Skip to content

Is Fentanyl An Opioid? Fentanyl Facts

In the realm of potent painkillers, fentanyl has emerged as a household name, notorious for its role in the opioid crisis. But what exactly is fentanyl, and how does it relate to opioids? In this concise article, we unravel the truth behind fentanyl, exploring its classification, effects, and the crucial facts you need to know. Brace yourself for a revealing journey into the world of fentanyl and its undeniable impact on public health.

Is Fentanyl An Opioid?

Yes, Fentanyl is classified as an opioid. It belongs to a class of synthetic opioids designed to mimic the effects of natural opioids, such as morphine and heroin. Opioids, including fentanyl, bind to specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord, known as opioid receptors, which are responsible for modulating pain perception.

Fentanyl is considered one of the most potent opioids available for medical use. It is typically prescribed to manage severe pain, especially in cases where other pain medications are ineffective. However, fentanyl is also produced illicitly and used as a recreational drug. Illicitly produced fentanyl is often mixed with other substances, such as heroin or cocaine, which can significantly increase the risk of overdose and death.

Fentanyl is estimated to be up to 100 times more potent than morphine and has a rapid onset of action, making it highly effective in relieving pain. However, its potency also increases the risk of respiratory depression, sedation, and overdose if used improperly or in excessive doses.

The misuse and abuse of fentanyl have become a significant public health concern, contributing to the ongoing opioid crisis. Illicitly produced fentanyl has been associated with a significant increase in overdose deaths, as it is frequently mixed into counterfeit prescription pills or sold as a standalone drug. Its potency and widespread availability on the black market have made it a primary driver of opioid-related fatalities.

In conclusion, fentanyl is indeed an opioid. While it can be a crucial tool for managing severe pain when used appropriately and under medical supervision, its misuse and illicit production have resulted in devastating consequences. Understanding the classification and facts about fentanyl is essential for addressing the challenges posed by this powerful opioid and developing effective strategies to combat the opioid crisis.

Is Fentanyl A Synthetic Opioid?

Fentanyl is indeed a synthetic opioid. It is synthesized in a laboratory through a multi-step chemical process, combining various precursor chemicals. This manufacturing process allows for precise control over the composition and potency of the final product.

As a synthetic opioid, fentanyl is not derived from natural sources like opium or poppy plants, unlike naturally occurring opioids such as morphine or codeine. Instead, its chemical structure is designed to closely resemble those of natural opioids, allowing it to interact with the opioid receptors in the body.

Fentanyl was first developed in the 1960s and introduced as a medical treatment for severe pain management and anesthesia. Over the years, its popularity has increased due to its potent analgesic properties. Fentanyl is estimated to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, making it highly effective in relieving intense pain.

The synthetic nature of fentanyl allows for greater control over its pharmacological properties, such as onset, duration of action, and potency. Pharmaceutical companies produce various forms and formulations of fentanyl, including transdermal patches, lozenges, nasal sprays, injectable solutions, and tablets, to suit different medical needs.

Different Types Of Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid medication used primarily for pain relief and anesthesia. It is significantly more potent than other opioids, such as morphine and heroin, with the potential for abuse and overdose. Fentanyl is available in several different forms and formulations, including:

  • Pharmaceutical Fentanyl: includes various brand-name products such as Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze. These are prescription medications typically used in hospitals, clinics, and under medical supervision. They come in transdermal patches, lozenges, nasal sprays, injectable solutions, and tablets.
  • Illicitly Manufactured Fentanyl (IMF): refers to illegally produced fentanyl manufactured in clandestine laboratories. IMF can take various forms, including powders, pills, tablets, or mixed with other drugs such as heroin or cocaine. IMF is often associated with an increased risk of overdose due to its high potency and inconsistent quality.
  • Analogs of Fentanyl: These are chemical derivatives of fentanyl that are structurally similar but have slight variations. Some common fentanyl analogues include acetylfentanyl, carfentanil, furanylfentanyl, and alfentanil. Analogs can have varying potency and may be encountered in pharmaceutical and illicit settings.

