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How Long Does a Fentanyl High Last?

How Long Does a Fentanyl High Last?

Fentanyl is one of the strongest synthetic opioids available today. It’s 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, a natural opiate that’s extracted from the seeds of the opium poppy plant.

As a result of the drug epidemic, Fentanyl use in Illinois, Alabama, Delaware, and other states has skyrocketed. Generally, opioids are used as pain relievers, but some, like heroin, are entirely illegal to use. Fentanyl is a synthetic or man-made opiate that’s not only used to treat pain but also as a cutting agent in many other illicit substances like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. But how does it affect the body? When used recreationally, how long does a fentanyl high last?

What Does a Fentanyl High Feel Like?

Fentanyl affects the brain and body like other opioids by attaching itself to opioid receptors on nerves in areas of the body like the stomach, brain, and spinal cord. Most of these areas are also associated with controlling pain and emotions, which is why it’s a common recreational drug, as well. Not only does fentanyl provide pain relief, but it can also create a euphoric high when taken in large doses.

The drug boosts levels of the chemical dopamine, elevating mood and activating the reward system in the brain. A fentanyl high feels like a rush of euphoria, providing a feeling of well-being, in addition to other less desirable side effects. Opioids like fentanyl are addictive because of the euphoria they can produce when taken in large doses. Even people who have started taking prescription opioids for pain relief have found themselves struggling to quit. If you’re taking a prescription opioid and have noticed a pattern of misuse or abuse, speak to your doctor. If you’re struggling with an addiction to these drugs, a number of Banyan locations offer opioid withdrawal treatment that can help you through physical recovery.

How Long Do Fentanyl Side Effects Last?

Fentanyl is used as a painkiller and anesthetic. It can come in the form of pills, lozenges, or patches and is sold under the brand name Duragesic. Some common side effects of fentanyl include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Sleepiness
  • Euphoria
  • Sense of well-being
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Pain relief

How long a high fentanyl high lasts depends on how much the person takes, their tolerance to the drug, its half-life, how it’s used, and more. The half-life of fentanyl is around 2 to 4 hours when used intravenously or when it’s injected. That means a fentanyl high lasts 11 to 22 hours after injecting it. If you use the patch or lozenge version of fentanyl, its half-life increases to 7 to 17 hours, meaning side effects will last up to 36 hours after use. As the body breaks down fentanyl, it leaves traces behind called metabolites. Metabolites may stay in your system longer than the duration of Fentanyl side effects, meaning the drug may be detected in drug tests much longer than the high lasts.

Why Is Fentanyl So Dangerous?

Due to its potency, the side effects of fentanyl are faster in smaller doses than morphine or heroin, making it more dangerous. Even in seemingly minute doses, the drug can lead to intense respiratory depression, in turn contributing to a heightened risk of overdose or death. Drug dealers have also utilized its potency in an effort to amp up the intensity of their supply.

Essentially, a person is that much more likely to experience an overdose when they do not realize that a lethal dose of fentanyl has been combined with their drug of choice. Many cities have begun to distribute fentanyl test strips to mitigate these fentanyl dangers. This form of harm reduction seeks to keep users alive, in turn keeping their hope for recovery intact.

Furthermore, the hazards of fentanyl are increased by its quick passage through the blood-brain barrier. The respiratory system may be abruptly and severely suppressed as a result of the rapidity with which it reaches the brain, leading to respiratory depression and, eventually, respiratory arrest. One of the key factors contributing to deadly fentanyl overdoses is this respiratory depression. The rapid onset and short duration of the effects of the drug can also play a significant role.

Fentanyl’s adverse effects include tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction, among a variety of other physical and psychological complications. Fortunately, opioid addiction can be treated. Many of our Banyan rehab locations offer inpatient drug treatment and a variety of other substance-specific programs.

If you or a loved one requires the help of an opioid rehab to get sober, call our Banyan drug rehab today at 888-280-4763 to learn how we can help.

Related Readings:

The Truth About Opioid Overdose Brain Damage

Fentanyl Compared to Heroin

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.