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What Does Fentanyl Look, Feel, and Taste Like?

What does fentanyl look like? Discover how you can identify the drug and handle a fentanyl overdose here.

What does Fentanyl look like

Article Contents

Fentanyl Overview

Fentanyl is the most potent prescription pain reliever, making it an extremely dangerous substance. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently disclosed in April 2022 that among the 105,000 deaths caused by drug overdoses in the past year, 66% were caused by synthetic opioids, with fentanyl as the driving force.1

While there has been a massive enlightenment campaign against the widespread availability and use of the drug, the difficulty in identifying fentanyl is a significant setback. Fentanyl looks similar to many other drugs, so many are unaware when fentanyl is in other substances. So, there is no better time to get answers to the question, what does fentanyl look like? This article will discuss the defining characteristics of fentanyl to be wary of in order to effectively keep you and your loved ones safe.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a human-made opioid, a class of drugs that relieve pain and create pleasurable feelings. Fentanyl is far more potent than morphine and heroin and is a popular addition to other drugs. Pharmaceutical companies produce fentanyl as a medically prescribed drug; however, the drug’s most available and notorious forms are the illicitly manufactured ones.

Prescription fentanyl is available under brand names such as Duragesic, Sublimaze, and Actiq. Fentanyl street names include China Girl, Apache, Poison, Great Bear, and Goodfellas.

Why Is Fentanyl Used?

Like other opioids, fentanyl works to ease feelings of pain. Doctors will prescribe fentanyl to relieve severe pain from a serious injury, cancer, nerve damage, and during or after a surgical operation.

People often use fentanyl for nonmedical purposes, as the pleasurable feeling it produces in a short time becomes irresistible.

Is Fentanyl Dangerous?

Fentanyl surpasses heroin and morphine in potency; therefore, the body only needs a small amount to produce the same effect as heroin and morphine. For this reason, heroin and morphine are usually laced with fentanyl to boost their potency and sold to unsuspecting buyers.

Herein lies the danger. It is difficult to tell fentanyl apart from other substances, such as morphine or heroin, because of its looks. When drugs are secretly laced with fentanyl, unwary people get exposed to several unplanned consequences, including death. Deaths caused by fentanyl have been on the rise for over a decade. In 2010, 14.3% of overdose deaths were caused by fentanyl, which quickly rose to 59% in 2017.2

What Does Fentanyl Look Like?

What does Fentanyl look like

Despite the high level of availability of fentanyl, many individuals still find it challenging to identify the drug. So what does fentanyl look like?

Fentanyl, in its illicitly manufactured version, is commonly found in a powder or liquid form. Its powdered form looks like other popular complex substances like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. As a liquid, fentanyl is used with eye drops, nasal sprays, and other substances that go into the body.

What Color Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl in liquid form is colorless. However, as previously noted, the liquid is usually mixed with other substances. As a pure powder, fentanyl is white; however, street drugs are rarely pure. Fentanyl mixed with other drugs in powder form will show some brown patches, which is easy for an observant eye to notice.

Does Fentanyl Come in Pill Form?

Yes, fentanyl exists in pill form, commonly in blue, green, and pale colors. Dealers may also lace oxycodone and Xanax pills with fentanyl.

What Does Fentanyl Feel Like?

The primary feeling one gets from using street fentanyl is ecstasy or euphoria—a highly pleasurable state. Besides the blissful feeling it provides, fentanyl causes drowsiness, relaxation, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Those who try fentanyl for the first time typically fall into a deep sleep.

How Strong Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is one hundred times more powerful than morphine and fifty times more potent than heroin. In most cases, the fatal dose of morphine is 200 mg, while the fatal dose of fentanyl is only 2 mg. According to the DEA, 42% of counterfeit pills tested for 2 mg of fentanyl.3

In addition, this means it takes one portion of fentanyl to produce the same effect as fifty portions of heroin and a hundred portions of morphine. Also, fentanyl takes significantly less time to impact the body than other drugs.

How Long Does a Fentanyl High Last?

A fentanyl high doesn’t last long, even though the drug can be detected after ninety-six hours after use. A fentanyl high lasts only a few hours, depending on how it was taken.

What Does Fentanyl Taste Like?

One of the questions on many minds is, what does fentanyl taste like? This is because taste is another way we can identify drugs.

Can You Identify Fentanyl by Taste?

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to identify fentanyl by taste. Herein lies another reason why fentanyl is more dangerous than many other drugs. Dealers are confident in lacing other drugs with fentanyl due to its lack of distinctive taste.

Unfortunately, due to the inability to taste fentanyl, people cannot tell when drugs are laced with this dangerous drug. As a result, overdoses are a common occurrence. According to the CDC, one hundred fifty opioid-related drug overdoses happen on a daily basis.4

How Is Fentanyl Taken?

Fentanyl can be administered into the body through many routes. People may inhale, inject, absorb (through the skin by transdermal patches), or take the drug orally in its pill form. Fentanyl can also enter the body through nasal sprays, eye drops, and lollipops.

How to Stay Safe and Prevent Fentanyl Overdose

It is pretty easy to overdose on fentanyl. The fentanyl high is quite powerful, providing a euphoric feeling that leaves people wanting more. Unfortunately, overdose can also be deadly, as it takes just a little of the drug to threaten one’s life.

In addition, body mass, weight, and overall health play a role in the various levels of susceptibility to a fentanyl overdose. So, if you or anyone you know has overdosed on fentanyl, here is what you should do to help.

Recognize the Signs of Fentanyl Overdose

First, you must spot an overdose in time. Knowing about the signs of fentanyl overdose will help.  Fentanyl overdose signs include:

  • Slowed breathing 
  • Feeling of confusion 
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of response to stimulus
  • Pale skin
  • Purple fingers and lips

A fentanyl overdose can result in coma and permanent brain damage.

Call for Help Right Away

Someone who has overdosed on fentanyl is at the risk of death. Immediately calling for help could be life-saving.

Naloxone Treatment

Naloxone is a medicine that fights opioids and reverses a fentanyl overdose. Someone with fentanyl overdose can receive naloxone through nasal sprays, muscle injection, vein injection, and through the skin. Naloxone can swiftly restore normal breathing and reduce the danger of an overdose.

Pursue Wellness at Iris Healing®

Many individuals with opioid use disorders have found help in rehab centers. At Iris Healing®, we provide thorough and holistic care for fentanyl addiction. Our professional and compassionate staff help people with substance use disorder find lasting healing from fentanyl abuse, overdose, and addiction.

We are a licensed fentanyl rehab center offering dual diagnostic care and other services to meet different needs. Contact us today to begin your journey to full and final recovery at Iris Healing®.

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