What Does Fentanyl Look Like?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid drug that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and up to 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is often added to illicit street drugs such as fake pills and white powder. Counterfeit pills with hues of blue, green, or pastel are frequently found to contain fentanyl. There could be other colors too. What does powder fentanyl look like? Fentanyl can also be found as white powders, with the markings “M30” and, on occasion, “K9,” “215,” and “v48” on the tablets.
Online or off-label sales of oxycodone tablets are likely to include fentanyl. Fentanyl cannot be tasted or smelled. Looking at the tablets won’t reveal whether or not they contain fentanyl.
Fentanyl and other opioids cause overdoses by slowing breathing and eventually can cause death. Even within the same batch, fentanyl content in tablets might differ. One medication could cause a person to feel euphoric without really killing them, whereas another one might.
Sadly, there has been a recent increase in overdose deaths in the US, driven largely by fentanyl found in illicit pills and powders. These deaths are occurring more frequently among people 18 and older, or even younger.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance , and it is medically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery. It is also sometimes used to treat patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids.
What does fentanyl look like? In its prescription form, fentanyl is known by such names as Duragesic, Actiq, and Sublimaze. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) , fentanyl may be habit-forming. Taking certain medications with fentanyl may increase the risk of developing severe or life-threatening breathing problems, sedation, or coma.
What Does Pure Fentanyl Look Like?
Fentanyl produced for pharmaceutical use is a white powder. Fentanyl produced illegally might be grey, brown, or off-white in color. However, the substance is typically concealed in other narcotics, most frequently heroin, rather than being readily available in its pure form.
What Does Powdered Fentanyl Look Like?
Powdered fentanyl looks just like many other drugs. It is commonly mixed with drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine and made into pills that are made to resemble other prescription opioids. Fentanyl-laced drugs are extremely dangerous, and many people may be unaware that their drugs are laced with fentanyl. 
Some people make designer fentanyl analogs, which are nearly identical to the original drug. Since fentanyl and its analogs are incredibly potent, accidental overdoses and deaths are increasingly common. What does fentanyl look like? In some instances, the numbering on the pill, or the color may be abnormal, which can help spot fentanyl. However, just as often, there is no clear physical difference to identify a fentanyl pill.
Facts About Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S.
There are two types of fentanyl:
- Pharmaceutical fentanyl and
- Illicitly manufactured fentanyl
Both are considered synthetic opioids. Pharmaceutical fentanyl is prescribed by doctors to treat severe pain, especially after surgery and for advanced-stage cancer.
However, most recent cases of fentanyl-related overdose are linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which is distributed through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous. 
What Does a Fentanyl Pill Look Like?
Fentanyl is an opioid used as a prescription painkiller, usually in the form of a patch or a pill. It can also be used in anesthesia. However, similar to other opioid analgesics, fentanyl produces effects such as relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, sedation, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, urinary retention, pupillary constriction, and respiratory depression.
DEA Counterfeit Pills & Fentanyl Drug Fact Sheet Publicly Made Available for Substance Use Disorder Awareness
What does fentanyl look like? Illicitly manufactured fentanyl has been specially designed to be more powerful than other opioids like heroin. This makes it a popular choice for drug dealers who want to dilute their product without their customers realizing it. What does fentanyl look like and taste like? Fentanyl doesn’t have a smell when you sniff it. It tastes like you’re sniffing Tylenol.
Fentanyl Overdose Statistics
According to the DEA, 107,375 people in the United States died of drug overdoses and drug poisonings in the 12-month period ending in January 2022. A staggering 67% of those deaths involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.  f you or someone you know is at increased risk for opioid overdose, especially those struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD), you should carry naloxone and keep it at home. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose of opioids—including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications—when given in time.
People who are taking high-dose opioid medications (greater or equal to 50 morphine milligram equivalents per day) prescribed by a doctor, people who use opioids and benzodiazepines together, and people who use illicit opioids like heroin should all carry naloxone. Because you can’t use naloxone on yourself, let others know you have it in case you experience an opioid overdose.
