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Table of Contents

Short Term Effects of Fentanyl

Fentanyl has unfortunately become a household name in the United States over the past few years, whereas it lived in relative obscurity before this. The reason for the increase in public awareness about the drug is because of its role in the opioid epidemic that is raging across the country, and because of the fact that the drug is linked to the rash of overdoses that have been occuring at historical levels over the past few years.

In 2016 more than 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States, which represents the highest level of overdose related deaths that have ever occurred in the country. The perspective that this has often been framed in is the fact that during the Vietnam War, a conflict that lasted 19 years, only 58,220 Americans died. When looking at the opioid problem in this light, its debilitating enormity comes into focus.

While not an initial cause of the opioid epidemic, fentanyl has played a major role in the escalating overdose numbers that we have seen since around 2015. Since that time it has become fairly commonplace to cut, or in other words mix, heroin and other street opiates and opioids, with foreign made fentanyl that in some cases is 50 times stronger than the substance it is being cut with.

This created a scenario where many individuals overdosed because they believed they were doing one substance, and so they used a similar amount they were used to, but they were in fact using Fentanyl, which is tremendously stronger then the substance they had been using.

When this occurred, we began to see a string of overdose cases throughout the country, which is essentially where the real discussion about the opioid problem in this country began.

Unfortunately, for the all of the media coverage, government intervention, and policy making that has occurred around this subject, not much has actually been done to curb the overdose rate or the mounting fentanyl problem we are facing.  This is in part because many addicts are not in fact deterred by rumors or facts of overdoses, and many in fact seek out the strongest drugs they can find.

This is why it is imperative that you think you have an issue with fentanyl that you should seek immediately professional assistance for this matter. Failing to do so could result in extreme bodily injury, or even death.


One of the most startling short term effects of fentanyl is the fact that it can produce death. While this is always a possibility whenever an individual abuses a substance, among people who use fentanyl the risk of experiencing a fatal overdose increases dramatically. In fact, one of the only opioids that is more powerful than fentanyl is, carfentanil, which is used only for the sedation of large animals like elephants, and is 5000 times stronger than heroin.

Given the fact that one of the short term effects of fentanyl is potential death, it is clear why there has been such a spike in fatal overdoses within the United States since the drug’s increase in popularity. The dangers associated with fentanyl use cannot be overstated, and in fact many times within a hospital setting the drug is only administered in severe cases of pain due to the how profound the side effects can be.

Even individuals who are given the drug after a surgery or some other medical emergency, and have used the substance according to a doctor’s prescription, have expressed that the short term effects of fentanyl produced hallucinations, severe paranoia, and feelings of disconnection from reality.

While all of these short term effects of fentanyl sound frightening to the non-addicted population, for those who suffer from addiction, these can actually be selling points for the drug. Considering that many opioid addicts have to look for ever increasing amounts of the drug they abuse in order to produce the desired effect, a drug like fentanyl can have an appealing allure, due to its strength and the fact that they can get their desired results without having to take much of the substance.

Beyond death, some of the short term effects of fentanyl are:

  • Confusion
  • Reduced breathing rate
  • Itchiness
  • Constriction of the pupils
  • Hallucinations
  • Weakness or inability to stand
  • Elevated sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Constipation
  • Altered or fluctuation heart rate

It you experience any of the short term effects of fentanyl listed above you should contact a medical professional immediately.


How you go about coping with the side effects of fentanyl really depends on what your cause for using the substance is. If you are in a hospital setting and you need to take the drug because it is prescribed by a doctor, then you should work with your medical team in order to either mitigate the side effects or change to another drug if that is applicable and suggested by your doctor.

If you are using fentanyl recreationally, then it is suggested that you stop using the substance immediately, as it is tremendously dangerous. Also if you suspect that a loved one is abusing fentanyl you should familiarize yourself with the side effects it produces so that you can attempt to intervene in their addiction or their life if the time comes.

While it is never an easy thing to contend with a loved one’s addiction, it is best to be educated on these matters so that you are able to act from a place of understanding rather than from a place of fear. Most people are not intrinsically equipped to handle addiction within themselves, or within the people that they love, so this is why there are professionally who can help guide you in any decisions you need to make and to help you get on the path of recovery.

It may seem impossible to stop using fentanyl at this moment in your life, but there are many people who are been in your shoes before and have come out the other side to a life of a recovery. Understand that addiction is an illness that you can overcome, and with the correct support and help, recovery is possible.


If you find that you cannot stop using fentanyl even though you would like to, then you may be suffering from fentanyl addiction. While you may be embarrassed by the fact that you cannot stop using drugs, it is import to understand that addiction is an actual recognizable disease and as such you’re inability to stop on your own should not be a cause for shame or guilt. It is estimated that 1 in 6 adults in the United States suffer from addiction, so you are not alone in your struggles, nor do you have to fight them by yourself. So if you are at the point where you would you like help overcoming your fentanyl addiction, call us at 1-866-972-7714. We are standing by to provide you with the best treatment and recovery options, so that you can finally leave behind your old life of addiction and start new on the road to recovery. Call now!