Effects & Dangers Of Smoking Fentanyl

Smoking fentanyl can lead to serious side effects such as difficulty breathing or severe sedation. It’s dangerous to smoke fentanyl because using this drug in any form increases the risk of overdose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fentanyl is a synthetic opioid which is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. 

Fentanyl is responsible for countless overdose deaths in the American opioid epidemic.

Fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance with a high potential for abuse which can lead to psychological or physical dependence. Fentanyl is used to help treat those in severe pain.

Those who participate in fentanyl use may experience a variety of health risks, especially when the drug is smoked. Smoking fentanyl is a form of substance use that can greatly increase the risk of an overdose.

Effects Of Smoking Fentanyl

Smoking fentanyl can lead to several side effects which range in severity.

Common Side Effects

The common side effects of fentanyl can be heightened when the drug is smoked. This is due to the fact that, when smoked, fentanyl enters the bloodstream much more quickly than when the drug is taken orally.

Common side effects associated with fentanyl include:

  • drowsiness
  • sedation
  • lightheadedness
  • stomach pain
  • dry mouth
  • dizziness

More serious side effects associated with this form of drug use consist of an increased risk of overdose, damage to lung health, and fentanyl withdrawal symptoms.

Dangers Of Smoking Fentanyl

There are countless dangers associated with smoking fentanyl. Certain drugs should not be combined with fentanyl such as methamphetamine or benzodiazepines.

Damage To Lung Health

If fentanyl smoking has taken place for an extended period of time, damage to lung health can occur. This can lead to frequent lung infections.

Those who smoke fentanyl can develop a chronic cough and runny nose. Additionally, lung health can remain weak, leaving you susceptible to bronchitis or pneumonia.

There is also an increased risk of developing lung cancer or breathing conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Illicit Drug Market

Those struggling with opioid abuse may turn to street drugs in search of illicit fentanyl. Unfortunately, these counterfeit pills do not have quality control and can therefore have traces of other substances in the pill or tablet.

Buying street drugs can also increase the risk of overdose. Black tar heroin or counterfeit oxycodone pills may contain traces of fentanyl. If multiple central nervous system (CNS) depressants are in the body’s system, respiratory failure can occur.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), fentanyl withdrawal symptoms may consist of:

  • tremors
  • severe cravings for the drug
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • sleeping difficulty
  • muscle pain

Fentanyl Overdose

Those who smoke fentanyl can suffer from a synthetic opioid overdose. Symptoms associated with a fentanyl overdose can include:

  • cold or clammy skin
  • stupor
  • coma
  • respiratory depression
  • pinpoint pupils

Fentanyl is a leading factor in drug overdose deaths. If an overdose is suspected, contact 911 immediately. Once first responders arrive, they may administer naloxone (Narcan), a medication which can help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one struggle with substance abuse, seek treatment today. 

At Ohio Recovery Center, we provide a wide-range of treatment options for opioid use disorder, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) which may use methadone and buprenorphine combined with therapy options.

Contact us today to learn more about our treatment plans which include behavioral health techniques, evidence-based practices, and comprehensive aftercare planning.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/fentanyl/index.html
  2. Drug Enforcement Administration https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2023-03/Fentanyl%202022%20Drug%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/fentanyl
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605043.html

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 8, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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