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How long does fentanyl stay in your system? Look at the latest case in Indiana and how you can protect yourself.

Overdose symptoms: How long does fentanyl stay in your system?

Is the deadly drug fentanyl hiding in the digital alleyways of social media platforms? A recent, jarring case from Indiana affirms this unnerving reality. Jeremial Leach, a 19-year-old, was indicted for allegedly peddling fentanyl-laced pills on Snapchat, leading to a tragic episode of three overdoses and one fatality last year.

Fatal scope

Leach, investigators claim, exploited his social media presence to market his counterfeit, fentanyl-infused pills. The devastating aftermath included two women and a minor boy overdosing, with one woman losing her life to the deadly fentanyl concoction. Subsequently, authorities apprehended Leach while dealing his lethal wares to two more minor boys. A raid on his residence resulted in the seizure of fentanyl, cash, and weapons.

Online, Leach went by “Mel”. Now, he’s facing a grand jury indictment with charges including the distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, two counts of fentanyl distribution, and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. A conviction could mean a life sentence for Leach.

Digital onslaught

A bipartisan group from Congress is looking to address the threat of online fentanyl sales with the proposed Cooper Davis Act. The act aims to mandate social media companies to report suspected fentanyl sales to authorities. Named after a Kansas teen who succumbed to a fentanyl overdose, the act, however, has met opposition from groups like the ACLU. They caution that this measure could lead to over-surveillance and censorship of users’ speech on these platforms.

Despite the opposition, the urgency of the situation is apparent to New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a co-sponsor of the legislation. She argues that the increasing role social media plays in fentanyl accessibility to young people must be addressed immediately.

Fentanyl Fuels an Overdose Epidemic

How long does Fentanyl stay in your system? The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn about the lethal potency of fentanyl. As little as two milligrams can prove fatal, depending on an individual’s body size, tolerance, and past usage. 

The DEA’s studies have found that about six out of every ten illicit fentanyl tablets sold in the United States contain a potentially lethal dose of the drug. The duration that fentanyl can be detected in a person’s system varies depending on the type of drug test and individual factors. In urine tests, fentanyl or its breakdown products can typically be detected for approximately 24 to 72 hours. 

However, a study revealed that the mean clearance time for fentanyl in urine was around 7 days after the last use, with its metabolite norfentanyl taking approximately 13 days to clear. In blood tests, fentanyl can usually be detected for about 5 to 48 hours. 

Hair tests provide a longer detection window, with the potential to identify fentanyl use up to 3 months after the fact. It’s important to remember that these timeframes are approximate and can be influenced by factors such as an individual’s metabolism, usage patterns, and the sensitivity of the testing method employed. 

While the effects of fentanyl may only last for a few hours, traces of the drug can remain detectable in the system for a longer period. 


If you have concerns regarding fentanyl’s presence in your system, it is recommended to seek advice from a healthcare professional or toxicology expert who can provide tailored information based on your specific circumstances.

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