How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

In recent years, substance abuse has risen to epidemic proportions in the U.S., according to several studies, one of which comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In that study, George F. Koob, Ph.D., an esteemed expert on alcohol, stress, and the neurobiology of alcohol and drug addiction, revealed that an estimated 23 million adults in the U.S. have previously or currently struggle with a substance abuse problem. The same study further revealed only 10% of Americans with a substance abuse problem ever receive the treatment necessary to turn their lives around. In a separate study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers revealed that over 100,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2021, an increase of roughly 28% over the nearly 79,000 overdose deaths reported in 2020. It is worth noting that both studies show that substance abuse, in all of its many forms, is costing the U.S. economy more than $600 billion annually. One of the drugs costing the U.S. economy a king’s ransom is Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that accounted for an astonishing 68% of all drug overdose deaths in 2019.


What Is Fentanyl?

In many ways, Fentanyl is a lot like OxyContin, Morphine, and Hydrocodone in that it is a powerful and highly addictive opioid. But it is far more powerful and even more addictive than these drugs. For this reason, most physicians only prescribe it as a last resort for treating chronic and severe pain. Most of the time, they will prescribe it to cancer patients or patients that have become tolerant of less powerful opioid drugs, such as OxyContin, Morphine, and Hydrocodone. Some 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, Fentanyl is available in several forms, including transdermal patches, lozenges, nasal sprays, tablets, and injectables. Unlike other opioid drugs derived from the opium poppy plant, legal Fentanyl is made in state-of-the-art labs by scientists using the same chemical structure used to make opioids derived from poppy plants. Illegal Fentanyl, on the other hand, is made in less-than-ideal environments by untrained and unlicensed individuals.

How Does Fentanyl Work?

The way Fentanyl works when it comes to relieving pain is not too dissimilar from how other opioid drugs work. When someone takes this powerful, synthetic opioid, it binds to receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for regulating pain and emotions. The benefit here is twofold; the drug interacts with the prefrontal cortex in the brain, which alters how the body perceives and responds to pain. It also triggers intense feelings of euphoria by boosting dopamine levels in the brain, which further helps to keep pain under control. But there is a downside insofar as the same intense euphoria brought on by Fentanyl is the very thing that drives many people to misuse, abuse, and, ultimately, become addicted to the drug. Of course, most don’t realize that they are addicted to this powerful, synthetic opioid until they abruptly stop taking it and are met with a whirlwind of unpleasant symptoms. Some of these symptoms include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constricted pupils
  • Urinary retention and constipation
  • Respiratory depression

To get some much-needed relief from these symptoms and to enjoy the blissful euphoria they’ve grown accustomed to, most people will do whatever it takes to get their hands on more Fentanyl. And they continue to do so until they either get help to overcome their addiction or suffer a fatal overdose, which can very well happen if they take too much of the drug. Some of the symptoms synonymous with a Fentanyl overdose include

  • Hypotension
  • Dizziness and drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling limp
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Cyanosis
  • Changes in breathing
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Bradycardia
  • Reduced or loss of consciousness
  • Coma

Fortunately, many of the over 3 million people in the U.S. who have a problem with Fentanyl and other opioids are going to rehab facilities to get the help they need to overcome addiction. And it is safe to say they made the right choice since quitting opioids without professional help is not easy.

The Reality of Going Through a Fentanyl Detox

The human body naturally works to rid itself of Fentanyl and other harmful contaminants once an individual stops taking it, a process known as detox. And it will continue this process until the body is free of Fentanyl and any associated contaminants. Although this is a critical step toward ending one’s relationship with Fentanyl, it is not easy as it can trigger the kind of withdrawal symptoms discussed earlier in this article. Mindful of just how challenging this aspect of addiction recovery can be for most people, most rehabs in the U.S. offer medication-assisted detox.

