How Long Do Opiates and Opioids Stay in Your System?


How Long Do Opiates and Opioids Stay in Your System?

Several factors determine how long opiates and opioids stay in a user’s system, including frequency of drug use and the type of drug. Most drug tests can only detect the presence of short-lasting opiates such as codeine for a few days, while long-lasting opioids such as methadone can remain detectable for as long as a week.

What’s the Difference Between Opioids and Opiates?

Though you may hear people use the words “opioids” and “opiates” interchangeably, there is a distinction between the two terms. Opiates are the naturally occurring compounds that derive from the resin of the opium poppy, including morphine and codeine. The more common term “opioid” encompasses both naturally occurring opiates and man-made drugs that are synthesized from morphine. In other words, all opiates are opioids, but only naturally occurring drugs are opiates.

Why Do People Use and Misuse Opioids?

Doctors usually prescribe opioids as pain relievers. Unfortunately, the side effects of opiates can create a euphoric feeling that people can come to rely on, even people with no history of substance misuse issues, which can plant the seeds of a drug dependency.  

When you use opiates for a long time, especially when you start taking them in a way that contradicts your doctor’s orders, they can become habit-forming, and you may find yourself with a physical or psychological dependence on them. If the misuse continues for long enough, you are at risk of developing a full-fledged substance abuse disorder.

How Long Can Drug Tests Find Opioids?

The amount of time drugs remain detectable in your system depend on the drugs used and the type of test. Hair and urine tests can detect opioids and opiates in the body for longer periods than blood or saliva tests. Synthetic opioids such as methadone and hydrocodone tend to stay in your system for longer than naturally occurring opiates like morphine.

Most drug tests can detect signs of opioid use for up to seven days, though hair tests can find trace amounts of opioids for as long as 90 days later. Saliva tests can detect opiates within five to 10 minutes of use and for up to 24 to 36 later hours. Higher doses of drugs are usually detectable for longer periods than lower doses.

Other factors that influence detection include metabolism rate, age, health and weight. Therefore, the amount of time that an opioid is detectable in the body is different for everyone.

Drug Testing for Opioid Use

Knowing a drug test is in their future can help someone remain accountable for their sobriety. If you are worried about passing a drug test because you’re struggling to abstain from opioid use, you should seek treatment for addiction. Detoxing from prescription drugs such as opioids can be difficult to overcome without professional assistance. Through medically supervised detox and therapy in a facility that puts your needs first, you can recover from addiction and rediscover an enjoyable life.

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