Initially introduced into medical practice as an intravenous anesthetic, Fentanyl was once under Sublimaze’s drug name in the 1960s. Yet today, Fentanyl is typically utilized in the realm of pain management. As a powerful synthetic opioid, Fentanyl holds the potential to be anywhere from 50 to 100 times more potent than medical-grade morphine. Doctors typically prescribe the medication as a dermal patch, tablet, or pill form of administration for patients using the drug at home. Medical professionals usually prescribe Fentanyl to help combat pain after surgery or aid those suffering through chronic injury, discomfort, or painful/terminal disease to find some physical relief from their suffering.

The drug Fentanyl, in many cases, can prove an excellent beneficiary for those looking to heal or find relief. Yet, due to Fentanyl’s proficient medical prowess, the medication has been duplicated to suit the desires of “recreational” drug users. As a result, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) now classifies Fentanyl as a Schedule II substance. As a Schedule II drug, Fentanyl is not only recognized for its incredible potential to help people heal as a medical-grade pain management tool. The drug is also known for its need for close monitoring as it carries the potential to develop substance abuse or addiction disorders in its users.

Fentanyl, as a powerfully potent drug, holds many benefits and dangers. The drug can begin to take effect within minutes after its consumption, based upon the route it is taken. The medication also carries the potential to continue its influence hours after its initial use has ended. Fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin, directly through the bloodstream, orally, through the nasal cavity, and in some cases of illicit use, via smoking.

As a synthetic opioid, Fentanyl is one of the most commonly abused substances in the United States today. As a result, it, unfortunately, adds to the list of overdose statistics surrounding the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic. Fentanyl addiction is common in today’s society. However, there is hope if an individual or their family member is suffering from a Fentanyl use disorder. Fentanyl addictions, like other types of substance use disorders, are treatable conditions. The road to recovery can prove lengthy and challenging, but that does not make it impossible. Even so, one of the best ways to begin the journey towards healing is through learning about the issue itself. In this case, the more a client and their family know about Fentanyl and its use, the more information they have on hand to help them battle against it.

Some of the most common questions individuals and their families may ask about Fentanyl and its use include; how long does the drug stay in a person’s system? What does the recovery process involve? And what does Fentanyl do?

The Effects of Fentanyl Use

Traditionally, the synthetic opioid Fentanyl helps treat instances of chronic pain related to severe illness (like cancer), injury, or to help manage discomfort after surgery. Initially, when the drug came into medical practice, it was an intravenous anesthetic. But today, the medication has many outlets. Clients can make use of Fentanyl in either transdermal patches, lozenges, pills, or tablets. Individuals who misuse the drug “recreationally” may even choose to snort or smoke the substance to gain quicker access to the heroin-like high they are seeking.

Regardless of the method for use, Fentanyl can elicit several various effects in its users besides pain relief. By binding to the body’s opioid receptors, Fentanyl manages to infiltrate the section of the brain responsible for controlling the emotions and pain of the individual rapidly. The effects the drug produces may prove quite invigorating to some individuals. But often, these “feel-good” symptoms can lead to other adverse side effects. Some of the most common side effects associated with Fentanyl use include:

  • Euphoria (extreme happiness)
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased feelings of relaxation
  • Constipation
  • Confusion
  • Respiratory depression
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Sedation
  • Unconsciousness

In some cases, individuals who overdose on Fentanyl or use it too frequently can even experience life-endangering side effects or circumstances. These events can include coma, seizure, or instances of hypoxia, where the individual either ceases to breathe altogether or their respiratory functioning slows so much it causes brain damage. As individuals continue to abuse Fentanyl, their tolerance levels for the drug grow as their use increases. As time continues to pass, the more medication a patient requires to achieve their desired effect. The larger the Fentanyl dose, the higher the risk for developing a substance use disorder or experiencing an opioid overdose.

Of course, every person who uses Fentanyl will have a different experience with the drug, whether for “recreational” or medical purposes. An individual’s height, weight, metabolism, genetics, dosage, and prior use or experience with the medication will play a role in determining how the drug affects them. Fentanyl can begin to take effect as soon as two minutes after administration—the half-life of the synthetic opioid amounting to nearly four hours after use. Yet, even though Fentanyl’s influence begins to diminish after four hours, the drug can leave residual stores within an individual’s body. So then, how long does Fentanyl stay in your system?

