Fentanyl belongs to a synthetic opiate group of drug used as a pain reliever. One of the most powerful opiates in the market, it is 50 times more deadly than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Doctors usually prescribe the drug as a pain management treatment for patients with:
The US Food and Drug Administration classified fentanyl as a Schedule II opiate drug. This means that the drug contains a high potential for abuse even though it has some medicinal purposes. Over the past few years, fentanyl gained negative attention because of the increasing number of people abusing the drug. The addictive properties of fentanyl are similar to heroin and other illegal street drugs.
Fentanyl affects the brain receptors and the spinal cord to lessen the feeling of pain. It also controls how the individual responds to pain. The drug activates the opiate receptors in the brain which controls and process emotions and pain sensitivity. Using the drug for a long period of time often leads to severe physical and psychological dependence. Even if used a prescribed and despite various health benefits, many users become addictive to the drug.
Fentanyl increases the dopamine levels in the brain which produces an intense euphoric feeling or the ‘high’. This sensation is what users seek when using fentanyl. However, as the drug produces the ‘high’ sensation, it also affects some critical bodily functions like the heart rate and breathing process.
When taken in excess, fentanyl abuse can depress the respiratory system leading to a drug overdose. The drug can either stop breathing, incite brain damage and death. Individuals can easily get addicted to fentanyl whether get a prescription from their doctors or obtaining the drug illegally.
Unfortunately, because of the wide spread abuse, fentanyl can easily obtain from several channels like:
Even if fentanyl users hide their addiction, there are several ways in detecting drug use. Different drug tests can detect specific time frames. Some of the drug tests include:
Experts utilized urine testing to detect fentanyl, the most common drug test. However, there are several factors which come into play in detecting how long fentanyl stay in the system. Several drug tests prove effective with certain drugs. It is important to know which of these tests will best detect a particular drug and other factors which could affect the drug testing.
On average, urine testing can effectively detect fentanyl more than 12 hours. But hair follicle testing can detect accurately detect fentanyl up to three months.
Typically, a urine test can detect fentanyl from 8 hours to 24 hours from the last drug intake.
Another common drug test that experts to analyze drug abuse is through blood testing. On average, fentanyl stays in the blood for more than 12 hours from the last dose.
Saliva testing is a less common method when testing fentanyl usage. This test can detect fentanyl use more efficiently than blood or urine testing. Usually, saliva test can detect fentanyl use from day 1 up to 3 days after the last drug use.
Experts considered and some of the best addiction center hair testing as the most accurate methods of detecting the drug in the system. It can detect more precise usage of drug use compared to blood, urine, and saliva. But, this test is more expensive that other drug tests. Hair follicle testing can detect fentanyl for up to three months from the last fentanyl dose.
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Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D, is the CEO of Detox of South Florida, Inc and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.
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