, individualized, holistic addiction treatment programs. Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with your loved one to create a custom treatment and recovery plan that will help them feel confident and ready to enter their new, sober life.
Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including our opioid detox and rehab program.
Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.