Why Medication-Assisted Detox Is the Right Choice When Trying to Quit Fentanyl

Studies show as much as 91% of people fall victim to relapse while detoxing from Fentanyl, with the vast majority citing the inability to cope with severe withdrawal symptoms as the primary reason. The benefit of medication-assisted detox is that it lowers an individual’s chance of relapse by providing much-needed relief from severe withdrawal symptoms that would otherwise lead to them using again when they want nothing more than to quit Fentanyl for good. The medications that many physicians prescribe to individuals as part of a medication-assisted detox program include Methadone, Suboxone, Naltrexone, and the newly-approved Lucemyra. It is worth noting that medication-assisted detox also includes round-the-clock monitoring by a licensed physician or nurse, which can prove invaluable should an individual start to struggle with life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as coma, for example. This addiction recovery treatment, which many describe as a godsend, is generally offered until an individual completes detox.

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

Having established that detox is one of the more challenging parts of overcoming an addiction to Fentanyl and that it continues until the drug is out of one’s system, let’s shift gears and discuss how long it takes the body to get rid of it completely. Detoxing from Fentanyl can take anywhere from 5 to 10 days. However, this does not mean the body is 100% free of the drug. This timeframe only refers to how long it will take for someone to achieve relief from severe fentanyl withdrawal symptoms naturally. The complete timeline when it comes to how long it will take the body to rid itself of Fentanyl is as follows:

  • 24 to 72 hours to no longer show up in urine
  • 5 to 48 hours to no longer show up in the blood
  • Up to 3 months to no longer show up in hair

How long Fentanyl stays in one’s system depends on whether we are talking about in someone’s urine, blood, or hair. It also depends on whether we’re talking about achieving relief from severe withdrawal symptoms or merely passing a drug test.

Bottom Line

In summary, Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that does a remarkable job in terms of providing relief from chronic pain. But people can become physically and psychologically addicted to it if they misuse or abuse it. And it takes getting through several nightmarish withdrawal symptoms before someone can overcome a Fentanyl addiction. The same applies to it showing up in a drug test.


  • How does fentanyl make you feel?
  • How long do pain pills stay in your system?
  • How long does Fentanyl stay in urine?

Signs your liver is healing from Alcohol

The liver, the body’s largest internal organ, is responsible for filtering out and eliminating various types of waste and toxins from the bloodstream. This includes alcohol. Each time you enjoy an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol must pass through the organ. Up to 90 percent of consumed alcohol is processed in this organ, and the remaining alcohol is expelled via breathing, sweating, and urine. It takes approximately 60 minutes for the body to process a single serving of alcohol from a base level, and this amount of time increases exponentially with additional drinks.

Signs your liver is healing
Signs your liver is healing

Signs your liver is healing

Unfortunately, alcohol is toxic to this vital organ. As the organ’s cells process the beverage, the damage is done to the cells’ enzymes. While the occasional drink may not take a severe toll on the organ, regular and a heavy drinkers’ alcohol consumption can lead to serious physical and mental health issues. The amount of damage to the organ with excessive consumption depends on the level of consumption and the person’s gender, weight, genetics, and other essential factors.

The good news for those who are overcoming alcoholism is that the organ can heal itself over time. When alcoholism persists for long periods, can cause significant long-term damage to your liver, It can destroy liver cells and alcoholic cirrhosis can occur. This scarring, known as cirrhosis, If your liver has scar tissue, it is irreversible and will impact the organ’s functionality for the rest of a person’s life. Are you wondering if your liver is healing? Depending on the severity of the damage, it could take several days to many months for the organ to heal fully, but you may notice some indicators that healing is underway. What should you know about damage to this vital organ?

Signs Your Liver Is Damaged

Alcohol addiction is only one of many causes of organ damage. For example, both a hepatitis infection and various autoimmune conditions can cause severe damage. Medications, excessive fat around the organ, exposure to specific types of chemicals, genetic disorders, and even some types of liver cancers can result in organ damage. The adverse effects of alcohol consumption may often be combined with one or more of these other causes of serious harm. 

Generally, women can have one to two servings of alcohol daily without causing permanent damage, and men may have up to three servings daily. The difference between genders is the prevalence of a digestive enzyme in men. Regardless of how frequently or heavily you drink alcohol, knowing the signs of organ damage and taking damage quickly if you notice any concerning symptoms is essential. 

