Carfentanil Drug Addiction Treatment, Effects, Overdose Signs and Symptons

Programs, services, and treatments vary. We Level Up FL is a primary mental health center offering co-occurring treatments. We treat the entirety of behavioral health disorders including their secondary corresponding illnesses to improve long-term recovery outcomes. Get a free mental health assessment and find out what treatment options are most suitable for you. We Level Up Florida can help with inpatient primary mental health therapy. Depending on the extent of secondary behavioral disorders such as addiction we can first help assess your condition and thereafter guide you to suitable treatment options.

What is Carfentanil Drug?

Carfentanil drug (4-carbomethoxyfentanyl) is a synthetic fentanyl analog, which means that it’s chemically similar to the potent opioid fentanyl. It’s used as a tranquilizer or anesthesia in large mammals like elephants and rhinos. Even for medical purposes, carfentanil use with humans is not approved because even a small amount of the drug can lead to a fatal overdose in the average human. This drug has no distinguishable odor and comes in many forms, including tablets, powder, patches, blotted paper, sprays, and liquid. It can be administered orally, nasally, or intravenously. This drug can be absorbed through the skin or accidental inhalation of airborne powder.

Carfentanil drug is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. This is according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) [1]. It has a high potential for abuse as well as physical or psychological dependence. It produces longer-lasting effects than other opioid drugs. The human body takes hours to metabolize this drug, meaning that a high from the drug can last for hours on end. Carfentanil drug, the most potent fentanyl analog detected in the U.S., is estimated to be 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [2], there are more than 36,000 deaths involving synthetic opioids such as carfentanil in 2019 in the United States. CDC reports that there are also fentanyl analogs, such as acetylfentanyl, furanylfentanyl, and carfentanil. These drugs are similar in chemical structure to fentanyl. However, they are not routinely detected because specialized toxicology testing is required. Recent surveillance has also identified other emerging synthetic opioids, like U-47700.

Common Street Names Of Carfentanil

  • Apache
  • China White
  • Drop Dead
  • China Girl
  • Gray Death
  • Serial Killer
  • TNT
  • Tango and Cash
carfentanil drug
Carfentanil Drug: You can’t keep dancing with the devil and wondering why you’re still in hell.

Effects Of Carfentanil On The Brain

Carfentanil works in the same way that other opioids do. It dramatically alters the opioid levels in the brain and central nervous system to relieve pain. As a result, it produces intense feelings of sedation and relaxation. The human body naturally produces opioids, which are a type of brain chemicals or neurotransmitters.

These brain chemicals help regulate and manage feelings of pain and stress caused by pain, slowing down activity within the central nervous system to block nerve signals carrying these feelings from reaching the brain. Carfentanil mimics these natural opioids and enters the brain to bind with what are known as opioid receptors. It activates them over and over again to stimulate them into overproduction, flooding the brain and nervous system with an excess of opioids.

Side Effects Of Carfentanil Abuse

Due to its full strength, the most common side effect of this drug abuse is death. However, if a person is able to use carfentanil and survive, the side effects will mimic those of other synthetic opioids. Side effects of carfentanil abuse may include:

  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Drowsiness
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Disorientation
  • Clammy skin
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Sedation
  • Death

Carfentanil Drug Overdose

There are reports of drug dealers adding carfentanil to traditional drugs because it is cheaper, more potent, and easier to obtain than heroin or cocaine. It is unlikely that drug users are aware that they are receiving drugs laced with carfentanil, and may be more likely to overdose when taking their usual dose. The rate of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids was more than 11 times higher in 2019 than in 2013. This is according to CDC [3].

More than 70,000 Americans died from a drug-involved overdose in 2019, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids, (CDC) [4]. The challenge in detecting carfentanil drug abuse or addiction is challenging for various reasons. This drug is often deadly, and you are more likely to identify signs of an overdose rather than a growing addiction. Naloxone has been used to reverse carfentanil drug overdoses. However, greater than normal doses are required to revive those who have overdosed.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) [5], has issued a public warning to the public and law enforcement nationwide about the health and safety risks of carfentanil drug.  DEA, local law enforcement, and first responders have recently seen the presence of this drug, which has been linked to a significant number of overdose deaths in various parts of the country. Improper handling of carfentanil drugs, as well as fentanyl and other fentanyl-related compounds, has deadly consequences.

