How Long Does Codeine Stay In Your System?

Codeine can stay in your system for an average of 15 hours after the last dose. Drug tests can detect codeine for an average of 3 to 4 days after last use.

Codeine is a prescription pain reliever and cough suppressant. It is also a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States, with a high potential for substance abuse.

In the state of Ohio, health organizations may conduct drug testing for codeine under suspicion of drug abuse. A positive test for codeine use may result in a referral to an opioid addiction treatment program.

Drug Tests & Detection Times For Codeine Use

To detect recent drug use, drug testing methods may detect either traces of an unchanged drug or its metabolites. Metabolites are components of drugs that result from the body’s absorption and breakdown processes.

The main metabolite of codeine is morphine, which is a potent prescription opiate in its own regard. Morphine in a person’s system may be indicative of either codeine or morphine use.

In the state of Ohio, drug testing methods may be approved and overseen by the Alcohol & Drug Testing Program of the Ohio Department of Health.

Codeine In Urine Drug Test

Urine tests can detect codeine for about 2-3 days after the last use. 

In the state of Ohio, urine tests may be a common form of drug testing due to the test’s long detection time and relative convenience.

Urine tests may return false positive results for codeine if the patient ate poppy seeds before the test. Morphine and poppy seeds can be derived from the same plant, the opium poppy, and trace amounts of opiates may remain in poppy seeds after processing.

Codeine In Saliva Drug Test

Saliva tests may detect codeine in saliva and oral fluid for up to 1 day after the last use.

The accuracy of saliva tests may be reduced if the patient ate food or drank liquids shortly before the test, especially poppy seeds. Patients may be advised to avoid eating or drinking before an oral fluid test.

Codeine In Blood Drug Test

Blood tests may detect codeine in blood samples for about 1 day after the last dose.

Patients may be subject to a blood test if they present to the hospital with side effects of codeine abuse or codeine overdose, such as sedation, breathing problems, low blood pressure, or an inability to wake up.

Codeine Hair Drug Test

Codeine can be detected in hair follicles for about 10 weeks after the last dose. This detection time may be significantly longer than other forms of drug testing.

Half-Life Of Codeine

Half-life is the amount of time it takes for a drug to decrease to half of its peak concentration. Half-life can be used to determine a drug’s elimination time from the bloodstream. After about five half-life cycles, most drugs are virtually eliminated from a person’s system.

The half-life of codeine is about 3 hours. After about 15 hours, the drug will be virtually eliminated from an average person’s system. 

During this time, a person may feel the effects of codeine, such as pain relief, sedation, constipation, and dry mouth. Codeine withdrawal symptoms may occur after this period if the patient has a physical dependence on codeine.

A variety of factors may affect the length of time long codeine stays in the body, such as body fat, the formulation of codeine ingested, history of drug use, the hydration of the person taking codeine, and other factors.

If you receive a positive test result for codeine use in the state of Ohio, you may be referred to a professional treatment center that can address codeine addiction with medical detox, behavioral therapy, and medication-assisted treatment

To find out if our inpatient substance use disorder treatment options will work for you or your loved one, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

  1. Avalon Healthcare Solutions — Prescription Medication and Illicit Drug Testing in the Outpatient Setting
  2. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology — Codeine disposition in human hair after single and multiple doses
  3. Forensic Science International — Morphine and Codeine Concentrations in Human Urine following Controlled Poppy Seeds Administration of Known Opiate Content
  4. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls — Codeine
  5. Ohio Department of Health — Alcohol & Drug Testing Program

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: December 1, 2022

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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