Fentanyl: Effects On The Body

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Fentanyl is the most powerful synthetic opioid in the world today. It is often used to treat extreme pain from surgery, cancer patients, and end-of-life care. Although it is useful for medicinal purposes, fentanyl can be deadly when used incorrectly or recreationally. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, which is why extreme caution is necessary even when it is administered in clinical settings. Fentanyl binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, causing the user to feel euphoria and feelings of relief. It also affects the heart and respiratory system, causing a person’s breath and heartbeat to slow down, in addition to a number of other side effects. 

How Long Does Fentanyl Last?

Fentanyl is a fast-acting opioid which means it enters the bloodstream relatively quickly but can last for several hours depending on the dose and the method of use. Fentanyl patches and slow-release lozenges or lollipops are usually prescribed for pain management and can last anywhere from 12 – 72 hours. Fentanyl can also be injected or snorted in powder form, resulting in a powerful high that lasts anywhere from 11- 22 hours. 

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

The amount of time fentanyl will stay in your system depends on the amount that was taken, and a person’s weight, metabolism, and physical health. Traces of fentanyl can easily be detected by administering a blood, urine, saliva, or hair drug test, though each test has different detection window times. 

Fentanyl has a half-life of 7 hours, which means that it takes this amount of time for the body to eliminate half of the amount of the drug that was taken. It takes 4-5 half-life cycles for any drug to be cleared from a person’s system, though it varies depending on the individual. Fentanyl can be detected in a person’s system long after the half-life cycle is complete and the effects of the drug have worn off. 

How To Test For Fentanyl

Traces of fentanyl can be detected in your blood, urine, or hair using various drug tests. One of the easiest and least expensive ways to test for fentanyl is to purchase fentanyl test strips online. These drug strips were designed to test urine for fentanyl, but they can also be used to detect traces of fentanyl in other drugs such as MDMA, heroin, and cocaine. 

Because fentanyl is inexpensive, unethical drug dealers often cut other drugs in powder form with it, unbeknownst to the consumer. Testing other drugs for the presence of fentanyl can save your life if you do use illicit drugs. Of course, the ideal course of action would be to reach out to a recovery program that can help treat your substance use, but the fentanyl test strips are a useful harm-reduction tool nonetheless.

How Much Fentanyl Will Kill You?

A lethal dose of fentanyl can be very small and depends on a number of factors including a person’s weight, opioid tolerance, and overall health. Even as little as 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal, and no one should ever assume that they can safely use someone else’s prescribed dose of fentanyl.  

What Is The Fentanyl Death Pose?

The fentanyl death pose describes the position that some people who have overdosed on fentanyl have been found in. A fentanyl overdose causes muscle rigidity, which is caused by respiratory arrest. People may be found lying on their back or sitting upright with their heads tilted back. If you notice someone is experiencing difficulty breathing or muscle rigidity, call 911 immediately. Other signs of a fentanyl overdose include blue lips and nails, clammy skin, and loss of consciousness. 

How Long Does Fentanyl Withdrawal Last?

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms begin about 12 hours after your last dose and can last several days. Fentanyl is a fast-acting opioid, with symptoms lasting for about 10 days, though it varies depending on the individual and range of factors including their physical health and history of drug use. Withdrawal symptoms tend to include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and insomnia. Detoxing from any opioid is dangerous and should be done in a safe setting with a medical professional. Because fentanyl is so potent,  it is often necessary to slowly taper off the drug using medication-assisted treatment.

Find Your Path to Recovery

At Quest 2 Recovery, our holistic treatment philosophy is focused on the unique needs of the individual. Our knowledgeable and professional team members offer incredible support and guidance to everyone who attends one of our programs and also help oversee the practical details involved with attending treatment to make your path to recovery as smooth as possible. With a trauma-based approach in a safe, family-like environment, we offer medical detox and tailored treatment plans to help people of all ages learn more about and resolve the underlying issues that cause substance abuse. If you or someone you love is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, contact us today.

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