Background Image

Fentanyl Addiction: Signs, Effects, Overdose, & Treatment

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that can cause severe harm when misused. It is a prescription drug for pain relief; however, it can be produced and distributed illegally and has a high potential for misuse and addiction.1 If you or someone you care about uses fentanyl or other substances that might contain fentanyl, it’s important to understand the effects of fentanyl, fentanyl overdose symptoms and treatment, and where to get help for fentanyl addiction.
Call 888-319-2606
Helpline Information

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic (manmade) opioid drug similar to morphine (a naturally occurring opioid), but between 50 and 100 times more potent.1, 2 It is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means that it has a recognized medical use but a high potential for misuse and psychological and physical dependence.3, 4

What Is Fentanyl Addiction?

Fentanyl is a highly addictive substance due to its potency.1 Medical professionals diagnose fentanyl addiction as an opioid use disorder (OUD), which means that a person compulsively uses fentanyl despite knowledge of the negative consequences.1

Fentanyl can quickly cause dependence, meaning that a person needs the substance to avoid feeling uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which can fuel the cycle of addiction.1 People can be dependent on fentanyl and not addicted; however, dependence can lead to addiction.1

Fentanyl Overdose

Fentanyl is an extremely dangerous opioid that can cause overdose and death, even if used in small amounts.13 A fentanyl overdose can occur when it produces serious adverse effects and life-threatening symptoms.1

One of the main risks of overdosing on fentanyl is hypoxia, a condition that occurs when a person’s breathing stops and their brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen, which can lead to coma and death.1

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

People struggling with fentanyl addiction can benefit from addiction treatment.1 Treatment may help you stop the cycle of substance misuse and start the path to recovery. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. It should be personalized and modified to your medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal needs, as well as your age, gender, ethnicity, and culture.19

Instantly find your coverage information

We'll be able to tell you if your insurance provider is in network with an American Addiction Centers treatment facility.

  • Dual-diagnosis treatment centers.
  • Personalized treatment plans.
  • Financial options available.
HIPAA badge
Step 1/4 Check Coverage
* These fields are required