Canada is grappling with an opioid crisis. In 2022, there were over 7,000 recorded opioid toxicity deaths in the country. The Canadian government identifies fentanyl and related substances as a major driver of this crisis. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid approved as a pain reliever (usually for advanced-stage cancer or after surgery) or anesthetic. It is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more than morphine.
Illegally produced and distributed, fentanyl abuse is responsible for most addiction and overdose cases. It’s difficult to detect fentanyl-laced drugs without a test strip. Fentanyl is often mixed with other substances like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine for a cheaper, stronger high, increasing the risks of addiction and death from overdose. The drug’s accessibility, low cost, and more potent euphoric effects make addiction easy to form. It’s crucial to seek help immediately if you suspect someone you know is using illegally obtained fentanyl. The Canadian Centre for Addictions offers a fentanyl abuse and addiction treatment program and rehab in Ontario, Canada.
Getting Help for Fentanyl Addiction
The Canadian Centre for Addictions offers fentanyl addiction treatment in an environment that inspires lasting change. At CCFA, we help our clients understand their addictions and the healthier coping strategies available by engaging them in one-on-one counselling with certified counsellors, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals. Call 1-855-499-9446 if you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl abuse or addiction.
How We Treat Fentanyl Addiction and What to Expect
At CCFA, our treatment for fentanyl addiction is tailored to meet the client’s specific needs. We devise patient-centred treatment strategies that address each client’s unique situation. When you come to CCFA, you should expect a full range of quality services in flexible therapy and counselling for addiction. Addiction affects every aspect of an individual’s life and relationships, so we offer an individualized, family-oriented approach to treatment.
Our treatment centre offers inpatient rehab for fentanyl, outpatient treatment, individual and group counselling, intervention counselling, and lifetime aftercare, all designed to give you the best chance at fentanyl addiction recovery.
When to Seek Help for Fentanyl Addiction
Fentanyl is such a powerful opioid that any sign of abuse or addiction should be considered an emergency. Unless an individual has a fentanyl prescription, it may be difficult to tell whether they’re using or misusing fentanyl. However, seeing any of the following signs in a user could mean they require fentanyl addiction help.
- Running out of fentanyl prescriptions and visiting the doctor for frequent refills
- Attempting and failing to stop fentanyl use
- Having intense cravings to use fentanyl
- Borrowing or stealing other people’s prescription drugs
- Spending much time obtaining, using, and recovering from illegal fentanyl use
- Continued fentanyl use despite adverse effects on health, work, and relationships
- Building fentanyl tolerance – needing more of the drug to get the same effects
- Becoming fentanyl dependent – requiring drug use to function normally
- Experiencing mild to severe withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop or reduce their fentanyl use
Why Should You Choose the Canadian Centre for Addictions?
Fentanyl abuse and addiction is dangerous and can lead to loss of life. It’s essential to get treatment at a facility that supports all your recovery needs and gives you the tools you need to get your life back on track. At CCFA, we offer a patient-centric approach that keeps you connected to your life and responsibilities outside so your transition to regular life is as smooth as possible.
We understand that addiction is a delicate situation, and our clients are at a vulnerable point in their life. So, we are open, honest, and communicative about what we deliver and take the first step towards building the trust needed to form strong bonds with those who need our help.
We also understand that addiction affects the individual and others close to them. So, our therapists and staff extend their care to helping families cope with addiction while treating their loved ones. We not only help people overcome their addictions, but we also help them navigate the hurdles that addiction creates for those who care about them.
Treatment at CCFA doesn’t end but evolves when you leave. We offer a place where people can return to if things get complicated. Our combination of quality inpatient care and the sense of community from our aftercare services provide a balance you can rely on year after year.
The Canadian Centre for Addictions Success Stories
At CCFA, we have recorded tremendous success in treating people with various substance addictions. Here are testimonials from some of our satisfied clients:
“The highly competent staff is able to provide emotional and physical support as well as effective addiction therapy. With an open mind, I found I was able to draw healing from each of the well-balanced and skillfully presented meetings and activities. During my stay at CCFA, I learned how to regain control of my life. I left with skills I require to keep moving forward in my recovery. The facility is spacious, comfortable and clean and the community is exceptional. The fitness and activities, as well as the delicious meals, are outstanding. By far, this was the most productive 30 days of my life. A gift from me to me!”
