Fentanyl facts: effects, dangers, and overdose

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Medically reviewed: by Dr. Evan Leonard

Why is fentanyl so dangerous?

Fentanyl is an opioid drug similar to morphine in structure but up to 100 times more powerful. Medically, it’s used to treat severe chronic pain or pain associated with surgical procedures.

Fentanyl is also illegally imported and used as a recreational drug – it is addictive and deadly.

Click here for info on our fentanyl rehab program.

Can you die from touching fentanyl?

There have been reports in the media that fentanyl is so dangerous that people ask can touching fentanyl kill you? The short answer is, it’s highly improbable that merely touching fentanyl will kill you. That’s because it is nearly impossible for the skin to absorb enough fentanyl to cause an overdose, much less a fatal one.

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The real reasons fentanyl should be feared

Is inhaling fentanyl dangerous

Can inhaling fentanyl cause an overdose? Because this is a highly potent drug, inhaling it is never recommended unless it is being taken as medication in this way. But accidental inhalation is typically nothing to be too concerned about.

The Northern New England Poison Center had this to say about Fentanyl and Carfentanil exposures in first responders: “Even in circumstances involving manufacturing of fentanyl and analogs, nearly 200 minutes of exposure is required to reach a starting dose of fentanyl. It is extremely unlikely a significant exposure would occur in a first responder.”

Can people get addicted to fentanyl?

It is possible to get addicted to Fentanyl, and some people do either on purpose or through accidental exposure, such as when using laced drugs. This drug is highly addictive. Because of the nature of it, those who get addicted to it are usually people who have already formed addictions to other types of opioids.

It may only take one use before a person finds that they are addicted to Fentanyl. Once a person does become dependent upon it, it is wise to consider professional treatment for recovery.

Getting treated for fentanyl addiction

Arizona has a lot of drug rehab programs that are well-versed in the best ways to treat Fentanyl addictions. This requires a combination of detox and therapy in order to treat the whole addiction and produce the best results.

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms

  • Significant pain in the muscles and bones.
  • Problems with sleep.
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea.
  • Goosebumps with cold flashes.
  • Restless legs, which can make it hard to sleep or stay comfortable.
  • Severe cravings for the drug.
Rehab Program Info

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Signs of an Opioid Overdose?

It is important for people to understand what the signs of an opioid overdose are. Knowing can help them protect themselves and their loved ones.

Some of the signs of an opioid overdose include:

  • A pale skin tone.
  • Skin that is clammy to the touch.
  • A purple or blue hue to the lips or fingernails.
  • Vomiting or making gurgling sounds.
  • Becoming unconscious.
  • Being unable to speak.
  • A slower heart rate than normal.
  • Slower or even stopped breathing.
  • The body goes limp.
  • Extremely small pupils.
  • Trouble staying awake.
  • Problems with walking and coordination.

How Can You Tell if a Drug is Laced With Fentanyl?

There is no way of telling if a drug has been laced with fentanyl without testing kits. It is typically added to drugs that have a similar appearance, which means it often goes unnoticed.

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay in Your System?

Fentanyl leaves behind metabolites, which may show up in sensitive drug tests even several days after it has been stopped. When this drug is taken by injection, it has a half-life of about 2-4 hours for adults. In total, it will take between 11 and 22 hours before it is completely out of your system.

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