How Long Does Codeine Stay In Your System?

If you have substance use disorder and will be taking drug tests, you may be wondering how long codeine stays in your system. This article fills you in on everything you need to know about codeine and drug tests and gives you info on stopping codeine abuse if you want to quit.

What Is Codeine?

Codeine is an opioid-based prescription medication used as a cough suppressant and to treat mild to moderate pain relief. You might be prescribed codeine if you have whiplash from a car accident, have burnt yourself, or have a severe headache.

Preparations of codeine usually come mixed with paracetamol in tablet form, though it is possible to get codeine cough syrup or codeine tablets without paracetamol added.

Your ability to buy codeine depends on what state you are in. In some states, you can buy codeine over the counter, while in other states, codeine is a controlled substance, and you must have the permission of a qualified healthcare provider.

People abuse codeine for several different reasons. Some people do it to get high; some take it to get to sleep, and others use it to treat an underlying disorder.

When you take codeine, drug effects come on between 30 minutes and one hour. If you are new to taking codeine, you may feel relaxed, euphoric, itchy, sedated, or energized. Low doses tend to cause a more uplifting effect, while higher doses cause you to be more sleepy.

If you are not opiate-naive, codeine may not do much for you. People who take codeine for long periods often find that the drug does not get them high any longer, and instead, they have to take it, so they do not go into withdrawal.

Factors That Influence How Long Codeine Stays In Your System

Some of the critical factors that influence how long codeine remains in your system include other drugs you may be taking, your family history with opioids, and other individual factors like your metabolism rate.

For example, taking other medications or supplements along with codeine can increase the length of time that it takes when your body processes codeine. Certain genetic factors or medical conditions can also affect how quickly codeine is processed and eliminated from the body.

Other individual factors that can impact your codeine levels include your age, gender, body weight, and overall health status. Generally speaking, individuals with faster metabolisms tend to clear codeine from their bodies more quickly than those with slower metabolisms.

How Long Does Codeine Stay In Your Blood?

Blood tests are not standard as they are more invasive than other tests. They are sometimes used if it is not possible to get a urine test.

If you are about to get a blood test, you may be concerned about how long codeine stays in your blood. The answer to this is about 24 hours after you have stopped taking codeine.


How Long Does Codeine Stay In Your Saliva?

How long is codeine detectable by drug tests in your saliva? The answer to this is around 21 hours after last use.

How Long Does Codeine Stay In Your Urine?

For most people, codeine can be detected in urine tests for up to 48 hours after your last use. If you are a chronic user, codeine may be found in your blood for up to a week after you have ceased use.

How To Pass a Drug Test

If you are subjected to drug testing that will detect codeine, you may be curious about how to pass the test while still taking codeine.

Some people who abuse codeine attempt to pass codeine tests by eating or drinking certain things or by attempting to cheat the system in some other way. The truth is that these methods of passing a drug test are unreliable and may find you get into even more trouble.

If you are addicted to codeine, the most reliable way of passing a codeine test is by stopping taking codeine.

Can Someone Become Addicted To Codeine?

While some people may feel that codeine use is harmless, this is not true. While codeine addiction is not usually as severe as other opioids like heroin and fentanyl, codeine is addictive.

Once addicted, you must continue codeine use or face withdrawal symptoms. Once someone starts getting unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they stop using codeine, it becomes far more difficult for them to get clean.

Withdrawal symptoms from codeine include:

  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Panic attacks
  • Muscle pain
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Vomiting

If you have an underlying mental health disorder, it may be more challenging to stop taking codeine. This is because it is likely that you started to take codeine originally to self-medicate this mental health problem.

People with co-occurring issues must get help from a treatment center that can treat both addictions and deal with mental concerns. If this is not done, relapse following treatment is high.

Risk of Codeine Overdose

Codeine is a powerful opioid drug commonly prescribed for pain or as an antitussive agent. While it is generally considered safe when used as directed, some risks are associated with codeine overdose. These include substance use disorder, which can occur when someone becomes addicted to codeine or uses it in high doses for extended periods.

Other potential effects of a codeine overdose include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Respiratory distress
  • Nausea
  • Slow pulse
  • Coma
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Death

Users frequently combine codeine with other drugs to increase the high of codeine. The risk of codeine overdose is significantly exacerbated if you combine codeine with other substances.

Combining codeine with other depressants is particularly dangerous, as these drugs slow down the heart rate, causing cardiac arrest. Combining drugs also increases the effects of codeine withdrawal when drug use is ceased.

Alternatives To Codeine Abuse for Pain Relief

If you take large amounts of codeine for pain for a long time, it can be challenging to see a way out. Some solutions may be effective and do not involve drug abuse.

  • Hypnotism. Being hypnotized has helped many people to deal with pain. Ensure that you find a hypnotist who has experience assisting people in relieving pain.
  • Non-opioid painkillers. Your health professional can prescribe you painkillers that are not opioid-based.
  • Yoga. A movement system like yoga can help relieve symptoms of pain in the body. It may also help you change your relationship with pain.
  • Meditation. This can also assist you in changing how you relate to pain.

Before you try these, you must deal with your physical dependence on codeine. Note that withdrawal may make your feelings of pain worsen before they get better.

Codeine Addiction Treatment

If you want to stop taking codeine, you need professional medical advice. Start by looking up treatment facilities in your area. Does the addiction treatment you are looking at have experience treating people who are abusing codeine and have other opioid addictions? Is there a team of certified addiction health professionals dedicated to helping you get better? Does the treatment involve Medication-Assisted Treatment that will help you get through withdrawal comfortably?

If the answers to all these questions are “yes,” then you have a good idea that your treatment for addiction to codeine will be high quality.

Contact NPAC today to fight out how we can help you free yourself from the pain of codeine addiction.

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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


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


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