Stages of Liver Damage
Stages of Liver Damage

Early stages of Liver Damage

Some of the early signs that indicate developing liver failure are:

  • dark urine
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • tenderness in the upper-right section of the abdomen
  • unexplained weight loss
  • diarrhea
  • confusion
  • drowsiness

As damage to the organ becomes more serious, these symptoms may be combined with others. Signs of severe organ damage include:

  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Fever
  • Itchy and yellow skin
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Blood in the stool or urine
  • Complete organ failure

When you identify the signs of damage early enough, you may be able to start the healing process before permanent damage occurs. 

How to Heal Your Body

Your organ will need to rest extensively for it to heal correctly. Each time you expose the organ to alcohol, it fights infection or is exposed to other damage-causing events, it must work overtime to do its job correctly. When this happens, the organ does not have ample time to rest and heal. With this in mind, it is crucial to reduce alcohol consumption drastically. If the alcohol-related liver disease develops, consider abstaining from all alcohol consumption for at least four to six weeks. If or when you start drinking again, avoid binge drinking and keep your intake to a minimum to prevent additional organ damage. 

Some medications are processed through this vital organ. This means that consuming them could strain the organ. Rest will not be possible while these medications are in your system. Some of the medicines that should be avoided while detoxing from alcohol include Azathioprine, Phenytoin, and Acetaminophen. In addition, antibiotics like Amoxycillin and statins should be avoided. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, called NSAIDs, should not be used. Even some herbal supplements can strain the organ and should be avoided. These include kava, black cohosh, and ma huang. Work with your doctor to find alternative medications. If you must take some of these medications or herbs, do not consume alcohol in conjunction with them.

Because excessive fat around the liver will also strain the organ, you should do your part to maintain a healthy weight. Get plenty of exercise and rest days, and eat a healthy, low-fat diet. An optimal diet to promote healing includes whole foods, lean meat, seafood, beans, whole grains, and fresh produce. Avoid fatty cuts of meat and processed foods. The organ’s health depends on hydration, so ensure that you drink a good amount of water each day. 

Infections like hepatitis can wreak havoc on the organ. While you should take steps to protect yourself against diseases at all times, it may be particularly crucial when you are detoxifying from alcoholism and trying to heal your liver. Keep in mind that Alcoholic Hepatitis A is usually fully treatable, but Hepatitis B and C may turn into chronic conditions that result in severe organ damage over time. You can reduce your likelihood of contracting these infections by not having unprotected sex and not sharing toothbrushes, needles, nail clippers, and razors. If you plan to get a tattoo or need a medical procedure, ensure that the facility follows proper sterilization procedures for equipment. 

Because other factors can harm the organ, it is essential to seek guidance from your doctor regularly. If you have not had a checkup recently, now is the time to schedule an appointment. In addition to getting regular checkups, you should see your doctor as soon as possible if you spot any indicators of potential organ damage. 


Physical Signs to Look For

While the liver can regenerate naturally under the right conditions is impressive, the process can be taxing in the body. As your organ is healing, you may notice a variety of symptoms. While some symptoms are unpleasant, others can be severe if the organ is severely damaged. For example, you may experience restlessness, insomnia, and confusion as the organ heals. You may also notice cardiac symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and a higher heart rate. In addition to these symptoms, tremors, anxiety, headaches, vomiting, and nausea may occur. Some of these symptoms may be present to varying degrees for weeks in some cases. 

Healing can still occur even if you have been suffering from alcoholism for many years. However, because some of the signs of healing are comparable to those of severe organ damage, it is crucial to seek medical assistance. Your doctor can monitor the recovery process and provide medical support as needed. Your doctor may even help you to identify other signs that the organ is recovering from damage. These could relate to amino acid regulation, blood clotting capabilities, immune factors, glucose levels, bilirubin removal, glycogen production, and more. 

Alcoholism can wreak havoc on your life in numerous ways, and its effects directly impact health and longevity. Excessive consumption may only yield temporary or short-term damage to the liver if consumption ceases promptly and care is taken to promote healing. However, there may be instances when organ damage is permanent. If this happens, managing the symptoms with medical assistance is necessary.


  • How long does it take to repair your liver from drinking?
  • Can an alcohol-damaged liver repair itself?
  • How do I know if my liver is damaged from alcohol?