Carfentanil Drug Overdose Symptoms

  • Pale face and clammy skin
  • Slow heartbeat or pulse
  • Bluish skin tone
  • Will not respond to outside stimulus
  • Awake, but unable to speak
  • Slow or shallow breathing, erratic, or stopped altogether
  • Choking sounds that sound like gurgling
  • Vomiting
  • Limp body
  • Loss of consciousness

DEA Public Warning On Carfentanil

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)[5], has issued warnings to the public and law enforcement nationwide about the health and safety risks of carfentanil. DEA, local law enforcement, and first responders have recently seen the presence of this drug, which has been linked to a significant number of overdose deaths in various parts of the country. Improper handling of carfentanil, as well as fentanyl and other fentanyl-related compounds, has deadly consequences.

Carfentanil Drug Abuse
Dangers of using carfentanil drug.

This drug can be deadly at the 2-milligram range, depending on the route of administration and other factors. DEA warns that this drug can be absorbed through the skin or accidental inhalation of airborne powder. This drug is being sold as heroin in virtually every corner of our country. Remember that carfentanil can resemble powdered cocaine or heroin. It can work very quickly, so in case of exposure, it is crucial to call for help immediately.

Carfentanil Drug Addiction Treatment

Addiction recovery is more than stopping drinking or using. It is an ongoing process of growing and healing-mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Recovery is a process, but one that begins with detoxing the body from the presence of any drugs and continues indefinitely.
Following a detox program, other levels of care provide continued physical and emotional support to those in recovery. Recovery programs also help clients develop tools and coping mechanisms for carfentanil drug relapse prevention.

Carfentanil Drug Detox

The detoxification and stabilization phase of treatment is designed for people who experience withdrawal symptoms following prolonged abuse of drugs. Detox is a process of medical care and pharmacotherapy that seeks to help the person achieve abstinence with the minimum of physical and emotional discomfort. The detox process will look different for everyone because how long the substance stays in the system can vary. For some, it may require medical assistance due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.

Through the admissions process, our team at We Level Up Florida is working to determine the severity of a client’s addiction and dependence, as well as any unique factors that may influence their recovery process. With this information, they will ensure admission to the most beneficial treatment facility, help with travel arrangements, and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Benefits Of An Inpatient Detox Program:

  • 24/7 medical observation
  • Luxury facilities & amenities
  • Medication assistance for withdrawal symptoms
  • Nutritional supplements provided to support detox
  • Access to alternative detox therapies

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) For Carfentanil Addiction

Carfentanil is the most potent opioid on the market, and withdrawal can include severe cravings. Due to these severe cravings and the other intense withdrawal symptoms, some addiction treatment professionals will offer a medication-assisted treatment program. This method of treatment allows clients to be weaned off of opioids via the use of medications that act on neurotransmitters in the same manner as for carfentanil. Subutex, or buprenorphine, is a medication used during opioid detox to prevent the onset of withdrawal symptoms and suppress cravings. This is a short-term medication and is only used under close observation.

Similar medications, methadone and Suboxone can be prescribed to patients on an outpatient basis. They allow for a long-term detox process in which the goal is for the individual to be slowly weaned off of the medication. Many people advocate for these medications because they prevent opioid overdose-related deaths for individuals who have struggled with recurrent relapses. On the other hand, others are opposed to the use of these medications because they also carry a risk of addiction.

In order to ensure the success of individuals seeking recovery at We Level Up Florida, we provide the safest medication-assisted treatment to those who are good candidates, and we ensure close medical observation throughout the length of treatment. We also offer an array of alternative therapies to assist those that are not good candidates or opt-out of MAT.

Carfentanil Drug Addiction treatment group counseling
Group counseling for Carfentanil drug addiction

Behavioral Therapies

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can improve individuals’ behavior. CBT targets negative and maladaptive thought patterns as it promotes positive emotions and beliefs, while DBT helps individuals address conflicting impulses so they can make healthy choices. Both therapies treat substance abuse, anxiety disorders, and other mood issues. Therapy also empowers the person to identify, avoid and mitigate cues that trigger drug cravings. As with all addictions, health care providers should screen for co-occurring mental health conditions. There are medicines available for common co-occurring conditions.

Individual And Group Counseling

Addiction and mental health counseling occur in both individual and group settings. One-on-one treatment sessions may address unresolved trauma, unconscious conflicts, and specific struggles, while group sessions often involve training in life skills, stress management, conflict resolution, and social connections. Group counseling also gives individuals the chance to share their thoughts and experiences to develop social support, which is important for lasting recovery.

Find The Right Primary Mental Health Treatment Plan with Secondary Co-Occurring Addiction Diagnosis

Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up West Palm Beach Rehab. For some primary behavioral health treatment clients, medical detox and or addiction rehab may be required first.  If you have a co-occurring severe substance abuse diagnosis, please contact us prior to beginning inpatient mental health therapy. Treatment services may vary. Please call us to learn which treatment options are most suited for your individual needs.


[1] DEA –

[2][3][4] CDC –

[5] DEA –

[6] Carfentanil Drug We Level Up