What Are Opioids?
Opioids are classified as a type of drug prescribed for individuals in a lot of pain. This includes chronic pain and pain resulting from surgery or cancer. Due to the effective manner in which opioids fight pain, they are often abused. Opioids are also extremely addictive. This can cause a dependency on the drug. Fentanyl and heroin are types of opioids often used illegally. Once an individual takes opioids, numerous factors are determining the length of time the drug will remain in the system.
What Determines How Long Opioids Remain in Your System?
Opioids are well known for having a short half-life. This means they do not remain in your system for a long time. The effect of opioids generally lasts for a few hours. Drug tests are capable of detecting opiates no matter how the drug was ingested. Prescriptions are usually written for the pill form. When a drug is consumed orally, the effect will not be noticeable for approximately sixty minutes. You must allow enough time for the drug to work through your digestive system.
Certain drugs are injected, snorted, or smoked, such as heroin. The effects of these methods are more intense and quicker, although the drug leaves your body faster. Numerous factors are impacting how fast an opioid leaves your system. This includes:
- Bodyweight and mass
- Kidney and liver health
- How much water is in your body
- How much and how often the opioid is used
- Metabolism rate
- Drug quality
- Fat content
The Length of Time Different Opioids Remain in Your System
The type of opioid being used affects the length of time a drug test can detect it. The opioids most frequently prescribed include codeine, OxyContin, Vicodin, and morphine. One of the opioids with the shortest half-life is heroin. The most common drug test is a urine test. Heroin can be detected in your system for seven days after your last dose. Heroin can only be detected for five hours after your last use by a saliva test.
Hair follicle tests can detect heroin for the longest period, approximately six months. Heroin can be detected for roughly six hours after your last dose by a blood test. Hydrocodone remains in your system for the shortest period. Although a hair test can detect the drug for approximately 90 days after your last dose, the time frame for urine tests is two to four days and 12 to 36 hours for saliva tests.
Codeine leaves your system quicker than most opiates. Codeine can be detected for 24 to 48 hours by a urine test, 90 days for a hair test, and one to four days by a saliva test. Morphine lasts longer than heroin and requires more time for the effect to become noticeable. After the last use, morphine can be detected for as long as three days by a urine test, twelve hours by a blood test, four days by a saliva test, and the same 90 days after a hair test.
OxyContin (oxycodone) can be detected in your system one to three hours after a urine test used it. You will test positive for one to four days. A saliva test will detect this drug just minutes after it has been used. You will continue to test positive for roughly 48 hours. Just like most opioids, a hair test will reveal this drug for as long as 90 days. Your liver metabolizes oxycodone, and it is excreted from your body by your kidneys.
Oxycodone has a three to five-hour half-life. This is the length of time necessary for the drug to become undetectable in your bloodstream. Methadone will remain in your blood for two to three days, your saliva for as long as two days, your hair for 90 days, and your urine for as long as fourteen days. Fentanyl will remain in your blood for as long as twelve hours, your saliva for one to four days, your hair for 90 days, and your urine for eight to 24 hours.
Methadone will remain in your blood for two to three days, your saliva for as long as two days, your hair for 90 days, and your urine for as long as two weeks. If you have been using opioids excessively, fatty tissue will build up in your body as time passes. This means that after enough time has passed, the drug may be detectable in your body for a longer period than the averages detailed above.
The Truth About Consuming Poppy Seeds
If you have ever wondered if consuming poppy seeds on a bagel or muffin can show up in a drug test, the answer is yes. Due to the improvements in drug testing, the chances are slim foods containing poppy seeds will be detected as opioids. Poppy seeds in the past caused numerous individuals to fail drug tests for as long as 16 hours.
The Tests Currently Used for the Detection of Opioids
The specific opioids you have used and the type of drug testing you are taking will determine the length of time the drugs are detectable in your system. There are a lot of employers who use drug testing as a basis for determining if their employees are reliable and productive. Drug tests are used for numerous reasons, including parole, athletic events, worker’s compensation, and child custody. Different urine tests are conducted to look for different types of drugs. The most common drug tests include:
Urine Testing for Opioids
This is the most frequently used type of drug testing. Your body metabolizes all different types of opioids. The byproducts are disposed of by your urine once your kidneys have processed them. Every type of opioid has a different byproduct. This is what is identified when you take a urine drug test.
Blood Testing for Opioids
When you take a blood test, the most recent drugs you have used can be identified. The test will additionally show the level of any opioids in your system at this time. The result determined by your test is guaranteed to be accurate. No other test can make this type of guarantee. The majority of drug tests are dependent on the testing facility. This means blood tests are more invasive and expensive. For these reasons, the majority of employers will not use blood tests for their employees.
Saliva Testing for Opioids
The reason saliva testing is so popular is that it is far less invasive. The accuracy of this test is not as good as urine testing. If you have not used any opioids for a few hours before the test, they may not be identified in your system.
Hair Testing for Opioids
Hair testing works in the same general way as a urine test. The test detects the byproducts your body produces after using opioids. Certain drugs, such as marijuana can be detected for months after you have used them. This is because the byproduct molecule reaches your scalp through your blood. This results in a deposit on any hair in the growth phase.
A hair test will show which opioids you have used for as long as three months. Employers rarely use blood testing because they are more concerned about recurrent or recent opioid use.
Perspiration Testing for Opioids
This is both a less common and newer type of drug testing. The test requires as long as two weeks. In most cases, perspiration testing is used for individuals on probation as opposed to potential employees.