We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Signs of Fentanyl Addiction?

Autumn Rivers
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Fentanyl is an opioid analgesic that is frequently used in the treatment of chronic pain, usually in patients with cancer. Like most opiates, this type of drug can be highly addictive, causing some patients to lose interest in anything that does not involve taking this medication. As their tolerance increases, they may exhibit drug-seeking behavior, such as altering prescriptions to get more refills, going to different doctors or stealing the drug from others. Patients who regularly rely on this drug to stop pain may experience painful symptoms of withdrawal when they abruptly lower their fentanyl dosage or stop using it altogether.

A major sign of fentanyl addiction is that the patient stays on the drug almost all the time, because this is the only way to feel the euphoria for which many opiates are known. The patient may be addicted to this feeling, especially since the euphoria cancels out the pain, so he may begin to lose interest in all activities that do not include taking this drug. Family members, friends and employers may notice that the patient becomes withdrawn, because he can no longer derive pleasure from the things that used to make him happy. Many patients facing fentanyl addiction continue using the drug even when their pain is gone, such as after their condition is treated.

As patients continue taking this drug, their tolerance often increases, which means they need more to get the same effect as when they first started it. For this reason, they may start altering prescriptions so they appear to have several refills, allowing them to increase the dosage and stay on the drug nearly all the time. Patients whose doctors stop prescribing the drug, perhaps because they suspect a fentanyl addiction, may begin going to different doctors so they can gather several prescriptions for this medication. They also may seek ways to get the drug without a prescription, such as through purchasing it online, traveling to other countries or even stealing it from other people.

Some physical signs of fentanyl addiction occur when the patient abruptly stops taking the medication. For example, many patients experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea after taking a break from the drug. They also may have a runny nose and often feel sweaty, fatigued and irritable. In addition, some patients experience frequent headaches and may twitch uncontrollably when they are suddenly without this drug, which also may signal fentanyl addiction. They may be able to avoid these uncomfortable symptoms by decreasing the dosage gradually and seeking a doctor's supervision before stopping this drug.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Autumn Rivers
By Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for WiseGEEK, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.

Discussion Comments

Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for WiseGEEK, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.