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How To Tell If Someone Is On Fentanyl

Dr. Alan Weiner MD

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Alan Weiner, MD

April 3, 2019

Fentanyl abuse has become a widespread epidemic in the United States. There are many signs and symptoms that someone may be on fentanyl, including heavy breathing and pinpoint pupils. Getting treatment for fentanyl abuse and addiction can help prevent life-threatening consequences such as overdose.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that has seen a rise in popularity in recent years in terms of abuse. It is primarily used in the medical setting as a pain medication for severe and chronic pain. It can also be used to treat pain associated with cancer.

Fentanyl works by binding to the opioid receptors and blocking sensations of pain. It can also cause feelings of intense euphoria as well as an overall sense of calmness. People who take fentanyl may also feel drowsy and “heavy.”

This drug is an estimated 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. As a result, it is incredibly addictive and can quickly lead to physical and mental dependence. When abused, fentanyl can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly.

Symptoms That Someone Is On Fentanyl

With its increased use and abuse, some people may wonder how to tell if someone is on fentanyl.

Common symptoms associated with taking fentanyl include:

  • slowed breathing and heart rate
  • drowsiness
  • feelings of euphoria
  • muscle stiffness
  • shaking
  • blurred vision
  • faintness
  • upset stomach and nausea
  • pinpoint pupils
  • itchiness and scratching
  • slurred speech
  • loss of appetite

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One of the most common symptoms of someone on fentanyl or other opioids is pinpoint pupils. This symptom can be easily noticeable to others. Additionally, people on fentanyl may go in and out of consciousness without meaning to.

Signs Of Fentanyl Abuse

When someone is abusing or addicted to fentanyl, he or she will often exhibit certain signs that may be noticeable to loved ones.

Some signs of fentanyl abuse may include:

  • hiding the use of the drug
  • lying about using fentanyl
  • withdrawing from family or friends
  • deteriorating health
  • problems at work or school
  • paranoia
  • loss of motivation

If you believe a loved one is addicted to fentanyl, helping them find help and providing support is important.

Getting Help For Fentanyl Addiction

Overcoming an addiction to fentanyl or other opioids is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be done alone. There are several treatment options available for opioid use disorders. One of the most successful options is inpatient treatment.

An inpatient treatment program provides intensive treatment that is catered to each patient’s unique needs. Inpatient programs require patients to stay at the treatment facility for an extended period of time, often 30 to 60 days. The exact amount of time spent in inpatient treatment will depend on each person’s condition.

To learn more about how to tell if someone is on fentanyl and the treatment options available for fentanyl addiction, contact us today.

WebMD - Fentanyl: What You Should Know

Narconon - Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse

Mayo Clinic - How to tell if a loved one is abusing opioids

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