You may have heard a lot about fentanyl, as its reputation precedes itself as an addictive and harmful drug that opens eyes and ears when discussed. While fentanyl is responsible for almost 75% of all opioid drug overdoses in the U.S., it can also be helpful when monitored correctly and used safely. To understand the purpose of fentanyl, we must understand its effects on the body — including how long users can expect the drug to stay in their system.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid created in 1960 by Belgian Chemist Paul Janssen and used to treat severe pain. It has also been approved to treat chronic pain and is typically prescribed to those who have built up a tolerance to lighter pain relief methods. Fentanyl is extremely potent and one of the strongest drugs on the market. As such, it has grown in popularity medically and for harmful non-medical practices.

Due to its strength, it’s a drug used to increase the potency of other harmful substances, which can lead to fentanyl overdoses and fatalities. If you or someone you know are abusing fentanyl or any other drug, consider contacting a prescription drug addiction treatment center like Steps to Recovery.

How Is Fentanyl Detected?

Fentanyl can be detected in numerous ways. The most common way is through drug tests, while also accounting for a person’s metabolism, age, physical makeup, and additional factors. People are usually tested by urine, blood, hair tests, and — less commonly — saliva tests. You can also detect fentanyl in someone’s system by being aware of some of the most common substance abuse signals, including:

  • Weight Loss
  • Itchy Skin
  • Slowed Cognitive Functions
  • Increased Appetite for Extreme Acts
  • Euphoric Moods
  • Problems Sleeping
  • Deteriorating Hygiene
  • Depression
  • Relentless Cravings

How Long Is it in Your System?

The effects of fentanyl may not last long (something that contributes to addictions), but the drug does stay in your system for an extended period. Depending on the dose and, more importantly, the test you take, fentanyl can be detected as much as three months after use.


Type of Drug Test Length of Time Between a Positive Test
Urine Tests 24 and 72 Hours (1-3 Days After Use)
Blood Tests As Soon as 5 Hours and as Late as 48 Hours
Saliva Varies; Saliva Is Usually Not Considered an Effective Testing Method
Hair Tests Up to 3 Months

Can Fentanyl Be Addictive?

Fentanyl is one of the most commonly known drugs responsible for substance abuse cases, causing the death of many people each year. It has a high risk of overdose and is up to 100 times stronger than heroin or morphine. In some cases, patients have reported addictive feelings and tendencies after just one drug dosage, so it’s important to monitor anyone you know who may be taking fentanyl.

Individuals who may be addicted to fentanyl will start to display withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Agitation
  • Muscle Pains
  • Fever
  • Sweating and Chills
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness

Get Help Today and Fight the Effects of Fentanyl

Fentanyl is an extremely dangerous drug, even if given by a medical professional. Steps to Recovery is here to help those looking to recover from the short or long-term side effects of fentanyl or any other opioid addiction. Our opioid rehab centers can get you the treatment you need to overcome your addiction and withdrawal symptoms and keep you on the right path throughout the process. If you’re seeking treatment, reach out to Steps to Recovery today by calling 267.719.8528.