All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.
What does fentanyl look like? Well, the truth is that fentanyl is sometimes hard to spot. The powerful drug can be mixed in with many different types of drugs, and often is.
Usually, dealers will mix fentanyl with cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin. Doing so increases the drug’s potency for the user and lines the dealer’s pockets with boosted profits.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stated in 2018 that there has been a 112% increase in various drugs being laced with fentanyl. Without an actual fentanyl testing kit, there is no way for humans to detect if fentanyl is inside a street drug or not.
Fentanyl often comes in the form of fake pills. The pills are masked to look like prescription medications, but they are not. Some ways you can tell that a pill has fentanyl inside is by comparison, which is difficult. The pills are often green, blue, or have a pale tint. The fentanyl pills look similar to prescription pills with designated markings.
The markings are usually: v48, K9, M30, or 215. However, there could be many more.
Just like pharmaceutical-grade, fentanyl paraphernalia may be the normal white powdery consistency mixed into another drug for enhanced potency. When white fentanyl powder is mixed with other drugs, it can turn into a brown powdery substance.
Because of this increase in the amount of fentanyl laced drugs, states have begun acting to reduce harm. The state of Georgia once considered fentanyl strips as drug paraphernalia.
As of April 2022, the law was reversed to allow people to utilize these test strips to be sure that their drugs do not have fentanyl in them. These test strips can help save the lives of drug-dependent individuals in the long run as they hopefully transition to treatment later on.
One scientific study has shown that 42% of fentanyl pills have at least 2 mg of fentanyl in each one which can turn fatal for whoever consumes it.
One kilogram (1,000,000 mg) of fentanyl is so potent and fatal that it can end the lives of 500,000 people.
There are signs that you can see in fentanyl-dependent people. Here are some examples below:
Someone using fentanyl can be so disoriented that they are unable to recognize who you are or what time it is or why they are in a certain location at the moment. Combining the confusion with the dizziness throws off a fentanyl user’s overall cognitive abilities. They may forget to pay a bill, attend a planned event, or even wish a loved one a happy birthday.
Because of fentanyl’s adverse effects on the brain, it hinders motor abilities because the basal ganglia, cerebellum, and cerebral cortex that control these functions become severely affected. An injured brain can only operate on so much when fentanyl is present, which is why users can fall asleep or nod off almost anywhere.
If you suspect your loved one is using fentanyl, it is time to take action to try to get them help.
Before you have an intervention, be sure you have enough evidence collected to back up that your loved one is struggling with fentanyl dependence. Conduct fentanyl research so you know all the symptoms and possibly fatal outcomes of prolonged use.
Approach him or her calmly and express how concerned you are. Talk about how important they are to you and the rest of their family and friends.
To enhance your argument, show them a picture of before they became fentanyl-dependent. Discuss their personality traits before and after they got hooked on the drug. Describe their accomplishments and their future aspirations and how everything has stopped for them since they started using fentanyl.
The first step for any drug-dependent person to do before seeking treatment is to admit that they have an addiction problem. You cannot force someone to seek rehab, but you can encourage them.
Take a look at our inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization program pages for more information on our therapeutic procedures to treat alcohol and drug-dependent patients. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to encourage your loved ones to seek rehabilitative treatment to turn their life around for the better.
If your loved one declines the treatment offer, give it another 4-7 days before you try again. Of course, you do not want to pressure them every day about it. However, the sooner you can bring up the subject again, the higher the possibility they may seek the help they need.
If your loved one lives with you and is currently using fentanyl, it’s critical that you seek help.
Enlisting the help of community professionals will help you is important. You do not want to go through this alone.
 2018 DEA Report
Questions about drug and alcohol treatment? We can answer your questions.
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The alarming trend of fentanyl that look like candy, otherwise known as rainbow fentanyl, is being found all over the country. Here’s what you need to know.