How Long Do Opioids Stay In Your System? | Opioid Drug Test

Kimberly Langdon, M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon, M.D.

on December 10, 2022

Opioids and opiates are a class of drugs most commonly used as pain relievers for severe pain. While these drugs have their medical uses, opioids are also highly addictive and can lead to physical dependence. 

Some of the most common opioids include fentanyl, hydromorphone, and oxycodone.

The amount of time opioids stay in your system can vary depending on a variety of factors, including age, weight, and level of opioid abuse. To detect if there are any opioids in your system, several types of drug tests can be used.

Opioid Detection Times

How long opioids stay in your system primarily depends on the half-life of the specific drug. Half-life is the time it takes for half the dose of a drug to leave the body. This time differs from opioid to opioid.

The length of time opioids can be detected in the body also depends on the type of drug test used. The drug testing methods used to detect opioids include saliva, blood, urine, and hair tests

These tests don’t only detect the drug itself, but also its metabolites. Metabolites are the substances made when the drug is metabolized in the body.

The average detection time for some of the most common type of opioids includes:

Heroin Drug Test

  • saliva test: 5-6 hours after last dose
  • blood test: 6 hours after last use
  • urine test: 4-5 days after last use
  • hair test: up to 90 days

Hydrocodone (Vicodin) Drug Test

  • saliva: 12-36 hours
  • blood: 24 hours
  • urine: 2-4 days
  • hair: up to 90 days

Oxymorphone (Opana) Drug Test

  • urine: 1-3 days 
  • blood: 24 hours
  • saliva: 24-36 hours after last use
  • hair test: up 90 days

Morphine Drug Test

  • blood: 12 hours
  • urine: 3 days
  • saliva: 4 days
  • hair: up 90 days

Codeine Drug Test

  • blood: 24 hours
  • urine: 24-48 hours
  • saliva: 1-4 days
  • hair: up to 90 days

Oxycodone (Oxycontin) Drug Test

  • urine: 1-4 days
  • blood: 24 hours
  • saliva: 48 hours
  • hair: up to 90 days

Fentanyl (Actiq) Drug Test

  • urine: 3-4 days
  • blood: 12 hours
  • saliva: N/A
  • hair: up to 90 days

Methadone Drug Test

  • urine: up to 2 weeks
  • blood: 24 hours
  • saliva: up to 10 days
  • hair: up to 90 days

Factors Affecting How Long Opioids Stay In Your System

While you can estimate the average time an opioid stays in your system after last use, the actual time differs from person to person depending on a number of factors like:

  • age
  • weight
  • body fat
  • gender
  • metabolism
  • the strength of the dose (lower vs. higher dose)
  • if other drugs were taken with the opioids
  • frequency of drug use
  • hydration levels
  • method of opioid use
  • history of drug use and addiction
  • overall physical and mental health
  • liver and kidney health

Why Drug Test For Opioids?

Drug testing can be done for a number of reasons. When it comes to opioids, organizations may drug test for opioids due:

  • Employment: Employers may test you before and/or after hiring to check if you’re on opioids or how much is in your system.
  • Legal or forensic purposes: Testing may also be part of a criminal investigation and may be ordered as part of the court case, especially if a car accident occurred.
  • Substance use disorder: Your healthcare provider may also order an opioid drug test if they suspect opioid drug abuse or addiction.

Treatment For Opioid Addiction

There are lots of options when it comes to treatment for prescription opioid abuse and addiction. Abusing these prescription drugs increases the risk of opioid overdose, and treatment services likely include detox, inpatient or outpatient care, and medication-assisted treatment.

Opioid Detox

During detox, you are medically supervised by treatment providers while you withdraw from the drug. They may provide medication and fluids to help ease the withdrawal symptoms that occur once the drugs begin to leave your system.

Inpatient/Outpatient Care

Once you’re stable, an inpatient and outpatient treatment program is likely the next step. 

During inpatient or outpatient drug rehab, you go through therapy to learn more about your behavioral health, participate in support groups, learn more about drug addiction, and receive care for any other mental health issues that may come up.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is designed to address severe symptoms of opioid use disorders. Along with behavioral therapy, participants are prescribed medications like buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone to address cravings and dependence.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, please contact Ohio Recovery Center to learn about our inpatient addiction treatment options today.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse — Prescription Opioids DrugFacts
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Drug Testing Resources
  3. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Opioid Misuse and Addiction Treatment
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Opioid Testing,of%20pleasure%20and%20well%2Dbeing.

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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