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The Importance of Testing for Fentanyl
I’m sure many people out there have heard of the fentanyl, which has become an American epidemic that is responsible for more than 80,000 deaths a year and more than 10,000 overdoses a month. The CDC reported that there were has been a 54% increase in overdose deaths per year since 2011. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid often prescribed to patients suffering from cancer or conditions that cause chronic pain, but due to the dependency related to opioids, you can easily become dependent and oftentimes addicted. Fentanyl will commonly be mixed with other drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine; in fact, statistics have shown that 2 in 5 cocaine-related deaths contain fentanyl. Fentanyl is significantly stronger and more addictive than heroin and nearly 100 times more powerful than morphine, which is why it’s considered to be a schedule II drug.
Testing for Fentanyl
A problem many addiction specialists, probation officers, and members of law enforcement face is that fentanyl has a half-life of approximately 3 to 5 hours and it only takes approximately 22 hours or less to completely leave your system, which makes it virtually undetectable. Before 2016, the drug was virtually unknown to the public until iconic singer Prince overdosed on the fentanyl in April of 2016. The drug is prescribed to people under the names Duragesic, Actiq, and Sublimaze. However, the illicit drug is often obtained on the black market, which will typically come in a powder form and may be mixed with other drugs to increase its potency. As the drug breaks down in your system, it will leave behind metabolites that can be detected in your system for 5 to 6 days, which is why recently the FDA clears psychemedics’ hair test for fentanyl.
Located in Culver City, California, Psychemedics which is a corporation that provides clinical laboratory services and testing to help detect drug abuse, who announced in April that they had introduced a new way to test for fentanyl. In the workplace, drug testing is usually a mandatory requirement that must be performed before you’re hired. Companies such as CountryWide Testing provide laboratory drug testing that is trusted by law enforcement agencies, for more information, visit this page.
Drug testing has also become a fairly common practice in schools, due to the fact that there are more than 10,000 opioid teen overdoses annually, which have increased by 50 percent since 2014. When it comes to traditional urine testing, the drug will only be recognized in the urine for up to 24 hours and with blood testing only 12 hours, but thanks to hair testing, fentanyl can be detected up to 3 months. This new method of testing will help determine past exposure to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.