Fentanyl and its analogs pose a significant risk due to their high potency, even in very small amounts. Illicitly manufactured or non-pharmaceutical forms of fentanyl are hazardous as their potency can be unpredictable, leading to a higher risk of overdose. Misuse of fentanyl, including non-prescribed use or combining it with other substances, can have severe and potentially fatal consequences.

Get Help. Get Better. Get Your Life Back.

Searching for an Accredited Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers in Near You?

Even if you have failed previously and relapsed, or are in the middle of a difficult crisis, we stand ready to support you. Our trusted behavioral health specialists will not give up on you. When you feel ready or just want someone to speak to about therapy alternatives to change your life call us. Even if we cannot assist you, we will lead you to wherever you can get support. There is no obligation. Call our hotline today.

(844) 597-1011
  1. What Type Of Drug Is Fentanyl?

    Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug. It is chemically synthesized in a laboratory and is not derived from natural sources like opium or poppy plants. It is designed to mimic the effects of natural opioids such as morphine but is significantly more potent.

  2. Are There Different Types Of Fentanyl?

    It is available in different forms and formulations. Pharmaceutical fentanyl, including brand-name products like Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze, is prescribed by healthcare professionals for pain management and anesthesia. Illicitly Manufactured Fentanyl (IMF) refers to illegally produced fentanyl found in the illicit drug market, often mixed with other substances or sold in powder or pill form. Fentanyl analogs, such as acetyl fentanyl and carfentanil, are chemically similar derivatives of fentanyl. While the various types of fentanyl differ in their origins and forms, all pose significant risks, and misuse or non-prescribed use can lead to overdose or fatal consequences.

Is Fentanyl An Opioid? Fentanyl Factsheet

Is Fentanyl An Opioid?

Fentanyl is categorized as an opioid designed to imitate the effects of natural opioids like morphine and heroin. It belongs to a group of synthetic opioids that attach to particular receptors in the brain and spinal cord known as opioid receptors, which manage pain perception.

Fentanyl Abuse Signs

  • Pinpoint pupils.
  • Drowsiness or nodding off.
  • Confusion or disorientation.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Shallow breathing or difficulty breathing.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Constipation.
  • Itching or skin rash.
  • Muscle rigidity or muscle weakness.
  • Social withdrawal or isolation.
  • Changes in behavior or mood.
  • Financial problems or stealing to obtain drugs.
  • Neglecting responsibilities or personal hygiene.

These signs can vary depending on the individual and the severity of their abuse. If you suspect someone is abusing fentanyl, it’s essential to seek professional help.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl addiction is a severe condition that requires professional treatment. Here are some common treatments for fentanyl addiction:

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): MAT involves using medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine, to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. MAT is often combined with behavioral therapy.
  • Behavioral therapy: Behavioral therapy involves counseling and other behavioral interventions to address the underlying causes of addiction and help individuals develop coping skills to prevent relapse.
  • Inpatient treatment: involves staying at a treatment facility for some time to receive intensive therapy and support.
  • Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment allows individuals to receive treatment while living at home and attending work or school.
  • Support groups: Support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, can provide individuals with a supportive community of people who have also struggled with addiction.

Recovery from fentanyl addiction is lifelong and may require ongoing treatment and support. It’s also essential to seek professional help from a healthcare provider or addiction specialist for the most effective treatment.

Fentanyl Abuse Statistics

Fentanyl abuse statistics show that fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid significantly contributing to the opioid epidemic in the United States. In 2020, there were over 93,000 drug overdose deaths in the US, with fentanyl involved in over 60%. Fentanyl abuse has also increased in other countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom.

Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, were involved in almost 73% of all opioid-related overdose deaths in 2019.

Source: CDC

Approximately 1.6 million people aged 12 or older misused prescription pain relievers like fentanyl for the first time in 2020.

