In 2019, more than 36,000 people died from overdosing on synthetic opioids. This number is 12x higher than it was in 2013.
One synthetic opioid that is commonly abused is fentanyl. Some abuse fentanyl on its own while others mix it with other drugs like cocaine and heroin to increase the potency.
Testing for synthetic opioids is one way to combat the issue of overdoses, but does fentanyl show up on a drug test? Read on to find out.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a type of synthetic opioid drug prescribed to those who have severe pain. It’s stronger than morphine and more dangerous when abused.
Generally, only advanced cancer patients are prescribed this drug. However, those with chronic pain who are tolerant to other opioids might be prescribed fentanyl as well.
Pharmaceutical fentanyl comes in the following forms:
- Transdermal patch
- Nasal spray
- Injectable solution
Illicit fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs or in a powder or tablet form. People who take this drug illegally might inject, swallow, or snort it.
Others use blotter paper and place it in their mouth to absorb. Blotter paper is highly absorbent and often used to take LSD.
There is a thin line between a safe dose of fentanyl and one that can cause an overdose. Fentanyl is even more dangerous when mixed with other drugs. Users might do this on purpose or not know of the mixture.
How Does Fentanyl Work in the Body?
Fentanyl will attach to and activate opioid receptors in the body. These receptors are located in the parts of the brain that affect emotion and pain.
As it interacts with these receptors, it increases the release of dopamine in the reward center of the brain. An increase in dopamine from certain nerve cells creates a sense of euphoria. This makes the drug incredibly addicting.
A major side effect of fentanyl is that it can cause slow breathing and increase the risk of overdose. Other side effects of using this drug include:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Constricted pupils
- Urinary retention
Because of the potency of fentanyl, there is a high risk of overdose. It is common for an overdose to occur when a drug is laced with fentanyl. These are the signs of a fentanyl overdose:
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Blue skin color and lips
- Clammy and cold skin
- Constricted pupils
The biggest danger of this drug is that it is commonly repackaged as counterfeit versions of well-known opioids. Drug users might consume fentanyl without knowing it causing an overdose and death.
Does Fentanyl Show Up on a Drug Test?
So, does fentanyl show up on a drug test? Yes, it can show up on a fentanyl urine test and other fentanyl test strips. This leads us to another question: How long does fentanyl show up on a drug test?
Although the effects of fentanyl only last a few hours, the drug remains in the system for much longer. Detection time varies depending on the following factors:
- Duration of drug use
- Frequency of drug use
- Urine concentration
- Impaired kidney or liver functioning (medical conditions)
- Individual hydration level
- Body mass and metabolism
- Administration of the drug
A urine test can typically detect fentanyl in the body for 24-72 hours after last use. However, the above factors might make the detection time longer.
Fentanyl will stay in the urine longer for those who use fentanyl moderately or heavily.
Within five minutes, a drug rehab center will know the results. You can buy bulk drug test strips to test for fentanyl in urine or any other solution.
How to Complete a Fentanyl Drug Test
12 Panel Now makes it easy to complete a fentanyl drug test. You’ll need a container to collect the solution, urine is the easiest to collect. You’ll also want to have gloves, eye protection, and a timer.
Once you remove the fentanyl drug test from the sealed pouch, you’ll need to use it within the hour for best results. Don’t touch the strip membrane or else you will contaminate the test.
Be careful to hold the strip at the end where the product name shows. Dip the membrane part of the test strip into the urine specimen for about 10-15 seconds.
Once you’ve finished submerging the test strip, place it on a flat surface that won’t absorb the urine. Set your timer for 5 minutes and watch for colored bands to appear.
It is essential to read the test after 5 minutes to avoid a false negative or false positive. A test read after 10 minutes is almost always incorrect.
Fentanyl Testing Strips Results
A fentanyl test strip will have two bands, the test region (T) and the control region (C).
A positive test result is one where only one colored band will appear in the control region (C) and nothing appears in the test region (T). If the control band fails to appear, the test is invalid. You’ll have to complete a new test if this occurs.
A negative test result is when both bands on the control and test region appear. If one line appears in a lighter hue, the test is still negative.
Are False Positives Common?
Because fentanyl is much more distinct than other opioids, false-positive results for fentanyl are not common. Yet, a false positive for fentanyl can still happen.
There are certain drugs that are known to be responsible for false-positive test results. These four drugs have caused the most evidence for fentanyl false positives:
12 Panel Now is known to be 99% accurate with their urine tests. If you are still unsure about the reliability, read into 12 Panel Now reviews for clarity.
Carfentanil and Norfentanyl
Carfentanil is another synthetic opioid that 12panelnow can test for using carfentanil drug test strips. This drug is more potent than fentanyl, and therefore, more dangerous.
A small dose of carfentanil can cause similar or more powerful side effects than fentanyl.
Carfentanil is not intended for human use but some still abuse the drug. Yet, it is more likely that someone will overdose on it before experiencing a high. This drug was created for veterinarians to sedate large animals, like elephants.
Someone with a fentanyl addiction might try carfentanil to gain a better high but the risk of overdose is much more common.
In contrast, norfentanyl has been used for breakthrough pain or as a pre-op pain reliever. It’s a fentanyl metabolite, that when abused, can cause rapid onset but lead to a short duration of action.
The norfentanyl metabolite is made during the breakdown process of the drug. It can be detected for up to 96 hours in the urine.
Norfentanyl drug test strips are available for purchase as well. Drug rehab centers might find this test more useful because it has a longer detection time.
Can a 13 Panel Drug Test Test for Fentanyl?
Depending on the 13 panel drug test you purchase, it might test for fentanyl. 12 Panel Now 13 panel drug test cups will test for fentanyl along with the following drugs:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Tests like these are especially beneficial for rehab centers as they can test for multiple illegal substances at one time.
How to Use a 13 Panel Drug Test Cup
Much like a test strip, you’ll need to collect a urine sample to test for drugs. Once you collect the sample, securely close the lid, remove the label, and wait 5 minutes to read the results.
Don’t forget to write the name of the patient on the test cup to avoid confusing patient results.
You’ll interpret the results the same way you would with a test strip, by checking the control region (C) and test region (T). You’ll be able to read all results for the 13 drugs that were tested straight from the cup.
You can buy a bulk drug test of this type just as you can with the fentanyl test strips.
Should Your Rehab Center Test for Fentanyl?
Now that you know the answer to, “does fentanyl show up on a drug test?”, you can successfully test patients for use of this drug.
Testing for fentanyl is important for rehab centers and medical facilities alike as it is a more potent drug than morphine that can lead to overdose and even death when used outside the bounds of prescription.
Opioid usage, like fentanyl, has been on the rise. 12 Panel Now understands this reality and offers bulk product orders at wholesale pricing.
Contact us today for any questions or help with an order.