3 Warning Signs and Stories of Fentanyl Addiction

fentanyl addiction stories

Known as America’s deadliest drug, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid analgesic that is primarily used for pain relief.

It has a rapid onset but will last only a short while, and has therefore become regularly used as a recreational drug.

Fentanyl works by binding and activating particular opioid receptors in the body. This also increases dopamine activity in the brain, giving a rewarding sense of calm.

It has caused more deaths than heroin, with an increase of around 40% between 2010 and 2017. Many of these deaths have been a terrible result of many documented fentanyl addiction stories. 

Fentanyl Addiction

Whether you have been medically prescribed fentanyl or you are taking it recreationally, you are prone to becoming dependant on it.

Physical dependence may not be classed as an addiction. Being physically dependent can lead to addiction, however.

Fentanyl Addiction: 3 Major Signs

Three major signs of fentanyl addiction are:

  • Taking fentanyl in larger amounts than prescribed
  • Taking fentanyl beyond the intended time frame
  • Dependance: using fentanyl to achieve goals in everyday life. Or turning to it to achieve major life obligations

Fentanyl Addiction Stories

The following are the brief stories of three high-profile people who have experienced a catastrophic relationship with fentanyl.

Demi Lovato

In the summer of 2018, singer Demi Lovato nearly died from an overdose of heroin ‘laced with fentanyl’. She suffered strokes and a heart attack as a result.

Of the experience, she said in her 2021 documentary that she didn’t merely overdose but that she was ‘taken advantage of’.

She explained that she was found undressed and blue in color, as if she were dead, adding that she had brain damage from the experience that she still feels the effects of now.

This means Demi can’t drive and is often unable to read. She says these repercussions remind her that things could have ended up worse.

Robert Downey Jr.

The Iron Man actor was first introduced to drugs by his father when he was only six.

As he grew up, mixing alcohol with heroin and amphetamines became a regular occurrence and after trying to get clean he checked into rehab in 2001.

He said of the experience, in a Vanity Fair interview in 2014, that he needed to get out of the ‘cave’ he was in.

Not only that, he had to make changes going forward and come out the other side of it stronger than ever.

Matthew Perry

The Friends star became addicted to pain killers during his tenure on the show, which aired between 1994-2004.

He checked into rehab on two occasions, also treated for addictions to alcohol, amphetamines, and methadone.

Speaking to People in 2013, he recalled that he couldn’t stop taking pills and drinking alcohol and that soon enough it was painfully obvious to everyone around him.

His good friend – and sitcom co-star – Matt Le Blanc recalled how he attempted to speak to him about it but without any luck.

Branding it as Perry’s own personal struggle, Le Blanc asserted that those suffering from addiction need to hit rock bottom, alone, before they can truly start to recover.

Looking for Help?

The staff at Pathways Florida have heard plenty of fentanyl addiction stories over the years.

Located in sunny Sarasota, our residential treatment center boasts many a success story, with a team of experts on hand to help guide patients through their journey.

Please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.