Fentanyl’s Residual Stay in The Human Body

Generally, Fentanyl only takes a couple of minutes before it begins to affect the human body. Once the drug starts to work on an individual, its immediate effects of pain relief, euphoria, etc., can last at their full strength for a few hours. Around four hours after use, the medication’s effects begin to wear off, leaving minimal active drugs in the individual’s system.

Yet, just because Fentnayl’s immediate effects have worn off does not mean the presence of the drug has altogether left the body. There are several tests that medical professionals may use to determine if an individual has consumed Fentanyl recently or not. The methods typically used to determine whether Fentanyl was used by an individual include; urine, hair, and blood tests. How long does Fentanyl stay in your system? The drug can remain active in an individual’s system, even after its peak effectiveness has worn off, for nearly 72 hours after use, depending on the method it was administered in. But blood, urine, and hair follicle tests can still detect traces of Fentanyl in the human body anywhere from five hours to three months after use. Each test will pick up on different Fentanyl traces at various times. Typically, the range of time in which a drug test will pick up Fentanyl residue breaks down accordingly:

  • In the blood, Fentanyl remains a testable residual trait anywhere from five to forty-eight hours after the drug’s last use.
  • In the urine, Fentanyl can remain detectable anywhere from twenty-four to forty-eight hours after the drug’s last use.
  • In hair follicles, Fentanyl tends to take longer to make an appearance, but in time, as the individual’s hair grows, the drug can be detected up to three months after its last use.

In some scenarios, medical professionals may also try to test for Fentanyl use through the saliva. Still, this testing method has proven to have inconsistent outcomes and, as such, is rarely ever utilized. So, why test for Fentanyl use at all? There are many reasons why a medical team or professional will move ahead to test an individual for the presence of Fentanyl. It can be for addiction recovery treatment, sobriety check-ins, medical emergencies such as overdose cases, and so much more. Fentanyl is an incredibly potent drug that makes the likelihood of overdose with its misuse a genuine possibility.

Every year, thousands of Americans lose their lives to synthetic opioids like Fentanyl. Fentanyl addictions are common in the United States, but the good news is that the possibility to recover is accurate and true. Substance abuse recovery is possible! And as a result, drug and alcohol rehab centers, hospitals, other medical professions, and law enforcement are doing all they can to learn about Fentanyl and curb or combat its illegal usage.

Finding Help to Combat a Fentanyl Addiction

Drug and alcohol addictions infiltrate the lives of millions of Americans every year. One of the most commonly abused drugs on the market is Fentanyl, followed by many other forms of opioid medications. The drug Fentanyl is potent, medically it performs its vocation well, but it also proves highly dangerous.

The good news is, even though Fentanyl addiction is tough to fight against, an individual or their family member can heal from such a substance use disorder. Drug and alcohol rehab facilities like St. John’s Recovery Place (SJRP) work diligently to answer community members’ questions about substance abuse and how to combat it while also providing residents with practical, holistic rehabilitative services. SJRP is a labor of love. Once clients enter the treatment community at St. John’s, they are forever considered a member of the recovery community. As a result, they can continue giving and receiving support from other peer members and staff even well into their sobriety journey.

Not every alcohol and drug rehab center works in the same ways. But many of these recovery networks share the same goals and principles of the overall treatment for substance abuse. Individuals looking to enroll in rehab may be curious to discover what the healing process in addiction treatment may look like, which is entirely normal. Typically, rehabilitation begins with a detox period, an inpatient residential stay, and then outpatient therapy. But each client is different, and therefore, each recovery program is subject to change based on the individual and their specific needs. Regardless, the road to recovery can prove challenging. The path to healing is not linear, and what may take some clients only a matter of days may take others weeks or months.

The staff at St. John’s Recovery Place work tirelessly to support their residents. Through every treatment setback and triumph, the St. John’s team cheers their residents on towards the finish line, loving them when they feel as though they cannot love themselves, and encouraging them to continue fighting for the life they want. At SJRP, both traditional and alternative treatment methods are utilized in the company’s recovery programs. Staff and medical professionals work to provide clients with as holistic a healing experience as possible. Fentanyl addiction no longer needs to have power over an individual’s life. It is possible to heal, and there are many avenues open to people who wish to pursue healing even today. If you would like to know more about addiction treatment, St. John’s Recovery Place, and how to get started on the path towards healing, call 1-833-397-3422 to learn more today. Recovery is just around the corner!