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How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System?

problem of how long opioid stays on your body

Opiates, like morphine and opium, are naturally-occurring and are derived from the opium poppy plant. Drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl are developed to mimic the exact same effects that these naturally-occurring substances produce. And, it is the effects that opiates produce that are what keep many people trapped in a cycle of regular, consistent abuse.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported that in 2018, a whopping 10.3 million people ages 12 and older abused opiates. About 9.9 million people abused prescription opioids and 808,000 people abused heroin, to be more specific. The vast amount of people who are hooked on opiates of all kinds is reflective of several different factors, ranging from Big Pharma’s influence on healthcare professionals to a devastating mental health crisis that Americans all across the country have faced and continue to face. These drugs are extremely potent and can produce significant effects that may feel good in the moment, but create more problems than not. 

If you are abusing opiates, you can expect them to remain in your system for a period of time. This can be concerning for you if you are attempting to keep your opiate addiction from your friends, family, or employer. Continuing to abuse more opiates while other opiates are still coursing through your system can cause serious, life-altering side effects if not death. 

How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System? 

The one thing about opiate addiction is that those who experience it first-hand easily share several similarities regarding their relationship with these drugs. But, that does not mean that every opiate addict is going to have the exact same experience as the next. This could not be truer when it comes to how long opiates stay in your system, as every person has a different body chemistry. 

Some of the basic factors that can help determine how long opiates stay in a person’s system for can include the following:

  • Metabolism
  • Water amount in the body
  • Liver and kidney function and health 
  • Body mass and weight
  • Age
  • Potency of the opiate

These factors play a role in how long opiates stay in your system, as does your mode of consumption. For example, abusing OxyContin tablets by swallowing them means that the tablet needs to break down in the digestive system prior to being able to reach other parts of the body. As a result, it can take upwards of an hour to start feeling any effects of it. However, if you are injecting opiates like heroin or fentanyl, you will start experiencing effects almost immediately. The faster that opiates begin taking effect, the faster they clear from the body. That does not mean that opiates exit your body just as quickly as they enter, as it takes more time than that. Some examples of how long opiates can stay in your system include the following:

  • Heroin — Heroin has a short half life, which refers to how long it takes for half of the drug to clear your system. Because of this, heroin is typically only detectable in saliva for about 5 hours and in blood for up to 6 hours. However, trace amounts of heroin can linger in your system for longer, as it can be detected in your urine for anywhere from 2-7 days and in your hair for as long as 90 days.
  • Hydrocodone — Hydrocodone is one of two main ingredients in the painkiller Vicodin. It begins to work quickly no matter how it is consumed and can stay in your system for a little longer than heroin. For example, hydrocodone can be detected in saliva between 12-36 hours after your last use. It can show up on a urinalysis for anywhere between 2-4 days following your use and in your hair for up to 90 days.
  • Oxycodone — The primary ingredient in OxyContin, oxycodone is extremely potent. In fact, OxyContin was first developed to help manage end-of-life care for patients dying from cancer and other terminal diseases. When oxycodone is abused, it can remain in your urine for 1-4 days, saliva for about 2 days, and your hair for 90 days.
  • Fentanyl — Fentanyl is the most potent of commonly abused opiates. It takes only 2 milligrams of fentanyl to cause death in humans. When it is abused, it remains in your saliva for 1-4 days, your urine for 8-24 hours, and your hair for 90 days. Fentanyl can stay in your blood for about 12 hours time.
  • Methadone — Methadone is most often used to help opiate addicts manage their withdrawal symptoms while in recovery. Unfortunately, it is also abused by many. When methadone is being used or abused, it can be detected in your blood for 30 mins to 2-3 days after your last use. It can show up in your urine as soon as one hour after use and as long as two weeks. And, like all other opiates, it can be detected in your hair for up to 90 days. 

As you can see, opiates can stay in your system for quite some time. That does not mean that two weeks after your use that the opiates are producing the same effects. It just means that it can simply be detected. This can be problematic if you are someone who is going to be drug tested for work or by your parole officer. The best way to avoid opiates from remaining in your system is to stop using them as soon as possible. 

Opiate Rehab in Orange County

If you are addicted to opiates and need help stopping, call Asana Recovery right now. We understand what you are going through and we can offer you the support you need to get on the road to recovery. 

So, do not let another day go by. Reach out to us right now to learn more about how we can help you put your active opiate addiction in the past and begin building a brighter future. 

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