How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your System

This article will explore approximately how long opioids stay in your system, and how this differs between blood samples, saliva samples, urine samples, and hair samples. It will break down how drug testing methods for opioids work, and how they detect opioids within the body. It will also provide useful information for people struggling with opioid addiction in terms of explaining what treatment options are available to them, and how treatment for opioid addiction works.

How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your System?

The extent to which opioids remain in the body can vary greatly. In general, opioids do not remain in the blood, saliva, and urine for more than a few days, though this can vary according to the type of opioid used. However, traces of opioid use can be found within the hair for up to three months.

Factors That May Affect How Long Opioids Stay in Your System

There is a range of different factors that can influence the accuracy of a drug test, and they may also affect how long they take to produce accurate results. For instance, the amount of water in the body of the user at that point in time, their age, the quality and purity of the drugs they have taken, their body fat content, their weight and overall body mass, their metabolism rate, their opiate use in terms of frequency and amount, and the health of their kidneys and liver will affect results.

Opioid Testing: What Is Opioid Testing Used For?

Opioid testing is used by medical professionals to identify whether or not there are any opioids left within a person’s body. This form of testing involves checking samples of the opioid user’s saliva, urine, and blood.

Opioid testing is used to determine whether or not a person has been using opioids within a given period. It can be performed in a variety of ways, and it can also be influenced by several factors relating to the person’s condition and opioid use.

Blood Test: How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your Blood?

A blood test for opioids will involve taking a small blood sample from the opioid user’s arm. This is achieved by injecting a needle into a vein within the user’s arm. The blood will then be stored within the syringe or in a test tube. The patient will likely feel a small stinging sensation afterward. The test typically takes up to five minutes to produce a result that confirms if there has been any opioid use or not.

How long do opioids stay in your blood?

For blood tests, the results will vary in terms of how long the opioids stay in your system. The results may be as follows:

  • For heroin: It can remain for up to 6 hours.
  • For morphine: It can remain for up to 12 hours.
  • For codeine: It can remain for up to 24 hours.
  • For fentanyl: It can remain for up to 12 hours.
  • For methadone: It can remain for up to 3 days.

Urine Test: How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your Urine?

During urine tests, opioid users will be required to wash their hands and clean their genitals with some form of cleansing pad given to them by their doctor. Men will be required to wash the top of their penis, while women will be required to open up their labia and then proceed to clean from front to back, in order to maximize cleanliness.

Then the user must urinate into the test container provided to them. The user will be expected to produce around an ounce or more of urine, and the amount they are required to produce will be indicated by markings on the container provided.

How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your Urine?

For urine testing, the results will vary in terms of how long the opioids stay in your system. The results may be as follows:

  • For heroin: It can remain for 7 days.
  • For hydrocodone: It can remain for 2-4 days.
  • For morphine: It can remain for 3 days.
  • For codeine: It can remain between 24-48 hours.
  • For oxycodone: It can remain for 4 days.
  • For fentanyl: It can remain for 24 hours.
  • For methadone: It can remain for up to 2 weeks.

Hair Test: How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your Hair?

When medical professionals check an opioid user’s hair for opioid use, they will typically look out for 6-MAM. This is a form of opioid metabolites associated with heroin, and it is used to determine if the user has previously used heroin. The drug testers will also look out for codeine, morphine, and dihydrocodeine. The metabolites flow through the user’s blood and end up in the user’s scalp as a deposit within their hair.

Traces of opioids can typically be found within a user’s hair for anywhere between a few months up to 90 days. Interestingly, a hair drug test is not always a clear indicator of drug use, as it may not present a positive result indicating drug use after the test has been performed.

This is due to how hair is gathered for a hair drug test, and as a result, it may take somewhere between five to ten days just to clarify if there are any traces of opioids within the user’s hair. Moreover, there are also other factors that may affect the ability of opioids to be detected within a user’s hair.

For instance, a user’s metabolism and the amount of melanin contained within their hair could influence the results slightly. But in general, these types of factors tend not to impede the results, as chronic use can be traced back as far as three months by checking a person’s hair and scalp.

In addition, hair can grow at around 1cm per month on average, so this means that 3cm of a person’s hair can provide doctors with an understanding of a user’s previous drug use for the past three months.

This, of course, is very useful in comparison to other forms of drug testing, which may only prove drug use has occurred within the past few days leading up to the test. It can prove that drug use has occurred within the past 3 months.

How Long Do Opioids Stay In Your Hair?

