June 21, 2024

Top 5 Fentanyl Myths Addressed

image depicting people discussing fentanyl myths

There are many fentanyl myths that people believe which can be very dangerous. By knowing the facts, you can stay safe and help others understand the risks of this deadly opioid.

This guide dispels myths about fentanyl exposure and fentanyl overdose. It also shows you how to connect with effective treatment for fentanyl addiction.

If you need emergency fentanyl detox and same-day rehab admission, call 800-994-2184.

1. Does Fentanyl Overdose Only Happen to Long-Term Users?

Fentanyl overdose can happen to anyone, even if it’s their first time using it. Fentanyl is a powerful drug, much stronger than other opioids like morphine or heroin. Even a tiny amount can be deadly. If someone does not understand how strong fentanyl is and accidentally takes too much, it can lead to an overdose. 

Those who use fentanyl long-term are also at risk because their bodies might need more of the drug to feel the same effects, which increases the chance of fentanyl overdose.

In many cases, people take drugs unknowingly mixed with fentanyl. Laced drugs are even more dangerous as the person is not aware they are taking fentanyl.

Fact: Anyone can overdose on fentanyl, regardless of their experience with drugs.

2. Can Touching Fentanyl Kill You?

Touching fentanyl is unlikely to kill you, but it can still be dangerous. Fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin, and this can make you feel very sick. You might feel dizzy, weak, or have trouble breathing. However, you should not experience these fentanyl exposure symptoms unless in constant and direct contact.

If you find something that looks like fentanyl, do not touch it with your bare hands. Call the police or emergency services. People who work in emergency services are trained to deal with fentanyl safely.

Fact: While just touching fentanyl is not fatal, fentanyl contact can be damaging.

3. Are Fentanyl-Laced Drugs Easy to Spot?

Fentanyl-laced drugs are not easy to spot. Fentanyl can be mixed with other substances without changing how they look, smell, or taste. This makes it very risky because you might not know if a drug contains fentanyl. 

Drug dealers sometimes mix fentanyl with heroin, cocaine, xylazine, or fake prescription pills to make them stronger and cheaper. However, this is extremely dangerous because even a small amount of fentanyl can cause an overdose. Because you can’t see, smell, or taste fentanyl in these drugs, it’s hard to tell if they are safe. 

The only way to avoid this risk is not to use illicit drugs. Always be careful and stay informed about the dangers of fentanyl-laced drugs. Only use medications prescribed by a doctor and avoid any illegal drugs.

Fact: Often, it is not possible to spot fentanyl-laced drugs.

image depicting people discussing fentanyl contact myths

4. Is Fentanyl Overdose Easy to Treat with Naloxone?

Naloxone (Narcan) can treat a fentanyl overdose, but it’s not always easy. Fentanyl is much stronger than other opioids, so sometimes a single dose of naloxone is not enough. A person might need several doses of naloxone to reverse the overdose. 

If someone is overdosing on fentanyl, call 911 immediately and get medical help right away. Emergency responders can administer naloxone and provide other life-saving treatments. Having naloxone at home can be helpful if you or someone you know is at risk of a fentanyl overdose. Naloxone is a safe medication that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. 

Remember, while naloxone is a powerful tool for treating overdoses, it’s not a substitute for emergency medical care. Always call for help and follow the instructions given by medical professionals.

Fact: Fentanyl overdose can be treated with naloxone if it is given promptly, although more than one dose might be needed.

5. Is Fentanyl Easy to Quit?

Quitting fentanyl is not easy. Fentanyl is highly addictive, and stopping can cause very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include severe pain, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and anxiety. 

Withdrawal can be hard to handle, so many people need professional help to quit fentanyl. This help can include detox programs where doctors and nurses help you manage withdrawal symptoms safely. Medications might also be used to make the process easier. Therapy and counseling are important parts of recovery too. They help you understand why you started using fentanyl and teach you ways to cope with stress and other problems without using drugs. Support groups can also provide encouragement and understanding from people going through the same thing.

Fact: Although fentanyl is not easy to quit, it is possible.

How to Get Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl addiction is a chronic condition, but there are many effective treatments. Here’s how to go about getting help:

  • Recognize the problem: The first step is understanding that fentanyl addiction is serious and needs treatment. Accepting that you need help enables you to begin the recovery process.
  • Talk to a doctor: Visit a healthcare provider to discuss your addiction. They can advise and refer you to the right treatment programs or mental health professionals.
  • Find a treatment center: Look for a center specializing in fentanyl addiction. These centers offer various programs to help you recover.
  • Detox: Detox is the process of removing fentanyl from your body. This should be done under medical supervision to manage withdrawal symptoms safely.
  • Therapy and counseling: Therapy sessions can help you understand the reasons behind your addiction and teach you ways to cope without drugs. Counseling can be one-on-one or in a group.
  • Medication-assisted treatment: Sometimes, doctors use medications to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These medications can make it easier to stay off fentanyl.
  • Support groups: Joining support groups like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) can provide you with a community of people who understand what you’re going through and can offer support.
  • Aftercare programs: After completing a treatment program, aftercare might include ongoing therapy, support groups, and check-ins with your healthcare provider to help you stay on track.

Getting treatment for fentanyl addiction can save your life. If you or a loved one is battling fentanyl addiction, seek help immediately.

image of gratitude lodge | fentanyl exposure treatment

Get Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

We can help you beat fentanyl addiction at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California. We have pet-friendly rehabs in Long Beach and Newport Beach, CA.

Begin with our medical detox program for the safest and most comfortable path to fentanyl detox and ongoing recovery. After about a week, you can move into an ongoing inpatient program at one of our rehabs by the beach.

We also offer same-day admission for anyone who requires immediate help.

All opioid addictions are different, so all our treatment programs offer personalized therapies, such as:

For immediate help with fentanyl detox, call 800-994-2184.

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Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

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Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

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Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.
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An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.
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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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