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Fentanyl is a very powerful synthetic opioid. This painkiller is between fifty and one hundred times more potent than the opioid morphine. People who are addicted to fentanyl or abuse the substance are at a high risk of overdose.
This is a prescription drug that comes in a number of different forms. However, it is highly addictive and therefore can be misused by those who are prescribed it as well as those who aren’t.
Someone who abuses fentanyl might be misusing drugs that were prescribed to them or someone else. They also might be using fentanyl that was made in an illegal lab.
Using fentanyl is particularly dangerous for individuals who don’t have an opioid tolerance. While some people purposefully ingest fentanyl, others might take it unknowingly when other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and MDMA contain fentanyl.
Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms
Along with the signs and symptoms listed above, other descriptions are associated with an opioid use disorder. Someone who takes more fentanyl than prescribed or takes it for longer than intended might need fentanyl treatment.
This creates a slippery slope that often leads to recreational use of narcotics and addiction. An individual might have the desire to stop or cut down but is unable to because of their addiction.
Someone might spend most of their day attempting to obtain fentanyl, abuse it, or recover from using it. Often, this leads to someone losing sight of their priorities which may lead to job loss and money issues.
Someone with an ongoing fentanyl abuse problem won’t be able to meet their obligations at work, school, or even at home. This person might also withdraw from participating in social or recreational events.
Withdrawal symptoms will occur in a person when the fentanyl use stops or the dosage is lower. Someone who is addicted might develop a tolerance to the drug and increase their use resulting in an overdose.
The following side effects are less common with fentanyl:
- Problems balancing and walking
- Muscle twitching or jerking
- Less responsiveness to stimuli
- Severe constipation
- Extreme sleepiness
The most common signs of an overdose of fentanyl are slow or shallow breathing.
Medically Supervised Fentanyl Use
There is little risk of overdose during a medically supervised pain management fentanyl treatment plan. However, it is possible to become addicted to fentanyl because it was prescribed during treatment.
Medical professionals agree that an individual should not suddenly attempt to stop using narcotics. In a supervised setting, a person who was given fentanyl for pain will be slowly weaned off of it.
The opioid withdrawal process can trigger severe withdrawal symptoms and be very uncomfortable. Rehab programs that offer medication-assisted therapy exist to help those with opioid addiction.
They do so by offering drugs like Suboxone that helps a patient without fully detoxing them from narcotics. Some patients stay on this form of substitution therapy for months or years.
What Are the Side Effects of Fentanyl?
Fentanyl can produce different side effects in different people. Fentanyl common side effects include:
- Feeling drowsy
- Feeling nauseous
- Breathing difficulties
- Feeling cold
The sedative effects of fentanyl may be very pronounced in some people. It can even lead to people becoming unconscious.
There are also some lesson common side-effects. If you experience any of the following, speak to your doctor:
- Skin discomfort – burning, prickling, itching, numbness
- Difficulty or pain passing urine
- Reduction in volume of urine
- Gaining weight quickly
- Racing heartbeat
- Stomach pain
- Facial swelling
These side effects are unpleasant but they may ease off as your body gets used to the medication.
Fentanyl side effects may also make it very difficult to work safely. Talk to your doctor about how safe it is for you to perform your current work while taking fentanyl.
What Does Fentanyl Do to the Brain?
The way that fentanyl works is that it binds to the opioid receptors in a person’s body, just like morphine, heroin, and other opioids. These opioid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that deal with emotions and pain.
The brain gets used to taking the drug after a while, which leads to the individual having an increased tolerance. As the person becomes addicted to fentanyl, seeking out pleasure from the drug can completely take over their lives.
Some of the effects of fentanyl use include:
- Extreme happiness
- Problems breathing
Because of its potency, fentanyl is extremely addictive. Even a person who is taking fentanyl at the instruction of a doctor can become dependent on the drug. Dependency is characterized by the experience of withdrawal symptoms when the individual stops taking the medication.
When a person is dependent on a substance it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are addicted. However, addiction can be born out of a dependence.
When a person who is addicted to fentanyl stops taking the drug, they can experience withdrawal symptoms that are quite severe. These symptoms can happen within a few hours of no longer taking the drug. These symptoms include severe cravings, sleep problems, bone and muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhea, and cold flashes with goose bumps.
