What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s derived from opium or the poppy plant. First synthesized in the 1960s, fentanyl and its analogues are some of the strongest opioids available today. These prescription drugs treat moderate to severe pain, like after a surgery. They’re incredibly effective. Fentanyl, itself, is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Doctors administer this drug in various ways. It comes in the form of a tablet, a liquid and as a transdermal patch. Depending on the method of administration, the effects of fentanyl will kick in at various times. The strength of the high will also vary.
How long does fentanyl stay in your system for? That’s a difficult question to answer accurately since everybody’s body and metabolism is different. With that said, there are some approximate timelines that the body follows when removing this synthetic opioid.
After all, the liver is the primary organ responsible for clearing this dangerous drug from your body. An enzyme called ‘hepatic microsomal cytochrome P450‘ oxidizes fentanyl into norfentanyl. Norfentanyl is the inactive metabolite of fentanyl. After this is done, the metabolites are excreted through urine.
Ridding The Body Of Fentanyl
Before the body has a chance of getting rid of the fentanyl, it will first enter the bloodstream and be carried to the brain. Fentanyl is a relatively small molecule. It can cross the blood-brain barrier fairly easily. Once it crosses the barrier, it attaches to opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS).
This stimulates the receptors and causes an influx of numerous neurotransmitters. Dopamine and serotonin are two of the main agents involved. These neurotransmitters regulate emotions and other bodily functions. The large influx of neurochemicals creates feelings of euphoria and other pleasant sensations.
Fentanyl is a fairly easy drug to get addicted to. It’s quite addictive since it has such a strong effect on the brain. Those who are addicted to fentanyl should seek addiction treatment as soon as possible. Don’t wait! The addiction will only get worse.
If you believe that a loved one may be hiding a fentanyl addiction, there are, fortunately, many drug tests on the market that can tell you the truth. Before you can administer these drug tests, you must first find out how long it takes for the body to metabolize these opioids.
The Elimination Half-Life of Fentanyl
Depending on how fentanyl was taken, it will take the body varying lengths of time to remove this drug from your system. Thanks to the many studies conducted in this area, we have an approximate idea of the elimination half-life of this drug. Each drug addict will experience some variations. Many factors can affect how the body breaks down fentanyl. The elimination half-life is the length of time it takes for the body to remove half of a single dose of fentanyl.
When taken intravenously, fentanyl has an approximate half-life of 2 to 4 hours. Basically, this means that it will take your body about 11 to 22 hours to fully get rid of this drug. If fentanyl is taken via the transdermal route through a patch, it will take the body even longer to get rid of the drug. Studies show that the half-life of fentanyl is about 7 hours in these conditions. This means that it takes the body about 36 hours to clear the drug.
Although the body can remove the parent compound fairly effectively, the metabolites will remain in your system for much longer. Drug tests usually look for these metabolites instead of the parent compound. This is the reason why drug tests are able to detect fentanyl for days, if not weeks, after its last use.
Factors that Influence the Metabolic Rate of Fentanyl
While we have a pretty good idea of the approximate half-life of fentanyl, there are many factors that can influence this timeline. Every drug abuser’s body will process fentanyl at different speeds. The organs work at different rates.
The metabolic rate of fentanyl also depends on the purity of the drug, the dose taken and the overall strength. The quality of the fentanyl will influence how long fentanyl stays in the body.
It can be difficult to determine exactly how long fentanyl will stay in your system for. Scientists will also have to take into account the following factors of each drug addict:
- Biological makeup and genetic composition
- Body fat ratio and content
- Height and weight
- Overall health, especially pertaining to the kidneys and liver
Drug addicts who are younger will process fentanyl much more quickly than those who are old. Their system has simply gone through too much wear and tear. Those who have a lower body fat ratio will also clear fentanyl from their system at a much quicker rate.
This is because the body can store fentanyl in body fat. If this happens, the drug slowly seeps back into the bloodstream. Fentanyl will take a much longer period of time to leave the body.
Detection Window for Fentanyl Using Various Drug Tests
Fentanyl is an extremely addictive drug. Many drug addicts deny that they have an addiction to this drug. If you suspect that a loved one is hiding something, you can always use a drug test to find out the truth.
The results will tell you whether a loved one is struggling with fentanyl abuse. If they are, it’s time to intervene. There are plenty of intervention programs available. If you’re not sure which one to use, take to a specialist at a fentanyl drug rehab center.
There are different types of tests that can detect fentanyl. The different tests have various detection windows. While some tests may have the ability to detect fentanyl use even days after it was taken, they may be more costly.
It’s important to consider which drug test will give you the features that you’re looking for. A longer detection window can help you determine whether a person has been using fentanyl recreationally. A positive result for a test with a short detection window may indicate the presence of a drug addiction.
Most standard urine drug tests cannot detect fentanyl. You’ll need to purchase an advanced test. Urine tests can detect fentanyl for up to 8 to 24 hours. Some of the metabolites may still remain in the body after this detection window; however, the drug tests won’t pick up on them.
These metabolites can continue to wreak havoc on the body and mind, especially with chronic users. The exact timeline will depend on various factors, like the drug user’s age and weight.
Urine tests are some of the most popular tests available. Urine can be collected on the spot. It’s difficult to contaminate the sample. The tests provide immediate results, and the method of testing is non-invasive. You also won’t need to send the sample to the lab for professional testing. As a result, you will save some money there.
Saliva tests are also a non-invasive and inexpensive way of detecting fentanyl abuse. The sample can either be a saliva swab or a spit sample. It’s better to choose a saliva swab than a spit sample because a spit sample can contain contaminants that interfere with the results. Unfortunately, this type of testing may require professional testing.
Saliva drug tests for fentanyl are also incredibly popular. They are more accurate than urine or blood tests. They also have a longer detection window of one to three days after the last use.
In comparison to all the other alternatives, blood testing is one of the least effective testing methods available. Once ingested, fentanyl travels from the bloodstream to the brain. It quickly evacuates the bloodstream, so blood tests have a detection window of up to 12 hours.
These tests are also invasive and cannot be done at home. You’ll need to find a professional to administer this test. It’s only effective at determining whether a person has taken fentanyl within the past day.
Hair drug tests have always offered the most comprehensive details and insights into a person’s drug use. It’s easy for the metabolites to get trapped in hair. As a result, hair samples can offer an accurate timeline of drug use history.
Fentanyl can be detected for up to 90 days with a hair sample. The sample will need to be sent to a lab for testing. Depending on the labs near you, you could get the results back in as quickly as a day.
To do a hair test, 40 to 50 strands of the 1.5 inches of hair closest to the roots are needed. Each 0.5 inch of hair represents 30 days, so 1.5 inches will give you a detailed look at the past 90 days.
Hair drug tests can tell you not only when fentanyl was taken, but also the amount that was taken. It can also give you some insight as to whether the individual engaged in polydrug use. These tests provide the most insight on substance abuse.
Stop Taking Fentanyl
The risk of overdose when abusing fentanyl is high. Only several micrograms of this drug are needed for an overdose. Unfortunately, overdoses are often fatal.
Fentanyl abuse and addiction are difficult to recover from. This opioid is one of the most addictive ones out there due to its strength. It has a tremendous effect on the brain and body.
If you’re looking to get sober, seek help from treatment centers. Amethyst Recovery can provide a state-of-the-art facility and a high-quality level of care to patients. The fentanyl treatment plan involves going through drug detox before rehab.
The detox process will help remove fentanyl from the body. It also helps ease withdrawal symptoms. Once the body clears all the fentanyl, patients can work on the other parts of their recovery.