How Long Does Fentanyl Stay in Your System?

Fentanyl is a potent opioid that is used to relieve severe chronic or surgical pain. The strengths of its effects contribute to its status as one of the most commonly abused medications in the country. Many factors affect how long it stays in your system, and different types of drug tests vary in how long they’re able to detect fentanyl.

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, which means it is synthesized in a laboratory and does not occur naturally. It has a more powerful painkilling effect than natural opioids like morphine or codeine. Fentanyl is typically prescribed in hospital settings to treat severe pain due to chronic illness or surgery. However, its capacity to dull the sensation of pain and provide feelings of mild euphoria have made it a popular illicit drug. It may be snorted as a powder, injected, or taken in tablet form.

Risks of fentanyl abuse

Though fentanyl has legitimate medical uses, its potency makes it easy to abuse by people who seek to dull their physical or emotional pain or experience its euphoric effects. It is not uncommon for people who originally used fentanyl under the supervision of a doctor to begin using it illicitly because they have become addicted to its effects.

This has led to the rise of the opioid epidemic in the United States, which has worsened due to forged prescriptions and stolen medications, but heavily involves the abuse of illicitly manufactured fentanyl. It’s common for fentanyl to be added to other drugs such as heroin or cocaine to increase their potency, so individuals may not know they are addicted to fentanyl.

Fentanyl use is associated with overdose since it can severely slow crucial bodily functions such as heart rate and breathing, leading to respiratory depression or even death. The risk of overdose underscores the importance of seeking treatment for fentanyl addiction.

Factors that affect how long fentanyl stays in your system

The determinants of how long a drug will stay in the body are primarily characteristics of the drug and characteristics of the individual that will affect how quickly they can metabolize the drug. Some of the most important factors are explained below.

Fentanyl half-life

The half-life of a drug is the time period it takes for half of the drug to be metabolized out of the body. For fentanyl, half-life varies according to how it is administered. Some routes of administration hasten the metabolic process, resulting in a shorter half-life.

  • Fentanyl used intravenously has a half-life of about 2-4 hours. That means it takes around this time to metabolize half of the dose taken.
  • Fentanyl taken transdermally, such as through transdermal patches that can be attached through the skin, has a half-life of around 17 hours. That’s because it takes longer for the drug entering the skin to reach the bloodstream.
  • Fentanyl administered orally can have a half-life of anywhere from 5 to 14 hours.

Individual metabolism

Several factors can influence how quickly or how well a person can metabolize a substance like fentanyl. These factors include: age, gender, weight, body fat percentage, liver functioning, and genetics. For instance, it is well-known that metabolism slows as we age. This means that if two people take the same amount of fentanyl, the younger person is more likely to metabolize the drug out of their system first because their metabolism is faster. Of course, individual factors all work together, so some factors that may slow individual metabolism may outweigh other factors that would speed up individual metabolism.
How long does fentanyl show up on drug tests?

Since many of the factors affecting the length of time fentanyl stays in the system are not easily quantifiable, it is difficult to tell exactly how long fentanyl will be detectable. Detection times also vary according to the type of drug test used.

Urine tests

Fentanyl can show up in urine for around 24 hours and up to 72 hours. It is not likely to be detectable after that. However, the metabolite norfentanyl, which is produced by the body as it metabolizes fentanyl, may be detectable in urine tests for up to 96 hours.

Blood tests

Fentanyl may be detectable in blood for up to 48 hours after the last dose. Saliva tests Saliva tests are not a reliable way of testing for fentanyl use, even fentanyl that is consumed orally. As a result, these tests are not used to test for fentanyl use.

Hair tests

Hair follicles can carry traces of fentanyl for up to three months after use. Though this test is more expensive and not as common, it is one of the most accurate ways to detect fentanyl use even after long periods have elapsed since last use.

Fentanyl Addiction Recovery At Riverwalk Ranch
A Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area Addiction Treatment Center

At Riverwalk Ranch, we can assist you in managing fentanyl addiction as part of our comprehensive addiction treatment services. Located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, our professionals use only empirically-supported interventions to help you safely and comfortably eliminate fentanyl from your system and begin your journey toward recovery. Our facilities can serve as an encouraging and safe haven to overcome addiction, surrounded by addiction specialists and other like-minded individuals all working toward a healthier addiction-free life.

If you or a loved one is suffering from fentanyl addiction, contact our addiction treatment center today at (877) 863-3869. In the fight against opioids, timely intervention could mean the difference between life and death. Whether you live in Texas or you want a refreshing change of environment, Riverwalk Ranch can provide a therapeutic and supportive home for you. Everyone deserves a happy and healthy life free from addiction, and we are committed to helping you overcome fentanyl addiction in order to get you there.

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