What is Fentanyl?

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A common question asked when it comes to addiction to substances is “What is fentanyl?”. This is a valid question when someone is struggling with this substance. The changes that can occur in the personality, ambition, and wellness of an individual struggling with fentanyl are drastic. It is only natural to want further understanding of the substance. Understanding what fentanyl is, as well as how it can affect someone can be vital information when trying to seek help.

What is Fentanyl Used For?

It is common practice to prescribe opioid pain medications for the treatment of severe pain. This can include pain due to injury, surgery, or a chronic pain condition. Fentanyl is a medication that is commonly used in the treatment of pain. Despite its legitimate uses, fentanyl has a high potential of being abused. Due to the effects that it produces, many people seek this drug out illicitly for the purpose of getting high. This is dangerous in that abusing opioids like fentanyl can have devastating results for the user and their loved ones. 

Prolonged use of opioids like fentanyl often results in dependence and addiction. This means that the body has become accustomed to having the drug administered, and in order to function properly, continued use must occur. When dependence has occurred and a person tries to stop using or cut back on using fentanyl, it can result in some pretty severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can make it extremely difficult to stop using this drug without professional help.

Why is Fentanyl Dangerous?

Fentanyl is a drug that has dangerous effects on the central nervous system within the body. The central nervous system (CNS) is crucial for different and vital functions in the body. It comprises the brain and spinal cord and is responsible for functions like thoughts, moving, and breathing. When the CNS is suppressed, all of the different functions are also affected. The effects of fentanyl are what make it so dangerous to those that are struggling. 

Fentanyl can result in overdose with very little amounts being administered. It can be absorbed through the skin and can also be breathed in and result in overdose. Because fentanyl slows cognitive function, breathing and movement, overdose on this substance can be fatal. It can also result in organ damage and coma. Getting proper care as swiftly as possible is crucial to being able to overcome addiction to fentanyl and surviving the potential dangers.

Effects of Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a drug widely used illicitly to feel the effects and get high. Like many opioids, using fentanyl for a prolonged period of time will result in dependence and addiction to the substance resulting in drastic repercussions. The effects of fentanyl can range from relaxation to more severe effects like slowed heart rate. Being aware of these effects can help someone who is struggling with fentanyl to begin healing and get help to end the addiction. Other effects of fentanyl include:

  • Euphoria
  • Slowed breathing
  • Pain relief
  • Nodding in and out of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Hallucination
  • Dizziness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Itching 
  • Rash
  • Drowsiness


The effects of euphoria and relaxation are often what leads many to this drug being so widely abused. Fentanyl is dangerous. Abusing this drug can result in overdose and death. Getting proper care is crucial to avoiding these negative effects.

Fentanyl Withdrawal

Once a person’s body becomes accustomed to a certain level of fentanyl, abruptly ending its use results in withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms associated with fentanyl can be extremely uncomfortable and even dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle cramps and aches
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Depression
  • anxiety

When someone stops using fentanyl, the body goes through a shock to the system. Physical withdrawal isn’t always dangerous, but the symptoms that can occur could result in dangerous impacts to health. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can contribute to dehydration which is extremely dangerous. When someone becomes dehydrated, the kidneys can suffer damage. Cravings are also a dangerous component of fentanyl withdrawal. Fentanyl is a drug that can change the way the brain operates. When it is removed, the brain continues to want the substance. This is partially why professional care is so highly suggested. Many who try to quit using fentanyl “cold turkey” end up using again due to the level of craving they experience. Other physical symptoms of withdrawal can contribute to relapse, and having a means of alleviating the symptoms of withdrawal can make the process of healing easier.

Recovery is Possible

Fentanyl is an extremely dangerous substance. It can lead to severe impacts to a person’s lifestyle and overall well-being. From addiction to overdose, struggling with fentanyl can be a devastating experience. If you or a loved one are struggling, there is help available. At The Healing Center, we offer compassionate care for those who are struggling to find peace and healing. Our professional and trained staff is available to help you begin your journey. Call us today!