Source: The National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Fentanyl seizures by law enforcement in the US increased by 57% from 2019 to 2020, with nearly 17,000 pounds of fentanyl seized in 2020.

Source: DEA

Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

Get Your Life Back

Find Hope & Recovery. Get Safe Comfortable Detox, Addiction Rehab & Dual Diagnosis High-Quality Care.

Hotline(844) 597-1011
Is fentanyl an opioid? Fentanyl is widely regarded as one of the most potent opioids available for medical use. It is estimated to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Is fentanyl an opioid? Fentanyl is widely regarded as one of the most potent opioids available for medical use. It is estimated to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Is There An Opioid Stronger Than Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is widely regarded as one of the most potent opioids available for medical use. It is estimated to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. This exceptional potency makes fentanyl a valuable tool for managing severe pain and providing anesthesia in medical settings.

While fentanyl is currently considered one of the most potent opioids, the concept of “strength” in the context of opioids is multifaceted. Potency refers to the dose required to produce a specific effect, but it does not solely determine the overall effects or risks associated with an opioid. Other factors, such as duration of action, side effects, and safety profile, also play crucial roles.

There are various opioids available that have comparable analgesic effects to fentanyl, such as sufentanil and remifentanil, which are also potent synthetic opioids used in medical settings. These opioids have slightly different characteristics and pharmacokinetics, which can make them more suitable for specific situations or patient populations. For example, remifentanil has an ultra-short duration of action, making it particularly useful during short surgical procedures.

It is worth noting that the potency of an opioid alone does not make it inherently better or safer. Higher-potency opioids require careful dosing and close medical supervision to mitigate the risk of adverse effects, including respiratory depression and overdose. Misuse or non-prescribing fentanyl or any opioid can have severe consequences and should be avoided.

First-class Facilities & Amenities

World-class High-Quality Addiction & Mental Health Rehabilitation Treatment

Rehab Centers Tour

Renowned Addiction Centers. Serene Private Facilities. Inpatient rehab programs vary.

Addiction Helpline(844) 597-1011

Proven recovery success experience, backed by a Team w/ History of:

  • 15+ Years Experience
  • 100s of 5-Star Reviews
  • 10K+ Recovery Successes
  • Low Patient to Therapist Ratio
  • Onsite Medical Detox Center
  • Comprehensive Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
  • Complimentary Family & Alumni Programs
  • Coaching, Recovery & Personal Development Events

What’s The New Type Of Fentanyl?

A growing concern has arisen in the United States regarding multi-colored “rainbow fentanyl” pills, powders, and blocks. These illicit substances resemble candy or sidewalk chalk and have been observed in several states. This development poses a potential threat, particularly to young individuals.

While parents of young children must remain vigilant, it is important not to panic excessively. The emergence of rainbow fentanyl is just one aspect of the broader ongoing opioid crisis, which requires attention and concerted efforts from various stakeholders.

Rainbow fentanyl is characterized by its vibrant colors and can be found in pills or powders. These products contain illicit fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid known for its addictive nature. If someone overdoses while attempting to attain a high from these drugs, it can have severe and potentially fatal consequences.

The colorful appearance of this fentanyl variant may be enticing to young people, potentially leading them to believe it is harmless. However, experts emphasize that illicit fentanyl has been concealed within seemingly innocuous products for a significant period. It is crucial to understand that regardless of its appearance, all forms of fentanyl are dangerous and pose significant risks.

In light of these concerns, it is vital to raise awareness about the dangers of illicit fentanyl and provide education and resources to communities, parents, and young individuals to prevent its misuse and the associated risks of addiction and overdose.

Is fentanyl an opioid? Fentanyl is synthesized in a laboratory through a multi-step chemical process, combining various precursor chemicals.
Is fentanyl an opioid? Fentanyl is synthesized in a laboratory through a multi-step chemical process, combining various precursor chemicals.

