Fentanyl Addiction Treatment in Port St. Lucie, FL

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, roughly 100 times more potent than morphine. It is often prescribed to treat severe pain in cancer patients, particularly those with end-stage diseases who cannot find relief from other narcotics. 

Fentanyl comes in several forms including lollipops and transdermal patches for people who may have trouble swallowing. Fentanyl is used to treat chronic pain over extended periods of time. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly popular as an illegal recreational drug due to its intense high and availability on the black market.

The Dangers of Fentanyl Addiction

Because fentanyl is so powerful, even a very small amount can cause serious harm or death if not taken properly and under the direction of a physician. Overdoses often occur when the individual takes too much of the drug or mixes it with other substances like alcohol, marijuana other opioids or benzodiazepines. 

The combination creates a dangerous reaction in the body’s central nervous system, which can result in slowed breathing, dangerously low blood pressure and even cardiac arrest. In more recent years, fentanyl and carfentanil have been showing up in street heroin seized by the DEA with increasing regularity. 

The Dangers of Fentanyl Addiction Include:

Increased likelihood of fatal overdose due to potency

Failure to reverse an OD when NARCAN dose is insufficient

Developing a heroin addiction with prescription fentanyl cannot be found

Respiratory arrest

Fentanyl Addiction and the Rise in Overdose Deaths

Authorities believe this is a major contributor to the rise in opioid overdose deaths in recent years. Fentanyl can be deadly in doses as small as 0.25 milligrams. This makes it extremely difficult to control the dose and that potency contributes to overdose deaths because people who mix fentanyl with heroin or other street drugs can very easily use too much of the drug. 

The end user has no way of verifying if fentanyl is present or how much is there. The habit of some heroin users to chase whatever brand of heroin is purported to be the strongest at any given time only makes the problem worse. Sadly the rate of overdoses with a particular batch is one of the metrics those addicted to heroin often use to determine what the strongest brand on the street is. 

No Amount of Fentanyl is Safe for Recreational Use

Contrary to popular belief, no minimum amount of fentanyl is required to develop an addiction. Use of fentanyl for a longer period of time does, however, increase the likelihood of fentanyl addiction. People develop fentanyl addiction in a number of ways. 

People with severe chronic pain or terminal illness may be prescribed fentanyl and find they need to use more to get the same effect. Once they exhaust their supply of legal fentanyl they may turn to the street for more. 

Others may develop an addiction to fentanyl unintentionally by taking fake opioid prescription tablets, heroin or other drugs bought off the street. Fentanyl is extremely powerful and thanks to illegal manufacture using precursors smuggled in from other countries, it is also cheap. 

This means it turns up in all sorts of illicit drugs, not just opioids. It has been found in alleged MDMA or “molly” too. All of the same dangers associated with addiction to other opioids apply to fentanyl, except the clock is usually running even faster, due to the extreme potency of the drug. 

Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

In the absence of the drug or a suitable alternative, eventually psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms will appear, usually peaking within 72 hours from the last dose. 

Psychological symptoms of fentanyl addiction include:

Physical symptoms of fentanyl  addiction include:

Effects of Fentanyl Use or Abuse

Opioids act upon the brain’s natural reward pathways. While they have legitimate uses to control pain, their action on the brain’s ‘pleasure chemicals’ also makes it incredibly easy to become addicted to them and fentanyl is surely no exception. 

Although the brain receives happy hormones from other activities like music, food, and sex, drugs like fentanyl offer a rapid onset of euphoria. When fentanyl is repeatedly taken, the brain acclimatizes to this, craving it despite any adverse effects.

Long-term effects and dangers of fentanyl abuse can include:

The Special Risks of Fentanyl Overdose

Fentanyl is very easy to overdose on due to its extreme potency. The fact that it is increasingly found in street heroin, fake painkiller tablets and even “molly” has caused the fentanyl addiction and overdose rates in the U.S. to skyrocket over the past 10 years. 

Naloxone (NARCAN) can usually reverse the effects of an opioid overdose if used promptly and according to directions. However, the potency of fentanyl can limit the effectiveness of this life saving medication. 

In the case of a fentanyl overdose, more than one dose of NARCAN is often required for paramedics to revive a patient successfully. Sometimes even that is not enough. There are no guarantees that NARCAN will save your life, especially if you have knowingly or unknowingly used fentanyl. In the event of a suspected opioid overdose, call 911 immediately and prepare to administer NARCAN according to directions if you have access to it. 

Remember that::

Street heroin frequently has an unknown amount of fentanyl in it. 

Other street drugs, including fake pills and “molly” often have fentanyl in them. 

NARCAN is less effective against fentanyl overdose than other opioids.

There is NO safe amount of fentanyl for recreational use. 

Can Treatment Cure Fentanyl Addiction?

Fentanyl addiction treatment is not a cure. There is not, as of yet, a cure for addiction. However, a medically-assisted fentanyl detox followed by residential addiction treatment and a solid aftercare plan that includes 12-step recovery or an alternative offers the best chance of long-term recovery for you or the person you love. 

As part of addiction treatment, those in recovery usually attend therapy to understand the factors that contribute to addiction. Often fentanyl addiction develops, in part, due to trauma or mental illness, but everyone is different. During treatment, behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help people uncover their bad habits and turn them into good habits, gaining the necessary skills for a life in recovery.

Recovery from Fentanyl Addiction

At NP Addiction Clinic
, successful recovery is only a phone call away. We are always open, and we accept most private insurance plans that can cover your entire cost of treatment. A life in recovery is within reach and we can help you achieve it.

Contact us today:

24/7 Helpline: (888) 574-3506

Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine