The effects of fentanyl usually last between a few hours and as long as eight hours. The duration of these depends on how one’s body processes the drugs and other factors. Understanding these factors can better help you determine how long fentanyl stays in your system.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl was initially created as a synthetic opioid in a lab as a prescription medication for severe and chronic pain. There is also illicit fentanyl manufactured in illegal facilities, much like meth, and sold on the street. Whether prescribed or illegal, the drug is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and up to 100 times more powerful than morphine.
How Does Fentanyl Make You Feel?
Fentanyl binds to the natural-occurring opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors are connected to the central nervous system and transmit pain signals from the body to the brain. Fentanyl, like other opioids, blocks and reduces pain.
Fentanyl also causes an increase in dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that is associated with pleasure. As such, one can feel diminished pain, relaxed, calm, happy, and euphoric when using fentanyl.
Factors That Determine How Long Fentanyl Stays in Your System
- One’s tolerance to fentanyl. The more one uses fentanyl, the more the body tolerates the drug. Therefore, to achieve the desired effects, one has to take high doses.
- The dosage amount. The amount of fentanyl taken determines how long it remains in the body.
- How often fentanyl is taken. The duration between doses also determines how long it stays in your system. For example, if you take it every four to eight hours to maintain its effects, then it remains in the body longer.
- Body fat. Fentanyl can be stored in fat tissues. So, fentanyl will remain longer in the body when one has more body fat.
- Age. Younger people tend to process fentanyl much faster than older people.
- Genetics. Some people lack the necessary enzymes to fully process fentanyl, so it remains longer in their systems.
- How fentanyl was taken. Fentanyl can be injected, snorted, or smoked. When injected, it does not remain in the system as long as snorting or smoking it.
- If fentanyl is mixed with other drugs. Fentanyl is often mixed with heroin, cocaine, Xanax, and other illicit street drugs. When it is, it can remain in the body longer.
How Long Is Fentanyl Detectable?
When drug tests are used to detect the presence of fentanyl, they will vary on how long fentanyl is detectable. For example, a urine test can detect fentanyl within a few hours of using the drug and up to three days after the last use. Blood tests for fentanyl can also detect the drug for up to three days. Otherwise, fentanyl only shows positive on tests up to the first 24 hours after the last use.
On the other hand, a saliva test often does not detect fentanyl, even though most saliva tests will detect other opioids. However, hair follicle tests can detect fentanyl and other drugs for up to three months after their last use.
Fentanyl Withdrawal and Detox Timeline
Fentanyl withdrawal begins within 8 to 36 hours after the last dose. Withdrawal symptoms start mild and gradually grow in intensity over the next several days. Usually, within a week to ten days, most people will have recovered from physical withdrawal symptoms.
Days One through Three
The first few days of withdrawal are often the most difficult. During this time, someone can experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Muscle and body aches and pain
- Problems sleeping
- Lack of energy
- Nausea and vomiting
- Runny Nose
- Panic attacks
- Chills and shaking
- Intense cravings
Days Four through Seven
By the fourth day, most people will notice their withdrawal symptoms have peaked and will gradually lessen in intensity and severity. By the end of the first week, most of the withdrawal symptoms will have subsided.
Day Eight and Beyond
Someone can still experience problems sleeping and a lack of energy for several weeks as the body continues to normalize and recover from the physical effects of fentanyl. In addition, some people may continue to experience anger, aggression, anxiety, and depression, as well as intense cravings for fentanyl.
Psychological withdrawal symptoms are called post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). Unfortunately, PAWS can linger for months, sometimes longer. However, with continued recovery treatment, these symptoms do eventually subside.
How to Safely Quit Fentanyl
The safest and most effective way to quit fentanyl is with medical detox at a medical detox center. Medical detox provides direct access to doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals, and addiction specialists to supervise your detox.
Additionally, several effective medications used with fentanyl detox can alleviate withdrawal symptoms. These medications are non-addictive. In some cases, one can continue taking these medications post-detox to avoid relapse.
Fentanyl Detox Treatment in Pompano Beach, FL
When you are ready to start fentanyl detox treatment, you will discover a caring, supportive, and safe environment at DCF and Joint Commission-accredited Retreat of Broward in Pompano Beach, FL. Our medical detox center customizes your detox treatment to your specific needs. Start your fentanyl detox treatment today by contacting us.