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.
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.