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The Fentanyl Crisis in America
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, everyday life has been upended for millions of Americans. Stay-at-home orders have given rise to distance learning, working from home and other dramatic shifts in people’s normal lifestyles.
As struggling Americans found themselves shut into their homes and lacking the support system they desperately needed, many of them were forced to fight their inner battles on their own. The past year and a half has seen a significant uptick in rates of mental illness, alcohol abuse, drug addiction and other severe disorders.
One of the most commonly abused substances over the course of the pandemic is fentanyl, a type of opioid that can be extremely addictive. This substance has become the leading cause of death in America in recent years. Here’s everything you need to know about the rising fentanyl crisis and how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted it notably.
What to Know About the Fentanyl Crisis
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid analgesic known for its highly addictive properties. Although this drug is similar to morphine, it is significantly more potent. It has even been estimated that fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and other common types of opioids.
Due to the extremely potent nature of fentanyl, this substance has been one of the leading factors in the rise in opioid abuse over the past decade. Fentanyl is normally prescribed to treat severe pain and to help patients cope with acute pain or discomfort after surgery. It can also be a promising remedy for those who struggle with chronic pain.
When a person takes fentanyl, the drug binds to opioid receptors in the brain. Once that person begins to abuse the substance, their brain becomes accustomed to it and requires a higher dose to produce the same emotional response. Some of the most common effects of fentanyl abuse include the following:
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
Because fentanyl is a notoriously addictive drug, there is a high risk of developing a strong dependence on the substance. Fentanyl abuse can take a severe toll on a person’s life if they don’t receive the help they need, which is why it’s crucial to be aware of the signs of addiction.
How COVID Has Affected the Fentanyl Crisis
Fentanyl abuse has been a topic of concern since 2013. However, what was already an emerging public health crisis accelerated even further with the rise of COVID. The anxiety of living in a pandemic world coupled with social isolation created the perfect storm for a heightened opioid epidemic.
According to the Commonwealth Fund, the total number of deaths caused by opioid overdose climbed to unprecedented levels at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. As the coronavirus progressed over the course of the spring, monthly overdose deaths increased by an estimated 50%. Research also shows that about 80% of opioid-related deaths in the early months of the pandemic involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
The fentanyl crisis has been increasingly widespread on a national scale. During the first eight months of 2020, deaths caused by opioid overdose rose in almost every state. Western and southeastern states saw a particularly large spike in deaths, with Louisiana, South Carolina, Colorado, Arizona and California suffering an increase of 60% or more.
These haunting statistics demonstrate that fentanyl abuse and the overarching opioid epidemic is a crisis that affects everyone. The pandemic has been especially hard on victims of addiction and their loved ones. The struggle still isn’t over for those who are battling fentanyl addiction every day.
Seek the Help You Need for Your Addiction
Fentanyl abuse is a rapidly growing issue that cannot be ignored. Whether you’re struggling with fentanyl addiction or know someone who is, it’s crucial to reach out for help so that you or your loved one can embark on the path to recovery. It doesn’t matter what your addiction looks like or how long it has been going on. At Mayflower Recovery, we offer custom-tailored treatment plans to meet your individual needs and goals.
Before taking the next step forward, it’s important to take the time to learn about the different options that are available to you. Many drug addiction rehab centers offer partial hospitalization treatment (PHP), intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) and outpatient treatment (OP).
PHP, the highest level of outpatient treatment, is designed for those who are facing significant drug addiction. Meanwhile, outpatient and intensive outpatient programs give patients the opportunity to engage in their normal daily activities while receiving top-tier treatment. Our level of flexibility ensures that each individual has access to the care and support that they need to achieve a full recovery.
In addition, our addiction treatment programs include specialized fentanyl addiction treatment. Depending on your specific needs, you will receive PHP, IOP or OP treatment to address your unique addiction. Regardless of the nature of your fentanyl abuse, our highly skilled and caring team of professionals will work closely with you to design a treatment plan that works best for you as an individual.
Drug addiction is marked by extreme drug use that is difficult to control. Those who abuse drugs struggle to keep their addictions under control, even when the disease negatively impacts various aspects of their lives. Over time, drug addiction can alter a person’s brain chemistry and interfere with their willpower, self-control and other important executive functions.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, remember that recovery is possible. The highly experienced and dedicated experts at Mayflower are here to help you rise above your addiction and return to living a happy and healthy life. As part of our top-tier drug addiction rehab treatment for Massachusetts residents, medical professionals can design a treatment plan that meets your unique needs.
Are You Suffering From Drug Addiction?
Addictive disorders are typically manifested in a number of physical and psychological symptoms. Not all addicts are necessarily aware of these symptoms, which can hinder them from receiving the treatment they need. In addition, it’s important to note that everyone with a drug addiction experiences their addiction in a unique way.
