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Opiates are fast-acting drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant. Opiates include licit pain relievers, like codeine and morphine, as well as illicit substances like opium and heroin. Some may wonder how long opiates stay in your system.
Opiates are now wrapped into the opioid category, which includes synthetic analgesics. These include oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, and others. Synthetic opioids are simply lab-engineered drugs that mimic the effects of natural opiates.
There are several reasons why someone might want to know how long do opiates or opioids stay in the system. These include:
- Learning when it is safe to drive or operate machinery.
- If they can safely take another medication that could interact with the opiate.
- To avoid a positive drug test.
Factors that Affect How Long Opiates Stay in the System
There are several factors that influence how long opiates will be present in the system. The speed at which the body metabolizes and expels the substance depends on:
- Which opiate or opioid was used.
- The size of the dose.
- Method of drug delivery.
- Body fat
- Hydration level.
- Liver and kidney functioning.
- Metabolic rate.
How Long Do Opiates and Opioids Stay in Your System?
The range of time that an opiate can be detected in the system ranges from hours to weeks. Consider these drug screening timelines:
Heroin: In urine for seven days, in blood for six hours, in hair for 90 days, and saliva for five hours.
Morphine: In urine for three days, in blood for 12 hours, in hair for 90 days, and in saliva for four days.
Codeine: In urine for 1-2 days, in blood for one day, in hair for 90 days, and saliva for four days.
Heroin: In urine for seven days, blood for six hours, hair for 90 days, and saliva for five hours.
Oxycodone: In urine for one day, in blood for one day, in hair for 90 days, and in saliva for two days.
Hydrocodone: In urine for three days, in blood for 12 hours, in hair for 90 days, and in saliva for 12-36 hours.
Methadone: In urine for two weeks, in blood for three days, in hair for 90 days, and in saliva for two days.
Fentanyl: In urine for one day, in blood for 12 hours, in hair for 90 days, and in saliva for four days.
How Do Drug Tests Work?
Today’s drug tests are available for testing blood samples, urine samples, saliva samples, or hair samples. Each of these tests registers the drug using different mechanisms, which influence how long the opiates will show up.
Drug screening tests are used for many reasons. These include:
- As a condition for employment.
- Condition of parole or other legal reasons.
- To participate in sports.
- As a continuing care tool in addiction recovery.
The different drug tests include:
- Urine testing. Urine tests are the most often used drug screening test. A urine test can detect drugs in the system for a number of days, from a few days to weeks. How long prior to the urine test depends on the frequency of drug use and the type of drug.
- Saliva testing. Using a mouth swab, the saliva test can detect very recent drug use, such as within a few hours.
- Hair testing. Where other drug tests only reveal use within the previous days or weeks, hair screening detects a three-month period. Because hair screenings are more sensitive than other methods, they can reveal a person’s historical drug use.
- Blood testing. Blood screening tests require a blood draw. The blood test is called the enzyme-multiple immunoassay test and is able to pick up a range of substances.
Detox: The First Step in Breaking Free from Opiate Addiction
When you are ready to embark on the recovery journey, the starting place is detox and withdrawal. This is a necessary first step, allowing the body to clear the remnants of the opiate and stabilize the mind. Detox is a prerequisite to entering treatment.
Withdrawal symptoms will vary in severity and scope depending on the opiate use history use and the level of dosing each day. The team of detox experts in charge of overseeing the process will closely monitor your vital signs and withdrawal symptoms. This allows them to provide medications to help reduce the discomfort and also offer emotional support.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Nodding out.
- Chills; fever.
- Muscle and joint pain.
- Restless, nervous, or jumpy.
- Drug cravings.
Getting Help for an Opiate Addiction
After detox, you will enter a structured treatment program that can help you overcome the compulsion to use opiates. This involves evidence-based interventions that guide you toward new ways of thinking and reacting. These include:
- Psychotherapy. Therapy sessions, offered in both one-on-one and group formats, assist you in working through emotional issues. These include any past traumas or current life struggles that might be fueling drug use.
- Addiction classes. Learning how brain chemistry responds to opiates can help you grasp why it is so hard to overcome addiction.
- Relapse avoidance planning. An important part of rehab is to plan for the triggers that can challenge abstinence and lead to relapse.
- Life skills classes. Life skills are taught to help you get back on track. These classes may assist in resume preparation, interviewing tips, and general job search planning.
- 12-step groups. The A.A. blueprint for recovery helps you make steady progress in your recovery journey. The 12-step group meetings foster peer-based support and mentoring.
If you are asking, “How long do opiates stay in your system,” you may have an opiate use disorder. Do not hesitate to reach out for help.
Rehabs Malibu Provides Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment
Rehabs Malibu is a trusted provider of luxury addiction recovery services. If you or a loved one is struggling with an opiate or opioid use disorder, we can help. Call us today to get your questions answered at (424) 425-3541.