“I came in with a broken soul, full of self-pity, not liking who I was, full of fear and low self-esteem. During my stay, I learned so many valuable lifelong lessons. The counsellors challenged me to feel again; to think and understand those feelings, to express my feelings and thoughts. They have taught me the strategies and tools that I must apply to my new life going forward. For the first time in my life, I feel calm, relaxed, strong with the new me, and most importantly, HAPPY. Thank You.”
“My involvement with CCFA has been an absolute lifesaver for me. The entire program and one-on-one sessions have given me the look and strategies to leave with and have a clean and sober life going forward. A very warm, welcoming, home-like environment.”
“The CCFA has showed me a new way of life. The counsellors here are amazing, love working with all of them. I had a great stay and can’t wait to continue my road to recovery with the tools I have learned. Thank you.”
Types of Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction
CCFA offers multiple treatment options for fentanyl addiction. Our treatment programs are designed to address the client’s specific needs and include the following:
Detox is the medical process of getting every trace of an addictive substance out of the client’s system. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are extremely unpleasant and potentially life-threatening. Our fentanyl detox treatment program allows you to rid your body of the drug in a safe, controlled environment under professional supervision.
Individuals with severe cases of fentanyl addiction will require residential fentanyl drug rehab. Inpatient rehab is an intensive addiction treatment that involves round-the-clock monitoring and support from a team of certified experts. CCFA provides a sober and secure environment for clients to recover from addiction. Our treatment centres utilize patient-oriented protocols to set our clients on the path to recovery. We employ a holistic approach by combining medical treatment with other relevant treatment options.
Our outpatient treatment programs allow the individual to attend scheduled appointments and meetings from home. Outpatient treatment is ideal for clients with manageable symptoms and sufficient motivation to get sober. It often requires a reliable support network of friends and family to encourage and help the patient stay on the path to full recovery.
Addiction is often the result of faulty thinking patterns that lead to harmful behaviour. Finding and modifying the root cause of these thought patterns is key to overcoming addiction. Our addiction counselling programs involve individual or group sessions that help participants identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors. It also helps spot and resolve past trauma that may be promoting addictive behavior. CCFA’s counselling and intervention programs help addicts develop positive attitudes and skills, which they’ll use as they begin their journey to sobriety.
Addiction recovery does not end with treatment. Recovering addicts require continuous aftercare services to prevent relapse when they inevitably encounter triggers or experience cravings. Our relapse prevention programs equip patients with the tools and coping mechanisms to remain sober when they inevitably encounter triggers. An aftercare treatment plan depends on an individual’s situation and may include outpatient treatment, counseling, and 12-step programs.
What to Expect in Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
When you or a loved one visits CCFA for addiction to fentanyl, you should expect treatment in an environment that inspires lasting change. The first thing we’ll do when you come in for treatment is to assess and understand your situation so that we can design a specialized recovery plan. We will assess your medical history to determine whether you’ve used fentanyl with other substances.
We will screen you for co-occurring mental health disorders and perform tests to determine the amount of fentanyl and other substances in your system. We will start your treatment with detox to rid your body of every trace of the drugs. If your situation is severe, you will be admitted to our facility so our staff can safely monitor and manage your withdrawal symptoms. We may also administer drugs like methadone or suboxone for symptom management or harm reduction. Otherwise, you’ll be allowed to go home and return for scheduled appointments.
We offer individual and group counselling sessions to help clients identify and change thought patterns that may fuel substance use and addiction. Our holistic treatment programs incorporate activities like meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and art therapy to help our clients stay grounded. You may also be encouraged to join a support group where you connect and interact with others at different stages of recovery.
Your treatment does not end when you leave our centre. At CCFA, we provide aftercare and relapse prevention services as part of our treatment program. We teach our clients to identify their triggers and design strategies to avoid or get through them. We also offer bi-weekly in-person aftercare visits and teleconferencing options to ensure long-term recovery.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Stages
The stages in the treatment for fentanyl addiction are:
- Inpatient/Outpatient treatment
Understanding Fentanyl Addiction
Fentanyl addiction is the compulsive use of fentanyl despite obvious harmful consequences. It is a powerful drug that activates opioid receptors in the brain to produce an intense high. Fentanyl is often prescribed for individuals who have built tolerance to less potent opioids like morphine. Most cases of fentanyl addiction are traceable to illegally manufactured pills or powders. Due to its potency, users tend to use fentanyl when seeking a stronger effect increasing the risk of abuse and addiction.