However, there are a few key symptoms that most people living with drug addiction face. These symptoms are grouped into four distinct categories that help measure the full impact of drug abuse. Here are the main categories as well as the symptoms they include:
- Impaired control: This includes a powerful craving/urge to use the substance, failed attempts to stop using the substance, and continued use of the drug despite being aware of its consequences.
- Social problems: Drug abuse can also negatively affect your social life in various ways. Some of these signs include a failure to complete important work or school assignments and a neglect of social or recreational activities.
- Risky behavior: Prolonged drug abuse can lead users to engage in risky behavior, such as driving while intoxicated or stealing in an effort to procure drugs.
- Drug use symptoms: The substances themselves can also trigger dangerous symptoms. Some of the most common effects of drug abuse include reduced energy, weight loss or gain, lack of motivation, insomnia, increased heart rate, altered cognitive ability, and difficulty taking care of personal hygiene.
By paying attention to these warning signs, you can seek out the help you need and work towards a full recovery. If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself or someone else, it’s crucial to address them immediately with professional treatment.
Trusted Drug Rehab Treatment in Massachusetts
At Mayflower, we offer trusted addiction treatment that is tailored to your specific needs. Our drug rehab treatment program includes several steps with high rates of success. Some of the many options that we offer include the following:
- Behavioral counseling
- Assessment of co-occurring mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression
- Treatment for any identified mental health issues
- Medication to help treat symptoms of withdrawal
- Long-term follow-up to prevent relapse from occurring
Each of these steps plays a critical role in the overall recovery process. Our experts also take your specific needs into consideration during each step to design a treatment plan that is right for you.
Types of Addiction Treatment
Overcoming an addictive disorder is a journey that should never be undertaken alone. Each patient deserves specialized care and attention to find the strength they need to rise above their addiction. Fortunately, you can choose from a number of rehabilitation programs to address your specific situation. Once you have been assessed by an addiction treatment professional, you will be placed into one of the following drug addiction treatment programs.
Intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment is a form of outpatient treatment for recovering addicts. During this stage of treatment, patients receive high-quality medical and psychological care while at home or in sober living to help them battle their addictions. These sessions include counseling, therapy, relapse prevention skills and other important activities to support recovery.
Generally speaking, patients who undergo IOP treatment don’t need to be monitored as frequently as patients in partial hospitalization (PHP) treatment. If you feel that you’re ready to ease back into your normal routine and can handle a bit more freedom in your life, IOP may be the best treatment option for you.
A more intensive form of treatment than IOP, partial hospitalization (PHP) treatment is ideal for patients who need more guidance and care during the recovery process. Members of PHP programs gather five days a week to receive comprehensive treatment. This may be the better choice for patients who are at a higher risk of relapsing, as well as those who are still experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
To learn more about our addiction treatment options, reach out to us today.
Symptoms of Substance Abuse
While many of the symptoms of drug addiction involve one’s behavior and social well-being, there are also a slew of physical and mental symptoms associated with substance abuse. Some of the most common symptoms include weight gain or loss, insomnia, lack of motivation, increased heart rate, reduced energy, difficulty maintaining personal hygiene and impaired cognitive ability.
Staying aware of these symptoms is one of the first steps toward obtaining the right treatment for you. Addicts sometimes aren’t aware of their symptoms, and they also tend to do a good job of hiding them from the people they’re close to. This can prevent them from receiving the help they need. It’s therefore crucial to be cognizant of these common side effects so you can recognize when there’s a problem.
How Drug Rehab Treatment Works
Before beginning treatment, many people wonder what they can expect to get out of the process. Fortunately, our experts ensure that everyone understands our treatment program so they can reap all the benefits of rehab.
According to your needs and the nature of your addiction, you will be placed in one of two treatment programs: intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment or partial hospitalization (PHP) treatment.
IOP treatment is designed specifically for those recovering from a drug addiction. Once you reach this phase of treatment, you will gain access to top-tier medical and psychological care to help you overcome your addiction. You can also benefit from our immersive IOP programs that are held three days a week at our drug rehab facility. These sessions include counseling, therapy, relapse prevention skills and other key activities to bolster each part of the recovery process.
PHP treatment is more intensive than IOP treatment and is aimed at patients who need to be more closely monitored throughout recovery. During PHP sessions, patients gather five days a week to receive high-quality, intensive treatment. If you’re at a higher risk of relapsing or are undergoing withdrawal symptoms, PHP drug rehab treatment may be the more appropriate choice for you.
If you’re currently struggling with any kind of drug addiction, remember that you’re worth recovery. Even if the possibility of conquering your addiction seems out of reach, you can receive the help you need by finding the right treatment plan for you.
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