Are you asking, “How long do pain pills stay in your system?” You may be surprised at the answer. Opiates can remain in your system at detectable levels long after the effects of the drug are gone.
The amount of time that opiate medications can stay in your system varies. It depends on the drug you take, how you take it, how often you take it, and your body’s metabolism.
A urine screening can detect opioids in your system for a few hours to a few days. Other drug tests can detect opiates in the body for three months or longer.
If you want more information about drug testing, we have the answers.
Here’s what you should know about opiate drugs and testing.
What Are Opiates?
Opiates are prescription drugs that contain naturally occurring opium that originates from the poppy plant. Opiates are designed to relieve severe pain for those who need it.
Common forms of opiates include opium, codeine, morphine, and heroin. Opioids are similar to opiates. They are synthetically made to mimic the effect of opiates.
Common opioids include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin), and fentanyl. Opiates and opioids have similar effects. They are all pain medications, and the terms opiate and opioid are often used interchangeably.
The Addictive Nature of Opiates
In the late 1900s, the use of opiates boomed. This is due to pharmaceutical companies pushing these dangerous drugs as non-addictive pain remedies.
This information was completely false. Opiates are highly addictive. In 2017, HHS declared that the opioid epidemic was a public health emergency.
Opiate addiction is rampant. Addiction is often a result of misuse due to taking more than the recommended amount or using the drugs longer than needed. Opiates are mind-altering medications that affect the brain.
They cause an artificial high and rush of dopamine to the brain. This interferes with the brain’s normal processes and results in strong cravings for the user.
Opiates serve a valuable purpose for some patients who use them for a short duration. For others, opiate use becomes a serious addiction.
Opiates alter the natural reward system of the brain. Some people become addicted to opiates quickly. For others, continual use over time leads to addiction.
Addiction occurs when you have a compulsion to take the drug despite its adverse effects. Anyone can become addicted to opiate drugs.
If you’re in this situation, addiction isn’t a moral failing, and you’re not alone. It takes strength to get help for an opiate addiction. The road to recovery is challenging.
With addiction treatment and support, you can overcome an opiate addiction.
How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System?
The time an opiate drug stays in your system depends on the type of drug, your opiate use, and other factors, including:
- Your age
- Body fat
- The severity and length of your opiate use
- Your kidney and liver function
- Your metabolism
Opiates have a shorter half-life compared to many other drugs. For example, the half-life of morphine is two to four hours.
This means that after taking morphine, it takes four to eight hours for the effects to subside. This can vary depending on the person and frequency of use.
Even after you no longer feel the effects of an opiate, the drug is still detectable via a drug test.
How Long Are Opiates Detectable Via a Drug Test?
There are various types of drug tests available. These include urine, blood, hair, and saliva tests. Urine tests are a common method of drug testing.
Urine testing is widely available and non-invasive. Hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, and fentanyl can be detected in urine up to three days after use. Heroin is detectable in urine for less than a day.
How Long Are Opioids Detectable in Your Blood?
Blood testing is not used as frequently as urine testing. It’s more invasive and has a shorter detection window.
Blood testing for opiates can detect their presence during the following times:
- Hydrocodone is detectable for up to 8.8 hours
- Oxycodone is detectable for up to six hours
- Codeine is detectable for up to 3.9 hours
- Fentanyl is detectable for up to 12 hours
- Morphine is detectable for up to 6.7 hours
How Long Are Opioids Present in Saliva?
A saliva test can detect opiates almost immediately. It can detect opiates for about two days after use.
How Long Are Opioids Present in Your Hair?
Hair testing isn’t as common as other forms of drug testing, but it’s very effective. Hair tests can detect opioids in a 1.5-inch hair sample for up to 90 days.
How Long Do Pain Pills Stay in Your System?
There are several factors that affect how long opioids stay in the body. These factors include:
- The opioid dose
- How often do you take opioids
- Your body composition and sex
- Your age
- Medical history
- Hydration and nutrition
- Other medications
Everyone metabolizes opioids at different rates. This factors into how long these drugs are detectable with a drug test.
How Do You Clear Opioids From Your Body?
Your body naturally clears opioids from your system. Your liver and kidneys work hard to clear these drugs from the body. However, there is no reliable method of clearing these drugs from your system quickly.
What Does Addiction Look Like?
Addiction isn’t always easy to spot. Many people hide their addiction due to shame, denial, social stigma, or their unwillingness to stop.
You can go to work or school with someone who has an addiction without realizing they have a problem. You may have an addiction and not know it.
If you notice signs of an addiction in a loved one or yourself, there’s help available.
Reach out for help as soon as possible. Some signs of addiction include:
- Heightened anxiety
- Mood instability
- Denial or defensiveness
- Reduced self-care and personal hygiene
- Lying and secretive behavior
- Social isolation
- Reduced interest in activities or hobbies
- Impaired judgment
- Stealing or other unlawful behavior
- Being unable to stop using drugs or alcohol
Getting Treatment for an Addiction
Opiate addiction is a serious health problem. You need addiction treatment in a rehab facility.
There are various treatment options and a variety of settings for addiction treatment. Do some research to find a facility that’s right for you for the best chance of success.
The first step of addiction treatment is detoxification. During this process, the opiates wear off, and physical dependency begins to diminish.
After the detox phase, it’s critical to focus on the physiological aspect of addiction. Rehabilitation isn’t just about treating the body. It’s about understanding your addiction and learning to heal from trauma.
Treatment may include one-on-one therapy, group therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Therapy is an essential part of addiction treatment.
Learning coping strategies and receiving support from your medical team and family members are vital to your success. This can help you stay the course, avoid relapse, and begin to navigate a life free from drugs and alcohol.
Long-term maintenance or medication-assisted treatment is necessary for some patients. If you or a loved one is struggling with opiate addiction, there is hope and help for a brighter and healthier future.
Going Through Detox
Have you attempted to stop or reduce your opiate use but failed due to severe withdrawal symptoms? With medical detox, medical personnel can monitor you, respond to emergencies, and administer medications as needed to help ease you through the process.
Detox is the process of purging opiates, alcohol, or other substances from your body. Although natural detox in your home is possible, it can be very dangerous.
You may need special medications to help you transition through detox, and these are not available to you at home. Medical detox is a safer and more effective option. It’s always safer to be under the care of a qualified medical provider.
Detox should be carried out in a safe rehab treatment facility under the direction of addiction specialists. Medical supervision is critical since withdrawal symptoms can be serious and even life-threatening in some situations.
Help Is Available
If you’re worried about how long pain pills will stay in your system, you may need to take a look at your drug use and consider whether you could benefit from addiction treatment.
Companies and other entities do have the right to request drug tests, and that practice is here to stay for now. You can live a life free of addiction by taking one small step forward towards addiction treatment.
Getting Treatment for an Opiate Addiction
If opiate use is affecting your health, job, family, or finances, you may need addiction treatment. If you’re wondering how long do pain pills stay in your system, you may be worried about passing a drug test and need help.
You don’t have to live as a slave to pain pills or other harmful substances. Purpose Healing Center offers a variety of addiction treatments and therapies to help people just like you recover from drug and alcohol use disorders.
Don’t wait. Purpose Healing Center is here to help. Put your life and your health first and reach out for help.