Sublimaze Abuse, Addiction, and Treatment Options

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It may surprise some people that prescription drugs can be addictive. Sublimaze is one of the prescriptions that a person can become addicted to and may need rehab to stop using. There are treatment options available to anyone with a fentanyl problem that wants to quit.
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What is Sublimaze?

Sublimaze (fentanyl citrate) is a liquid medication available by prescription only. This is a very strong medication. One .1mg dose is the same strength as 10mg of morphine. When given directly into the bloodstream by IV or injection it starts to work almost immediately. The effects last 30 to 60 minutes.

When Sublimaze is injected into a muscle it takes seven to eight minutes to begin working. The effects last longer than injections into the bloodstream. The effects last for one to two hours. Sublimaze should only be given by someone who has been properly trained to do so. Sublimaze slows down breathing and the heart rate, it can be dangerous if used wrong.

Sublimaze can be used as a premedication for surgery. It can also be used as anesthesia for surgery. After a patient has gone through surgery Sublimaze can also be used for pain in the recovery area. Sometimes this medication can be used to control pain that is not from a surgical procedure.

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What is a Sublimaze (Fentanyl) High Like?

Sublimaze is made of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic (man-made) strong opioid. It can be 50 to almost 100 times stronger than morphine. Like morphine, heroin, and other opioids, this drug attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain and body.

When fentanyl binds to the opioid receptors in the brain levels of dopamine are increased. High dopamine levels have the following effects on the body:

  • Increases the threshold for pain
  • Relieves pain
  • Produces a state of relaxation and drowsiness
  • Decreases the feeling of suffering
  • Creates feelings of euphoria (overwhelming feeling of joy or happiness)

There are also many side effects when using Sublimaze. Again it should only be given by a professional that has been through the proper training and is aware of the possible side effects.

Side effects of Sublimaze include:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Apnea- stopped breathing
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sweating
  • Itching or hives
  • Vocal chord spasms
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Muscle rigidity

Combining Sublimaze (Fentanyl) With Other Drugs

Doctors need to know about every medication a patient is using. They also need to know about any supplements, herbal products, or illegal drugs a patient is using. Serious medical problems can happen when some medications and drugs are used at the same time. If a patient sees multiple doctors for different issues, it is very easy for drug interactions to happen.

Sublimaze (fentanyl) has a large number of drug interactions. The website Drugs.com lists 546 drug interactions with Sublimaze. Combining fentanyl with sleeping pills or muscle relaxers can increase the risk of breathing problems and possibly cause someone to stop breathing. Medicines for depression or anxiety like Valium or Xanax can also increase the risk of breathing problems if used with Sublimaze.

Mixing Sublimaze with drugs for depression, Parkinson’s disease or migraine headaches can cause serotonin syndrome. This can also happen if this drug is combined with illegal substances like cocaine or amphetamines. Serotonin syndrome happens when there is too much serotonin in the body. When a patient is taking more than one medication that results in high serotonin levels it is dangerous. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome are:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Hypomania (a milder form of mania)
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Muscle spasms
  • Shivering
  • Tremors
  • Abnormal eye movements

Fentanyl use Statistics in the United States

Fentanyl was created in the 1960s as an opioid pain medication, but now it is also made illegally by many drug dealers. Almost 500,000 people have died from opioid overdoses in the twenty-year period from 1999-2019. This number includes prescription opioids and illegal opioids. There was a large increase in 2013 of overdose deaths specifically due to fentanyl.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that more than 31,000 deaths in 2018 involved synthetic opioids. This was 67% of the opioid-involved deaths for the whole year of 2018. This was more than any other kind of opioid, prescription or illegal.

The CDC also reported that overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, have been increasing at a fast rate. More than a 16% increase from 2018 to 2019. Over 36,000 people died from overdoses related to fentanyl in 2019. Early reports suggest that number could be even higher for 2020, the CDC does not have all the data yet.

Sublimaze (Fentanyl) Addiction Treatment Options

If someone has an addiction to fentanyl, they may consider going through a detox program to help manage withdrawal symptoms. Some detox programs can use medications to help make the withdrawal symptoms less severe. This is helpful, but detox is only the first step to recovery.

Sublimaze (Fentanyl) Withdrawal Symptoms

Even though Sublimaze is a prescription medication from a doctor people can have withdrawal symptoms. Sublimaze is mostly used in a hospital setting, but other opioids may be prescribed for continuing pain. Patients must be very careful to follow their doctor’s directions when stopping an opioid prescription. When a person has been using an opioid drug for a long time their brain has become used to it.

After a patient is no longer using opioids the brain and body have to adjust to the drug not being there. This is when withdrawal symptoms occur. Opioid withdrawal symptoms are similar for each kind of opioid, including a prescription medication. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Aching muscles
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever and chills
  • Anxiety or agitation
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
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Sublimaze (Fentanyl) Treatment Program Options

People need to go through a recovery program for opioid addictions. The detox process is only the first step to fentanyl addiction recovery. People have to change their behavior patterns, so they do not start using the drug again. Starting to use a drug again after getting clean is called a relapse.

When a person has cleared all of the drugs from their body their tolerance level goes down. This means if they relapse, they could overdose on a smaller amount of the drug than they used to take. This is a very dangerous situation and could cause a person to die from an overdose. Going through a rehab program is the best option for a full recovery. Types of rehab programs include:

Inpatient treatment- Patients may go from detox straight to inpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab is the highest level of care. Patients live full time at the treatment program, sleeping, eating, and doing therapy without leaving the facility. The most common length of stay is twenty-eight days.

Partial hospitalization programs- (PHPs) This type of program is the most intense outpatient program. These programs meet five to seven days a week for several hours a day. Afterward, the patient returns home. This type of program can be good for someone who is recovering from a strong addiction but does not require twenty-four-hour supervision.

Intensive Outpatient Programs- This type of outpatient treatment is good for people who need a lot of support but still have family and work commitments. IOPs usually meet three to four times a week for several hours. This allows patients to stay close to their support group.

Traditional Outpatient Therapy- This is the least restrictive type of therapy. Patients can meet with a counselor once a week to start with depending on the amount of care they need. Outpatient therapy is a good option for someone who has already been through more involved therapy but can still benefit from counseling sessions.

Sober living homes- A sober living home is a residence for people in recovery with some rules that need to be followed. Residents are required to pay rent and their own expenses and be part of an outpatient treatment program.  There are no drugs or alcohol allowed at the house and residents may need to do occasional drug tests.

12-step programs- These are peer support groups. The most well-known are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These groups do not include professional counseling, they are peer-led. They can be an excellent source of support during the recovery process.

More Information About Sublimaze (Fentanyl) Recovery Options

At SpringBoard Recovery, our goal is to help everyone get the treatment they need. We have helped many people overcome opioid addictions and regain control of their lives. We have flexible options for people to individualize their treatment programs.

In addition to different levels of treatment options, there are different types of therapy. No one person is just like another. Different styles of therapy can be more effective for one person than another. We offer:

To get more information about Sublimaze recovery options, contact us today.

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