World-class, Accredited, 5-Star Reviewed, Effective Addiction & Mental Health Programs. Complete Behavioral Health Inpatient Rehab, Detox plus Co-occuring Disorders Therapy.

CALL(844) 597-1011

End the Addiction Pain. End the Emotional Rollercoaster. Get Your Life Back. Start Drug, Alcohol & Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Treatment Now. Get Free No-obligation Guidance by Substance Abuse Specialists Who Understand Addiction & Mental Health Recovery & Know How to Help.

Is Fentanyl An Opioid? We Level Up Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl addiction can be a severe and challenging condition, but various treatment options are available to help individuals recover and regain control of their lives. The treatment approach for fentanyl addiction often involves a combination of medical intervention, therapy, and support. Here are some common treatment modalities:

  • Detoxification: The first step in treating fentanyl addiction is often detoxification, which involves safely managing the withdrawal symptoms as the drug leaves the body. Medical supervision and support are essential during this phase to ensure the individual’s safety and comfort.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): MAT combines medication with counseling and behavioral therapies. Medications such as buprenorphine or methadone may help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, allowing individuals to focus on their recovery.
  • Behavioral Therapies: Different forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, and motivational interviewing, are commonly used to address the psychological aspects of addiction. These therapies help individuals understand the underlying causes of their addiction, develop coping strategies, and make positive behavioral changes.
  • Support Groups: Participating in groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can provide valuable peer support and a sense of community. Sharing experiences and learning from others who have overcome similar challenges can be empowering and aid in long-term recovery.
  • Individual Counseling: Individual counseling or psychotherapy sessions with a trained therapist can help individuals work through their specific issues related to addiction, develop relapse prevention strategies, and address co-occurring mental health disorders that may contribute to the addiction.
  • Aftercare and Relapse Prevention: Continuing support after the initial treatment phase is crucial for maintaining long-term recovery. This may involve ongoing therapy, participation in support groups, and developing a relapse prevention plan to identify triggers and strategies for avoiding relapse.

Individuals struggling with fentanyl addiction must seek professional help from addiction specialists or treatment centers. They can provide a personalized treatment plan tailored to individual needs and the necessary support for a successful recovery journey.

Experience Transformative Recovery at the We Level Up Treatment Center.

See our authentic success stories. Get inspired. Get the help you deserve.

We Level Up Treatment Centers for Drug Alcohol Rehab Detox Behavioral Mental Health Dual Diagnosis TherapyWe Level Up Treatment Centers for Drug Alcohol Rehab Detox Behavioral Mental Health Dual Diagnosis TherapyWe Level Up Treatment Centers for Drug Alcohol Rehab Detox Behavioral Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Therapy

Hotline (844) 597-1011
Voluntarily testimonials from the We Level Up Treatment Center network vary. Not intended as a guaranteed treatment or outcome as each person's journey is unique.

Start a New Life

Begin with a free call to an addiction & behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.

  • Personalized Care
  • Caring Accountable Staff
  • World-class Amenities
  • Licensed & Accredited
  • Renowned w/ 100s 5-Star Reviews

We’ll Call You

Is Fentanyl An Opioid? Watch The Signs of Fentanyl Overdose Informative Video

How Is Fentanyl Made? Video Script

Joey’s Opiates, Drugs, and Alcohol Addiction Recovery Story

Joey’s story is a sad reminder of the harsh reality of addiction. He faced significant challenges in his recovery journey after losing his son, but his progress toward sobriety has been inspiring. The crucial first step for Joey was seeking help for his addiction, and he deserves all the necessary support to aid his recovery process.

Search We Level Up Is Fentanyl An Opioid? Resources
  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Fentanyl Drug Facts:
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Fentanyl:
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Fentanyl:
  4. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – Fentanyl:
  5. National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Fentanyl:
  6. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) – Fentanyl:
  7. National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) – Fentanyl:
  8. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Fentanyl:
  9. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – Opioid Crisis:
  10. National Safety Council (NSC) – Fentanyl: