Side Effects of Abusing Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a dangerous synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than already powerful opioids like morphine. Due to the concentration of this substance, the risks of overdosing are the highest out of all drug addictions. Many individuals overdose during their first time accidental or intentional use. Even though it is a synthetic substance, fentanyl dependence is still considered an opioid addiction.
Aside from the risks of overdose, fentanyl is highly addictive and tolerance-building, which means that a user must increase their dose over time to continue to feel the effects. Symptoms of withdrawal can also be felt in as little as 8 hours since the last dose, creating an intense cycle of dependency. In the case of fentanyl, even decreasing the dose you are used to can trigger withdrawal, unlike heroin where users can prevent entering withdrawal by taking small amounts.
How Long is Fentanyl in Your System?
How long fentanyl can be detected in a persons system greatly depends on their own biological composition, as well as the amount of fentanyl they were taking and the method of delivery such as a transdermal patch or injection. There are also multiple methods of detection such as saliva tests and urine tests.
In regards to being detected in blood or urine, fentanyl stays in your system for up to 72 hours in urine and 48 hours in blood, however the withdrawal process for fentanyl to completely leave your system and for your body to return to normal function can take weeks. As with most substances, testing the hair follicle can detect fentanyl for up to 3 months.
Withdrawal symptoms from fentanyl can begin between 8 and 24 hours after the last dose and the most uncomfortable and intense symptoms peak around day 2 or 3. From there, symptoms begin to decrease but can last anywhere from 7-10 days in most individuals up to several weeks in cases of extreme dependency.
Risks of Fentanyl Overdose
The greatest risk of taking fentanyl is overdose death. According to those who have witnessed or survived a fentanyl overdose, the most notable characteristic of fentanyl overdose is how quickly an individual can succumb to the overdose — within seconds or minutes of ingesting the substance. This leaves a very small window of time for an antagonist medication like Naloxone or Narcan to be administered and life saving measures to be taken.
The most notable indication of fentanyl overdose is slowed or a complete stop of breathing. Permanent brain damage can begin after only 4 minutes without oxygen and even extended periods of decreased oxygen can result in brain damage.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment at Serenity Oaks
The use of this synthetic opioid turned illicit street drug has accelerated in recent years, in large part due to the rise in prescription opioid abuse and lacing fentanyl with other drugs to increase potency and volume. This highly addictive substance also has an alarming rate of overdose and death. If you suspect someone you care about is abusing this drug, it is crucial to seek professional help right away.
The staff at Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is experienced in heroin addiction and will help you or a loved one learn to live a life of abstinence from this dangerous substance. Our medical detox program is rated as number 1 in Fort Lauderdale and we are considered South Florida’s premier addiction treatment rehab program. During your time at our recovery center, you will be treated like family and receive the highest quality of compassionate care.
Our knowledgeable team will create a customized care plan that can include drug detox, individual therapy, or residential treatment, as well as intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization options depending on time availability or ability to pay for treatment. No matter what, we will work with you every step of the way and provide you with as many recovery resources as possible to aid in your long term recovery.
All of our treatment programs are run and advised by leading addiction specialists who are utilizing both traditional and alternative therapeutic methods to approach each individual’s addiction recovery with the tools best suited for the job. Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is also proud to utilize a dual diagnosis approach to recovery from substance use disorders, to help individuals understand how underlying mental health disorders can contribute to turning to substance abuse as a negative coping skill.
For more information, to speak with a member of our expert staff, or to begin the admissions process, don’t hesitate to reach out as soon as possible at (833) 720-0708.