How Does Fentanyl Affect the Body?
Akin to morphine and heroin, fentanyl generates the feeling of relaxation, pain relief, drowsiness, and euphoria. It does so by targeting opioid receptors in the brain that are responsible for mediating emotion and pain. Fentanyl also releases dopamine (a chemical that induces the feeling of pleasure) in the reward center of the brain. This is how repeated use of fentanyl reinforces the user’s dependency on the drug.
Individuals on fentanyl are often dizzy, in a state of confusion, have pupillary constriction (shrunken pupils), and may feel nauseated. Opioid poisoning or overdosing leads to near-unconsciousness, coma, cold-bluish skin, respiratory failure, and death.
How long does Fentanyl stay in your system?
It is essential to consider the elimination half-life when determining how long fentanyl stays in your body. Elimination half-life is the time it takes for half a single dose to leave the body.
Intravenous drug use has an elimination half-life of up to 4 hours in adults. It takes about 11 to 12 hours to get cleared from your body.
Meanwhile, patch and lozenge exhibit a half-life of 7 to 17 hours. It will take about 36 hours for this substance to altogether leave the system.
When Fentanyl breaks down after it gets absorbed, it leaves behind traces called metabolites. The longer it stays in your system, the higher chance a drug test could find fentanyl in your body, even if it is several days after you stop taking it.
Why Should You Test for Fentanyl?
A fentanyl drug test is a way to identify whether someone is using the drug and can also detect it in other substances. Fentanyl-related overdoses are on the rise because many individuals take a different drug, unaware that it’s laced in.
Testing drugs for traces of fentanyl is a form of overdose prevention designed to keep individuals from overdosing and needing naloxone treatment to survive. Drug screening is also useful in pain management clinics to avoid passing out dangerous drugs to individuals who may be struggling with addiction.
Alternatively, these tests can be used in the workplace, during the rehabilitation process, or for individuals on probation.
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. These fentanyl testing strips have a cutoff level of 200 ng/ml and are 99% accurate.
Fentanyl Test Strips
These strips are so simple to use that there is little to no excuse for not using them. They work quickly and are trustworthy.
Typically, these strips are single-use and work by dipping them into a water solution containing the drug in question. After a few minutes, the results will appear, usually with either a single or double line depending on the results, similar to a pregnancy test.
At 12 Panel Now our fentanyl urine drug test strips are used to detect traces of fentanyl in urine. Our test is so simple and effective, all you need is the test strip, gloves, a container to hold the urine, and a stopwatch.
Our strips are 99% accurate and results are ready within five minutes. It’s important to note that this test can detect the presence of fentanyl in any solution, not just urine. Each kit comes with 25 strips, but this test is also available to buy as a single test strip.
So how long does fentanyl stay in your system? And how long can you test positive for fentanyl?
Fentanyl drug test detection times can vary. A fentanyl urine test can detect the drug in your urine between 24-72 hours after it was last taken.
How to Read a Drug Test (Fentanyl)
Single Panel Fentanyl Test Strip is a simple and effective screening test used to detect Fentanyl, or determine Fentanyl abuse. The test strips are available in single packs, as well as multi-pack quantities. Some multidrug test cups will detect Fentanyl as well as other prescription drugs present.
If you’re purchasing drug tests cups from 12 Panel Now, there are many options available in the form of multipanel drug test cups. 13 Panel, 14 Panel, and 16 Panel Multidrug test cups contain Fentanyl test panels as well as other specific drug panels. Results are displayed in as little as five minutes. In order to begin using the Single Panel Fentanyl test, make sure to have your materials ready. You will need:
- Remove the fentanyl drug test from its sealed pouch and use it as soon as possible. For best results, perform the assay within an hour.
- Next, hold the strip by the end, where you can see the product name. To avoid contamination, do not touch the strip membrane.
- Then, holding the strip vertically, dip the test strip in the urine specimen for at least 10-15 seconds. Do not immerse above the maximum line (MAX) on the test strip. That’s about 1/5th of the way up the strip.
- After the fentanyl drug test has finished, remove the strip from the specimen and place it on a non-absorbent flat surface. Start the timer and wait for the colored band(s) to appear. Read the result at 5 minutes. Do not interpret it after 10 minutes.