For hair tests, the results will vary in terms of how long the opioids stay in your system. The results may be as follows:

  • For heroin: It can remain for 90 days.
  • For hydrocodone: It can remain for 90 days.
  • For morphine: It can remain for 90 days.
  • For codeine: It can remain for 90 days.
  • For oxycodone: It can remain for 90 days.
  • For fentanyl: It can remain for 90 days.
  • For methadone: It can remain for 90 days.

Why Is Hair Tested For Drug Use?

Hair drug tests may be performed randomly in some institutions as part of drug testing programs, they may be performed in workplaces as part of screening a potential employee prior to employment, or they may even be used as part of criminal investigations for gathering evidence or to link a suspect or witness to a crime.

Otherwise, drug hair tests are performed to test whether or not the user has taken drugs within a given period. For instance, a user may have quit taking drugs a few months before a test has been taken, but this form of test could indicate that they took drugs at least three months prior.

Saliva Test: How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your Saliva?

During an opioid saliva test, the healthcare professional in charge will provide the patient with a swab or some sort of absorbent pad that is used to absorb the saliva from the patient’s mouth (specifically from the inside of their cheeks).

The pad or swab is then left in the patient’s mouth for a couple of minutes, in order to allow the saliva to build up inside the mouth of the opioid user. In addition, during some tests, healthcare professionals may ask users to spit into a tube instead of the swab version of the test.

How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your Saliva?

For saliva tests, the results will vary in terms of how long the opioids stay in your system. The results may be as follows:

  • For heroin: It can remain for 5 hours.
  • For hydrocodone: It can remain for 12-36 hours.
  • For morphine: It can remain for 4 days.
  • For codeine: It can remain for 4 days.
  • For oxycodone: It can remain for 2 days.
  • For fentanyl: It can remain for 4 days.
  • For methadone: It can remain for 2 days.

Opioid Overdoses

It has been reported frequently over the past ten years that opioid overdose deaths are on the increase, and that rate does not seem to be decreasing. Addictions to prescription drugs and commonly prescribed opioids are sometimes unavoidable, and this comes down to how prone the user is to addiction, as well as whether or not they fall into a physical dependence on a prescribed drug such as suboxone.

Elsewhere, people may find themselves addicted to street versions of opioids, and in either case, the result can be fatal. The best course of action if a person finds someone overdosing from opioids is to call 9-1-1 and immediately seek medical assistance. The sooner the opioid user gets medical attention, the sooner the healthcare professionals can potentially reverse the effects of the overdose, and potentially also save the person’s life.

Getting Help With Opioid Addiction

For people struggling with addiction to opioid drug addiction and other drugs, there is a range of different treatment options available that can help people address their substance abuse, help them with the detoxification process and dealing with withdrawal symptoms, and help them fully understand how their opioid addiction originated, as well as what the root causes of their addiction are. This, in turn, can opioid users build up the tools and coping mechanisms necessary to beat addiction and avoid relapse.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Options

NP Addiction Clinic is one of the leading detox and addiction treatment centers. When someone is addicted to opioids, the best initial course of action is to begin the detoxification process. This can vary in length depending on the severity of the addiction, as well as other factors such as the patient’s age, weight, pre-existing health conditions, etc., but ultimately might take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month. The staff at NP Addiction specializes in supporting patients with the best care available throughout the detox treatment.

After the detox has been successful and the user has managed to beat most of the withdrawal symptoms, the patient can then move on to a longer-term form of inpatient or outpatient care.

For inpatient care, people can check themselves into the NP Addiction Center, known as one of the premier residential treatment centers in the nation. It is staffed 24/7 and caters to patients’ individual needs. Patients can reside here for the duration of their treatment.

This luxury treatment center provides access to 24/7 medical supervision from a certified addiction professional or a team of professionals, access to medication treatment without delay (when it is needed most), as well as a range of other tools and resources that can help patients with their addiction treatment.

Patients may decide to take advantage of the professional treatment advice, counseling, and family therapy options as part of their inpatient stay at NP Addiction Clinic. If you are struggling with opioid addiction and are seeking treatment options, call NP Addiction Clinic to find out the best treatment available for you.

Begin the first day of the rest of your life

To find out more contact our team

RELATED ARTICLES

A person suffering from anxiety disorder because they never found out the answer to the question: "what is an anxiety disorder"
Mental Health

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

And do I have an anxiety disorder? Sweaty palms. Rapid breath. Racing heartbeat. A feeling like you can’t get enough breath? Like the walls are

Read More »

Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine