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You may wonder, “How long does fentanyl stay in your system?” You may ask this because you are facing a drug test after ingesting fentanyl. Maybe you are curious about what to expect in fentanyl detox. Read on to learn how long fentanyl stays in your system.
How Long Does Fentanyl Remain in Your System?
Fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid. The DEA states that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. The length of time it spends in the body will depend on your age, body mass index, genes, liver functions, and metabolic rate. Even so, in most people, 75% of this drug will be eliminated from the system within a four-day period.
Today’s drug tests are available for testing blood samples, urine samples, or hair samples. Each of these will register the drug in different ways, and that has an impact on how long fentanyl will show up. For instance, fentanyl in the blood may be present for 1-4 days; and in urine for 1-3 days. Fentanyl may show up in hair samples for months.
Why is Fentanyl so Dangerous
You cannot turn on the news these days without hearing reports of overdose deaths attributed to fentanyl. This highly toxic drug has made its way into the drug supplies on the street. People do not even know they have purchased a substance that contains fentanyl, and then go ahead with their usual dosing. This has led to tens of thousands of deaths.
The tiniest amount of fentanyl can be enough to kill an adult man in minutes. It does so by attaching to the brain’s opioid receptors that help regulate the breathing rate. When the breathing rate drops so much that the brain is no longer receiving oxygen, the person stops breathing altogether.
When fentanyl overdose occurs, there is a very short window of time to save the person’s life. Not only first responders but also family members of addicts are now trained to provide Narcan should an overdose happen. Narcan can reverse the effects of fentanyl and restore the person’s ability to breathe and has saved countless lives.
Drugs Tainted with Fentanyl
Drug cartels have latched onto the lucrative fentanyl market. It is a substance that is quite simple to create in a makeshift lab using cheap ingredients. Greed and profit potential drive these entities to saturate the drug trade with substances that are cut with fentanyl.
Heroin has been the most impacted drug when it comes to the tainted drug supply on the street. Couple with heroin, fentanyl can kill almost instantly. But heroin is not the only substance that is showing up with the deadly fentanyl. It has been found in cocaine, meth, and counterfeit pills as well.
Someone looking to party may take a pill he or she believes is a Percocet or Norco, for instance. Sadly, this one pill can lead to a fatal outcome, as it was laced with fentanyl.
Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction
Not only are people ingesting fentanyl not knowing they are doing so, but some may seek out this drug solely for abuse. The most common method of fentanyl abuse is through the patch version of the drug.
The inside gel material is scraped out and used in various ways to get high. Also, some leave the gel intact and simply apply multiple patches at the same time. Not only are these actions highly risky, but over time they can result in opioid addiction.
Being able to notice the signs of fentanyl abuse or addiction is the first step in getting the needed treatment. Timely intervention is key, especially with the drug being abused is fentanyl.
Here are the warning signs that someone is abusing opioids, including fentanyl:
- Pinpoint pupils.
- Needle marks on arms, legs.
- Itchy skin.
- Nodding out.
- Withdraws from friends and family.
- Weight loss.
- Flushed skin.
- Impaired judgment.
- Chronic constipation.
- Euphoric mood.
- Doctor shopping for pain meds.
- Obtaining the drug from illicit sources.
- High-risk acts, like driving under the influence of opioids.
- Slowed cognitive and motor functions.
- Sleep problems.
- Steals money and property to fund the drugs.
- Stops caring about hygiene or appearance.
- Neglects responsibilities.
- Drug cravings.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Thoughts of suicide.
- Withdrawal symptoms when the opioid wears off.
Signs of Fentanyl Overdose
If someone ingests fentanyl and it overwhelms their central nervous system, it is a medical emergency. An overdose allows very little time to save the person’s life. First responders can administer Narcan if they arrive on the scene soon enough.
Signs of overdose include:
- Low blood pressure.
- Extreme sleepiness, grogginess, or fatigue.
- Slowed or difficult breathing.
- Pinpoint pupils.
- Decreased heart rate.
- Loss of physical coordination.
- Limp body.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Cognitive impairment.
In 2021, the CDC reported the highest rates of drug overdose deaths ever, with fentanyl-related deaths topping the list.
Treatment Options for Opioid Addiction
Whether the main substance problem is heroin, pain pills, or fentanyl itself, there is only one way to safely stop using. A structured treatment program provides all of the steps needed to achieve stable recovery. While outpatient options exist, a residential program offers the best setting for achieving sustained recovery.
Treatment will include:
1. Detox and withdrawal: Detox is the first phase of treatment where the body is purged of the presence of the opioid. Medical detox provides treatments to help minimize withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and may include:
- Muscle, joint, and bone pain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Nodding out.
2. Treatment. After detox, the person will begin to learn how to change the behavioral responses that have wired their brain for opioid abuse. The treatment process involves therapy, CBT, group therapy, family therapy, 12-step programming, education, and holistic methods.
3. Continuing care. Once treatment is completed, it is time to begin outpatient continuing care services. These may include sober living, ongoing outpatient counseling, and joining a 12-step community such as N.A., A.A.
LifeSync Malibu Offers a Comprehensive Residential Treatment Program for Opioid Addiction Recovery
LifeSync Malibu is a luxury residential rehab that provides treatment for fentanyl abuse or opioid addiction in an upscale setting. If you or a loved one is ready to change their life for the better, call our team today at (866) 491-4426.