Fentanyl enters the brain faster than other opioids and wears off quicker, making the user crave the drug again. It depresses the central nervous system to produce intoxication, relaxation, and pain relief, which is quickly followed by apathy and dysphoria.
Like other opioids, continued use or misuse of prescription fentanyl will lead to tolerance – the need to use more of the drug to obtain the same effects. For illegal fentanyl, there is a higher risk of tolerance and overdose, as street manufacturers often do not know how much fentanyl goes into each pill. Soon enough, the individual will become dependent on the drug and need it to function normally. Trying to stop using fentanyl at this stage will also lead to severe withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Fentanyl
Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms occur when an individual attempts to stop or reduce fentanyl use. They are similar to other opioid withdrawal symptoms and include:
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Muscles aches and pain
- Insomnia and sleeping difficulties
- Uncontrolled leg movement
- Irritability, agitation, or anxiety
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Dilated pupils
- Teary eyes
- Intense cravings for fentanyl
- Runny nose
Fentanyl Addiction Symptoms
Fentanyl addiction symptoms could be physical, behavioural, or psychological:
- Fast heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
- Slowed or laboured breathing
- Pinpoint pupils
- Weight loss
- Difficulty walking
- Itching and scratching
- Swollen hands and feet
- Nausea and vomiting
- Social isolation or withdrawal
- Aggressive or reckless behaviour
- Restlessness or agitation without the drug
- Using the drug in other ways than prescribed, like crushing before use
- Stealing or borrowing prescriptions
- Disinterest in previously enjoyable activities
- Intense cravings
- Visual hallucinations
- Difficulty concentrating without the drug
What are the Causes of Fentanyl Addiction
Like other opioids, the causes of fentanyl addiction are complex and are often a combination of several factors in most cases. The risk factors for fentanyl addiction include:
Genes and Family History
At least half a person’s susceptibility to fentanyl and other opioid addictions can be linked to their genetic composition. Genes influence brain receptor type, metabolism, and how people respond to medications. Growing up in a home where relatives struggled with drug addiction can also increase a person’s risk of abusing drugs like fentanyl.
History of Drug Abuse
Individuals who abuse substances like prescription drugs or less potent opioids may turn to the more potent fentanyl if they build tolerance or need a stronger high.
Street drugs are often laced with fentanyl and other dangerous substances, and exposure to these drugs can increase a person’s risk of becoming addicted to fentanyl.
Individuals with accident or cancer-related pain that does not respond to other opioids may be at risk of developing fentanyl addiction.
Long-term Effects of Fentanyl Addiction
Long-term addiction to fentanyl could lead to severe and life-threatening effects such as:
- Fractures, especially in the elderly
- Breathing problems during sleep
- Cardiac complications or heart failure
- Increased risk of anoxic injury (tissue or organ damage due to decreased oxygen supply)
- Anxiety, depression, and other mood disturbances
- Reduced immune function
- Hormonal and reproductive disturbances
- Increased risk or aggravation of co-occurring mental health disturbances
- Significantly increased risk of opioid overdose and death
Frequently asked questions
Between 2016 and 2020, Canada recorded at least 21,174 deaths from the abuse of fentanyl and other opioids.
Between 2016 and 2020, Canada recorded at least 21,174 deaths from the abuse of fentanyl and other opioids.
Fentanyl is an opioid medication for managing acute pain caused by major trauma or surgery and chronic cancer-related pain.
No. Fentanyl is habit-forming and should only be used as prescribed. Using even a slighter larger dose of fentanyl than prescribed can put you at risk of adverse side effects. Fentanyl used for people receiving palliative care may be approved for long-term use.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid first synthesized in 1960 by Belgian chemist Dr. Paul Janssen, who was working on finding painkillers that were more powerful and specific than those already available.
Fentanyl should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor. A moderate fentanyl dose is an initial 2-20mcg/kg/dose (0.002 to 0.02mg/kg/dose), with a maintenance dose of 1 to 2 mcg/kg/hour. Only a doctor can determine how much fentanyl is safe for a patient.
Fentanyl is a laboratory-synthesized opioid. However, most illicit fentanyl that gets into the United States and Canada is mass-produced in Mexico using precursors made in China.
Fentanyl is up to 100 times more powerful than opiates like morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin. However, carfentanil, an analog of fentanyl, is up to 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
Yes. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine.
Fentanyl achieves peak effect two to five minutes after administration. Its onset of action is under 60 seconds and has a half-life of seven hours.