The new data show overdose deaths involving opioids increased from an estimated 70,029 in 2020 to 80,816 in 2021.
The fentanyl category of opioids accounted for 53,480 preventable deaths in 2020, representing a 59% increase over the 33,725 total in 2019.
In nearly 40% of overdose deaths, someone else was present. Having naloxone available allows bystanders to help with a fatal overdose and save lives.
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What Does Fentanyl Laced Weed Look Like?
In recent years, fentanyl-laced drugs have been discovered to be in circulation in the illegal drug trade in America. Marijuana usage and legalization are both rising in popularity at the same time.
While in some of the reported cases, there is a prevalence of fentanyl-laced weeds that have been challenging to verify, it’s best to stick to regulated, legal dispensaries (in states where they’re available). If you’re considering using cannabis products and want to have additional assurances of their safety. There have been sporadic reports of fentanyl turning up in marijuana in the U.S.
Fentanyl has indeed been confirmed to be present in certain street drugs, including crack cocaine. What does fentanyl taste like? Fentanyl is a tasteless and odorless synthetic opioid. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) notes that fentanyl’s effects are “intense” and “short-term,” and that the opioid is frequently added to heroin as well as other substances.
What Does Fentanyl Patches Look Like?
The fentanyl transdermal system, which is available as a generic product and marketed under the brand name Duragesic, is a patch prescribed by healthcare providers to be applied to the skin. The patch treats opioid-tolerant patients who need daily, around-the-clock, long-term pain medicine by releasing fentanyl through the skin over the course of the treatment. The patch is generally replaced every three days. However, people should be warned about the dangers of accidental exposure to the fentanyl patch, and the need to properly store and dispose of the product.
Fentanyl patches may be habit-forming, especially with prolonged use. Fentanyl, like all opioids, should be stored securely. If you have naloxone, tell your family about it, and keep naloxone in a place where family, friends, and close contacts can easily get it in an emergency. If you have naloxone, advise family and friends on how to administer it in the event of accidental exposure or overdose.
Furthermore, the FDA recommends that patients and caregivers talk to their healthcare providers about having naloxone on hand. Naloxone is a life-saving drug that, when sprayed into the nose or injected, can quickly reverse the powerful effects of opioids, including fentanyl, during an overdose. Naloxone can be given to children and anyone who may have been exposed to a fentanyl patch. 
If you or someone in your home uses the fentanyl patch, follow the instructions given by the prescriber and in the FDA Medication Guide, which should accompany each fentanyl patch prescription.
To reduce the chance that your loved ones will be exposed to fentanyl, take these precautions:
- Keep fentanyl patches and other drugs in a secure location out of children’s sight and reach. Toddlers and young children may think the patch is a sticker, tattoo, or bandage.
- Consider covering the fentanyl patch with a transparent adhesive film to make sure the patch doesn’t come off your body. You can apply first aid tape to the edges of the patch to secure it to your skin.
- Throughout the day, make sure the patch is still in place, by touching it or looking at it.
- When you apply a new patch, promptly dispose of the used one properly.
Fentanyl patches may cause serious or life-threatening breathing problems, especially during the first 24 to 72 hours of your treatment and any time your dose is increased. Your doctor will monitor you carefully during your treatment. Because of this serious risk, fentanyl patches should only be used to treat people who are tolerant (used to the effects of the medication) to opioid medications because they have taken this type of medication for at least one week and should not be used to treat mild or moderate pain, short-term pain, pain after an operation or medical or dental procedure, or pain that can be controlled by medication that is taken as needed. 
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What Does a Fentanyl Overdose Look Like?
If symptoms of an overdose occur, a friend or family member should give the first dose of naloxone, call 911 immediately, stay with you and watch you closely until emergency medical help arrives. Your symptoms may return within a few minutes after you receive naloxone. If your symptoms return, the person should give you another dose of naloxone. Additional doses may be given every 2 to 3 minutes if symptoms return before medical help arrives. For more information about naloxone, visit the Narcan treatment page. Narcan nasal spray is the first nasal formulation of naloxone to be FDA-approved to treat known or suspected opioid overdose.
Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms
What does fentanyl overdose look like? Symptoms of a fentanyl overdose may include the following:
- Drowsiness or sleepiness
- Slow, shallow breathing, or stopped breathing
- Difficulty breathing
- Smaller pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes)
- Unable to respond or wake up
Fentanyl Overdose Treatment
While using fentanyl, you should talk to your doctor about having a rescue medication called naloxone readily available (e.g., at home, or the office). Naloxone is used to reverse the life-threatening effects of an overdose. It works by blocking the effects of opiates to relieve dangerous symptoms caused by high levels of opiates in the blood. Your doctor may also prescribe you naloxone if you are living in a household where there are small children or someone who has abused street or prescription drugs.
You should make sure that you and your family members, caregivers, or the people who spend time with you know how to tell recognize an overdose, how to use naloxone, and what to do until emergency medical help arrives. Your doctor or pharmacist will show you and your family members how to use the medication. Ask your pharmacist for the instructions or visit the manufacturer’s website to get the instructions.
Naloxone is available in all 50 states. If you have been prescribed high-dose opioids, talk to your doctor about co-prescribing naloxone. However, in most states, you can get naloxone at your local pharmacy without a prescription.
It may be hard to tell whether a person is high or experiencing a fentanyl overdose. If you aren’t sure, treat it like an overdose—you could save a life.
Call 911 Immediately.*
Administer naloxone, if available.
Try to keep the person awake and breathing.
Lay the person on their side to prevent choking.
Stay with the person until emergency assistance arrives.
*Most states have laws that may protect a person who is overdosing or the person who called for help from legal trouble. 
What does fentanyl pill look like? Illicitly manufactured fentanyl can be in powder or tablet form. Fentanyl powder is placed on blotter paper, nasal sprays, or eye droppers. Color varies from off-white to light brown, similar to other illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine. Fentanyl can also be found in counterfeit pills that look like real prescription opioids. What does fentanyl candy look like? The alarming emerging trend of colorful fentanyl” made it look like candy. Fentanyl pills and powder which come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes—are a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction among kids and young adults.
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What Does a Fentanyl Death Pose Look Like?
Due to the strength of fentanyl, an overdose caused by it can start considerably faster than an overdose caused by heroin (often within seconds) and may require numerous doses of naloxone to reverse. Fentanyl overdoses typically resemble other opioid overdoses in appearance. However, reports of unusual fentanyl overdose symptoms have been made, including:
- Immediate blue or grey lips
- Body stiffening/seizure-like activity
- Foaming at the mouth
- Confusion before becoming unresponsive
What does fentanyl look like? After importation, fentanyl small batches of high-purity powder are often mixed with heroin (or other illicit drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine) or pressed into pills, including counterfeit narcotics (e.g. OxyContin, Percocet).
Signs of Fentanyl Abuse
What does fentanyl look like and common symptoms of misusing? Some of the signs someone is on fentanyl or abusing fentanyl include:
- Euphoria followed by depression or confusion
- Slowed heart rate and breathing
- Weakness and trouble walking
- Stiffness of muscles
- Slurred speech
- Nausea and vomiting
- Itching and scratching
- Pinpoint pupils
- Urine retention
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Sleeping problems
- Swollen arms or legs
While the above are signs of someone taking fentanyl, there are also long-term effects that develop if someone chronically abuses the drug. Some of these include gastrointestinal problems, a weakened immune system, and the potential for seizures to occur. With the chronic use of fentanyl, sedative effects may increase over time as well. What does fentanyl look like and the signs of addiction? You may also notice someone is on fentanyl if they go through behavioral or mental changes including paranoia, social withdrawal, a loss of motivation, or other personal changes.
It will help you navigate the complicated withdrawal process, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to drug abuse. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.
Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide the necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.
Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of depression including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – It is an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – It is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.”
