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How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In the Body?

Ever since you accidentally took fentanyl when it was mixed into a pill at a party, you have been hooked. Even though your friend didn’t survive the experience, taking fentanyl that night fueled your budding addiction. The depression you had been managing for years was finally in check – at least, it was while you were using. You finally didn’t feel like hurting yourself until withdrawal started.

how long does fentanyl stay in the body

The cramps were always manageable but as the hours ticked by, you would become desperate for them to stop. Lately, it has been seeming like you need fentanyl sooner and sooner, like you can’t go an hour or two without it in your system. How long does fentanyl stay in the system anyway? Why is fentanyl withdrawal setting in so soon?

DeSota, Manatee, and Sarasota counties saw a 485% increase in fentanyl overdose deaths from 2016 to 2021. Clean Recovery Centers has been at the forefront of the opioid epidemic from day one, and has helped hundreds to get clean, live clean, and stay clean. We understand the role that mental health has in addiction, and our program is able to address and treat different mental health conditions alongside our addiction treatment. Our blog is a great resource for clients, their families, and friends who are concerned about substance use and want to learn more. Today, we are discussing the detection time of fentanyl, and how long it stays in the system.

Here’s Why You Should Be Concerned About Fentanyl Detection

Fentanyl is a powerful, synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin. As it enters the body, fentanyl attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. The initial effect is described as a rush of euphoria and relaxation. After the rush, drowsiness and dizziness occur, paired with nodding in and out of consciousness.

Prolonged use of fentanyl can have adverse effects on the body. Some long-term fentanyl side effects include:

  • Chronic infections due to a lowered immune system
  • Gastrointestinal complications
  • Heart attacks
  • Reproductive issues and hormonal imbalance in both men and women
  • Breathing difficulties
  • HIV/AIDS or hepatitis in those who inject fentanyl

Fentanyl Detection Time: How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

Depending on certain factors, fentanyl can be detected in the system for up to four days after use. Age is one of the biggest factors in how long fentanyl stays in the system because as we age, our metabolism slows. The half-life of fentanyl is around 3 to 7 hours, depending on the dose taken, and if any other substances were mixed with fentanyl.

What Outside Influences Determine How Long Fentanyl Stays in Your System?

There are many different influences that can affect how long fentanyl stays in your system. A higher body fat percentage can keep fentanyl in the system longer as it is stored in fat while waiting to be processed. Poor liver function can keep fentanyl around longer because the detox process is moving slower. The dose used also affects how long fentanyl stays in the body. The higher the dose or the more frequent the dose, the longer it will be detectable in the system. If fentanyl is taken with other substances, metabolism can be affected and cause fentanyl to stay in the body longer.

In What Different Ways Can Fentanyl Be Absorbed Through the Body?

fentanyl duration in system diagramFentanyl can be absorbed into the body through many different methods. Illicitly, fentanyl is commonly injected or pressed into pills that are swallowed. It can also be snorted as a nasal spray or inhaled off of blotter paper. Prescription fentanyl can come in patches that allow it to be absorbed through the skin. Because fentanyl has many different methods of absorption, it is easy to be accidentally exposed to fentanyl. If a white powder or unidentified pill is ever found, do not try to sniff it or taste it. Even a minute amount of fentanyl can cause an accidental overdose, and sniffing or tasting it will cause exposure.

Can a Drug Test Detect Fentanyl?

Drug tests can be used to detect if fentanyl is present in the system. Fentanyl is an opioid, and 5-panel, 10-panel, and 12-panel drug screens test for opioid metabolites in urine. Typically, fentanyl can be detected in urine up to 4 days after the last use. Blood tests are also a detection method for fentanyl. In the blood, fentanyl can be detected 1 to 2 days after the last use. Hair follicle tests can be used to determine long-term fentanyl use, as fentanyl can be detected up to three months after the last use. Saliva tests can be used to detect certain substances, but fentanyl has been shown inconclusive for this particular test. The most common test for fentanyl is urine tests as they are accurate and non-invasive.

How Do I Get Fentanyl Out of My System Quickly?

There is no surefire way to get fentanyl out of your system quicker. The liver is responsible for breaking down fentanyl, and there is no way to speed up the detox process. While drinking water can help keep your system healthy and hydrated, the liver will still process fentanyl at the same pace. Fentanyl is considered a long-acting opioid, meaning it will stay in the system longer than short-acting opioids such as morphine or oxycodone.

Fentanyl Detection Is Not the Only Concern: What Happens if You Take Too Much Fentanyl?

Taking too much fentanyl is dangerous and can be life-threatening. When too much fentanyl enters the body, the brain becomes overwhelmed. The central nervous system – which is responsible for breathing and temperature control – can slow to a dangerously low rate, causing breathing to stop. This results in a fentanyl overdose, which can be fatal. Symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include:

  • A bluish tinge of the lips and fingers
  • Gurgling or choking sounds
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Pinpoint pupils

If an overdose is ever suspected, seek medical attention immediately. When breathing stops, oxygen is no longer reaching vital organs and permanent damage can occur within minutes. Always stay with the person and wait for medical help to arrive. If available, administer Narcan as it works to block the effects of opioids. In some cases where fentanyl is taken, more than one dose may be needed. When help arrives, be honest with all substances taken so they can treat the person properly.

In Florida, a statute is in place to protect those who are seeking help for an overdose from criminal prosecution. This statute states that anyone in good faith seeking help for an alcohol or substance overdose will not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted if evidence of drug paraphernalia is found. The goal is to encourage those who are experiencing an overdose to seek help without fear of criminal charges.

Worried About Fentanyl Detection Time? Get Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction in Sarasota County

Fentanyl addiction can take over all aspects of your life, but there is hope for a brighter future. Finding a treatment program can make all the difference and help you quit fentanyl use for good. Recovery from fentanyl addiction will include therapy, skill-building classes, and discussions with peers will help you pave the way for your recovery and provide support to ensure your success. Leaving fentanyl behind may seem impossible, but with the right program, you can rediscover yourself and your passions. You have a beautiful future waiting for you, all you need to do is take the first step.

If you or someone you love is managing a fentanyl use disorder, it’s not too late to get help. Clean Recovery Centers has a unique, three-phase approach that addresses all aspects of addiction: spiritual, mental, physical, and social. Our dedicated team is here to support your victories and help you pave the way to a successful recovery. With locations along the Suncoast, we are ready to help you find the strength to leave fentanyl behind for good. Call us today at (888) 330-2532 to learn more about our program offerings.


What does fentanyl look like?

Fentanyl comes in many forms, such as lozenges, patches, and liquid. Illicit fentanyl is typically a powder or liquid.

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