Opioid drugs stay in the system for different lengths of time, depending on the drug. After opioids are used, they begin to be broken down into metabolites. Join Avenues Recovery, leaders in addiction rehabilitation, as we ask how long opioids stay in your system, and delve into how long they stay in saliva, blood, hair, and urine.
The Opioid Body Cycle: How Do Opioids Affect Your System?
Opioids are a class of drugs derived from opium, which is isolated from poppy sap. They work in the brain by blocking pain signals between the body and the brain. This makes them effective in treating moderate to severe pain. It can also make you feel high, happy, or relaxed, which can lead to dependence and eventually addiction.
Examples of opioids include heroin, opium, Oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, methadone, and fentanyl.
How Long Does Each Opiate Stay in the Body?
Opiate drugs stay in the system for different lengths of time, depending on the drug. After opiates are used, they begin to be broken down into metabolites. Read on to learn how long do opiates stay in your system.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate analgesic, is similar to morphine. However, is 50 to 100 times more powerful. It is a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States and is used as a pain reliever. Fentanyl can be detected in the system for up to 72 hours after use. For more information on how long fentanyl stays in your system, read our online resource.
How long methadone stays in your system is influenced by many factors. Methadone is fat-soluble, which means that it can remain in the body for many days after last use making its effects long-lasting. Generally, methadone stays in your system for anywhere between 2 to 13 days.
Heroin will stay in the system for 1-2 days after use, depending on how much was taken, drug tolerance level, and whether it was used with any other drugs.
It has been reported that the half-life of Oxycodone is 3.2 hours, and it stays in the body for up to 24 hours before being completely removed from the system.
The drug morphine remains in the system between 6-48 hours after last use, depending on the individual.
Codeine can remain for up to 24 hours in your blood system before being undetectable.
Opioid Half Life Chart
|Up to 2 days
|24 to 72 hours
|Up to 90 days
|up to 3 days
|Up to 3 days
|up to 4 days
|Up to 90 days
|up to 3-4 days
|30 minutes to 3 hours
|up to 90 days
|up to 3 days
|2 days (Chronic users up to one week)
|generally 2-13 days
|Long term users:
|from 30 minutes up to a few days
|up to 14 days
How Long do Opiates Stay in Urine?
The length of time Opiates stay in your urine will depend on how much you have taken, the type of test being used, and your metabolism. Below is a look at different opiate drugs and an answer to how long are opioids detectable in a urine test.
After ingesting methadone, it stays in your urine for a long time. Methadone remains detectable in urine for one hour to up to 14 days.
Oxycodone remains detectable in a urine test for 3 to 4 days after last use.
Generally, codeine can be detected in urine for up to 2 days after last use. However, for chronic codeine users, the drug remains detectable for up to 1 week after last use.
Traces of heroin can be detected in urine tests for up to 3 days after last use.
Morphine has a detection time of up to 4 days in urine tests.
Your urine can test positive for fentanyl after 24-72 hours of the last dose. However, fentanyl metabolites (nor fentanyl) remain detectable for up to 96 hours.
How Long do Opiates Stay in Your Blood, Saliva, and Hair?
Blood and urine tests can measure opiates stay in your system for some hours up to a few weeks after the last dose. Hair follicle tests can measure how long opiates stay in your system for up to months after last use.
Read on as we uncover: how long do commonopioids stay in your blood, saliva, and hair.
Saliva – methadone can be detected in your saliva after ingestion for 30 minutes up to a few days.
Hair–testing methadone in the hair effectively determines long-term methadone users. Traces of methadone remain detectable in the hair for several months after last use. However, hair testing is not great for short-term users. It may take a few weeks for methadone to be traced in the hair for new users.
Blood – traces of methadone can be detected in blood 30 minutes to up to a couple of days after last use.
Saliva – traces of Oxycodone can be detected in a saliva test for a duration of between 1 to 4 days.
Hair – Oxycodone remains detectable in hair for a longer time than other types of tests. The drug can be detected in the hair for up to ninety days.
Blood – after using hydrocodone, it remains detectable in blood tests for up to 24 hours.
Saliva – codeine is detectable in saliva for up to 21 hours after the last dose.
Hair – the drug remains detectable in hair follicle tests for a period of up to 10 weeks.
Blood – traces of codeine can be detected in blood for up to 24 hours after last use.
Saliva – heroin drugs can be detected in saliva tests for up to 24 hours after the last dose.
Hair – traces of heroin can be detected in hair follicle tests for a period of up to 90 days.
Blood – heroin remains detectable in blood tests for up to 6 hours.
Saliva – morphine can be detected in saliva for up to 3 days after the last dose.
Hair – traces of morphine drug remain detectable for up to 90 days after last use.
Blood – after using morphine, the drug can be detected in blood tests for up to 3 days.
Saliva- saliva tests are unreliable for testing fentanyl as they cannot consistently detect it or its metabolites.
Hair–fentanyl can be detected in hair follicle tests for up to 90 days.
Blood – traces of fentanyl remain detectable in blood tests from 5 hours to up to 2 days.
Half Life of Opiates, by Substance
The half life of opioids refers to the duration of time it takes for a drug to be reduced by half in concentration. Different opiates have different half-lives. Below are common examples:
3 – 4 hours: The plasma half-life of hydromorphone is between 3 and 4 hours, which makes it fairly shorter than that of other opiates.
3 – 4 hours: The plasma half-life of morphine is between 2 and 4 hours.
1.5 – 6 hours: The plasma half-life of Oxycodone in humans ranges from 3.8 to 4.7 hours, which might be slightly longer than that reported for other oral opiates (such as hydrocodone or morphine). However, Oxycodone has a high-fat solubility, which may increase the absorption and thus the bioavailability of Oxycodone.
30 minutes – 3 hours: The mean plasma half-life in humans is reported to be about 3–4 hours. However, a more recent study implies that heroin metabolism may be much more rapid, taking as little as 0.73 hours (43 minutes).
2 – 5 hours: The half-life in plasma for most subjects is about 3–4 hours.
Codeine has a serum half-life of approximately 2.5 hours, though some studies have reported figures as high as 4.9 hours, which would be consistent with an active metabolite, morphine-6-glucuronide. The analgesic activity of codeine is due to both the parent drug and the M3G metabolite.
The Half Life of Opiates While Pregnant
Knowing the opiate half-life while pregnant is an important consideration for both the mother and the baby. When a pregnant woman takes opiates, the baby can be born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). This occurs when the baby is born addicted to the opiates that the mother took while pregnant. Symptoms of NAS include excessive crying, diarrhea, fever, and seizures. The baby may also be smaller than other babies.
Babies exposed to opiates in the womb seem feverish and irritable; they may be floppy like a rag doll. There may also be excessive crying, breathing problems, diarrhea, and seizures. Their mouths seem dry, and their gums are swollen. Their skin seems blotchy or mottled. They can fail to grow at their expected rate, be born with low birth weight, and have tremors. Women who need pain control during pregnancy may benefit from non-opioid pain control.
Opioids Can Leave Your Body
If you’re addicted to opioids and wondering how long do opioids stay in your system, opioid addiction treatment is available. Reach out to Avenues Recovery to hear more about our detox and treatment programs and get your road to recovery starte