- Person-Centered Therapy – It is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
We Level Up addiction treatment provides the needs of each patient that are specific and personalized, as we aim to provide comprehensive support for mental health, addiction, and dual diagnosis treatment. Because fentanyl abuse involves using multiple drugs, the first step in treatment is fentanyl detox.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers
Substance abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual-diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. In this strategy, both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder are treated simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.
Medication-Assisted Treatment Inpatient Rehab
Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.
If you or a loved one are struggling with long-term polysubstance abuse and a co-occurring mental health condition such as anxiety and depression, contact one of our helpful treatment specialists today. We Level Up can provide information on dual diagnosis and detox programs that may fit your specific needs.
If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid use disorder or living with fentanyl addiction, reach out to We Level Up addiction rehab center to get started with admission and treatment options.
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Top 8 Fentanyl What Does It Look Like? FAQs
What does fentanyl pills look like?
Fentanyl is most commonly seen in blue, greenish, or pale-colored counterfeit pills. There may be other colors. These pills may be marked as “M30” and sometimes as “K9,” “215,” and “v48.” Fentanyl may also be in white powders. However, without laboratory testing, there is no way to know how much fentanyl is concentrated in a pill or powder.
What does fentanyl look like in weed?
Fentanyl-laced weed is a term used for marijuana that has been mixed or ‘laced’ with some fentanyl. It is difficult to know whether or not weed has been laced with other substances when it is purchased illicitly, as there are no legal guidelines. Cannabis will become more controlled as it is increasingly allowed for medical use, making it simpler to determine the quality of marijuana and if it has been laced with other substances when bought from a reputable source.
What does fentanyl OD look like?
Fentanyl produces characteristic opioid overdose signs and symptoms including a decreased level of consciousness, slowed breathing, lack of response to stimulation, and constricted pupils. Peak respiratory depression can occur in 5 minutes or less. A rapid response is imperative.
What does fentanyl powder look like?
When sold as a powder, fentanyl can look at varying levels of off-white to light brown. When it is mixed into other powders, fentanyl tends to bring an off-brown color to the mixture.
What does fentanyl look like in candy?
Brightly-colored fentanyl is being seized in multiple forms, including pills, powder, and blocks that resembles sidewalk chalk. This trend appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell highly addictive and potentially deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to children and young people.
What does fentanyl patch look like?
It comes as a thin patch that is applied directly to the skin. It’s relatively small and clear and comes in individually wrapped packets. The fentanyl skin patch is used to treat severe pain, including acute pain following surgery.
What does fentanyl death pose look like?
When someone overdoses on fentanyl, the person’s body may become limp, their face pale or clammy, and their pulse weak or slow.
What does street fentanyl look like?
Illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF) is available on the drug market in different forms, including liquid and powder. Powdered fentanyl looks just like many other drugs. It is commonly mixed with drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine and made into pills that are made to resemble other prescription opioids. Fentanyl-laced drugs are extremely dangerous, and many people may be unaware that their drugs are laced with fentanyl. In its liquid form, IMF can be found in nasal sprays, eye drops, and dropped onto paper or small candies.
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Search We Level Up What Does Fentanyl Look Like? Detox, Mental Health Topics & Resources
 What Does Fentanyl Look Like? Fentanyl Factsheets – (DEA) Drug Enforcement Administration
 Fentanyl – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
[3-4] Fentanyl Facts – (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / In Relation to the Topic: What Does Fentanyl Look Like?
 Fentanyl Awareness – (DEA) Drug Enforcement Administration
 Accidental Exposures to Fentanyl Patches Continue to Be Deadly to Children – (FDA) U.S. Food & Drug Administration / In Relation to the Topic: What Does Fentanyl Look Like?
 Fentanyl Transdermal Patch – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
 Lifesaving Naloxone – (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / In Relation to the Topic: What Does Fentanyl Look Like?
 Ramos-Matos CF, Bistas KG, Lopez-Ojeda W. What Does Fentanyl Look Like? Fentanyl. [Updated 2022 May 30]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459275/
 Taylor KP, Singh K, Goyal A. What Does Fentanyl Look Like? Fentanyl Transdermal. [Updated 2022 Nov 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555968/
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