How Long Do Opiates Stay In Your System?

Opiates are a group of drugs derived from the opium poppy plant. A number of opiates serve as a significant drug in the medical community because of their sedative and painkilling qualities. However, these drugs contain highly addictive properties. Even those people who are given a legal prescription have a higher risk of abusing the drugs.

 According to the report in 2012 of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 26.4 up to 36 million people abuse opiates worldwide.

 Q: How long opiates stay in the system?

 A: The length of time of any prescribed or illegal drugs stay in the system varies.

 One characteristic of opiates is that they have short half-lives. This means that the drug can leave the system rapidly but their effects can last for at least several hours.

 Confirming opiates using drug test depends on several factors, including the type of ingestion or intake of the drug. For example, prescription opiates usually come in pill form. Taking an opiate orally can take an hour to experience its effect since it needs to go through the digestive system first. Unlike other substances such as heroin which are smoked, snorted or injected, which creates more potent high, they exit the body sooner.

 Other major considerations to take are the frequency of use, the quantity of the drug, and the duration of the drug intake before the drug test. Also, the quality of the drug (potency) can make a big difference on a drug test.

In general opiate, detection depends on the physiological makeup. Several factors can also affect how quickly opiates leave the system, these includes:

  •  The person’s metabolism rate
  • Physical weight (Body mass)
  • Physical height,
  • Amount of body fat (Body fat content)
  • the current state of health (status of the liver and kidneys )
  • Age
  • How often and how heavy opiate use is
  • Quality of the drug (potency)
  • Amount of water in the body
  • Engagement in physical activities

(Whether the person exercise regularly, mildly or not at all)

  • state of mind (degree of stress)


Q: Why do people test for opiates? And how do people test positive for opiates?

A: People take action for an opiate drug test for various reasons. These are:

  •  After an accident (usually done in a medical facility)
  • Pre-employment purposes
  • Random workplace testing to check for quality workplace
  • To allow you to return to work after rehabilitation

Opiate detection may be tested in:

  • urine
  • blood
  • saliva
  • hair

 Furthermore, the type of opiate also affects the result of a drug test. The most widespread used opiates are codeine, heroin, hydrocodone, and morphine.

 Codeine is one of the fastest opiates to pass out in the system. Detection of the drug after the last intake includes:

  • Saliva test – 1 to 4 days
  • Blood test – within 24 hour
  • Urine test – 24 to 28 hours
  • Hair follicle test – up to 90 days

 Heroin has a very short half-life; detection of the drug usually lasts:

  • Saliva test – first 5 hours from the last intake
  • Blood test – an average of 6 hours
  • Urine test – 2 to 7 days
  • Hair follicle test – up to 90 days

 Hydrocodone leaves the system faster, detection may last for:

  • Saliva test – 12 to 16 hours
  • Urine test – 2 to 4 days
  • Hair follicle test – up to 90 days

 Morphine tends to stay longer in the system, detection may last for:

  • Saliva test – up to 4 days
  • Blood test – first 12 hours
  • Urine test – 1 to 3 days
  • Hair follicle test – up to 90 days

Data for the detection of these opiates are all in averages. Opiates build up in fatty tissues in the body after prolonged excessive usage. The approximate detection time can go beyond these data if the person takes opiates heavily for a long-term period.

 Q: What treatments are available for opiate abuse?

A: There are several effective treatments for an opiate abuse. These include:

 Behavioral Therapies

  • helps increase the coping capabilities of the user to deal with their everyday stressors
  • May include a contingency program of a reward system. These may involve giving gifts, vouchers, items in exchange for a negative drug test

 Detoxification and Rehabilitation

  • Detoxification for opiates will flush the drug out of the system. A first step to getting rid of the drug in preparation for the rehabilitation process.  In this process, withdrawal symptoms are common.
  • A rehabilitation facility can help the user to combat their addiction in the long term.
  • Experts in the health care facility can guide the user to fight their addiction once the rehab program ends.
  • Research shows that people who undergo rehab process of at least three months successfully reduced their drug dependency or they completely recovered from the addiction.
  • The best proven treatment for users is the long-term therapeutic program. In this program, users will receive treatment under a 24/7 medical care for 6 to 12 months period.

  Medication-assisted therapy

  • Some illicit drug does not produce euphoria and withdrawing and users can withdraw from these drugs safely.
  • Medical practitioners can safely guide the user to subdue the addiction using specific prescription drugs.

 Common Drugs


Drug NameStreet Names/


Approximate Duration of Stay in the System
AlcoholBeer, Booze, Hooch, Liquor, Wine1 hour, up to 10-12 hours
AmphetaminesBiphetamine, Black Beauties, Crosses, Dexedrine, Hearts1 to 2 Days
Anabolic SteroidsJuice, Nandrolene, Roids, StanazololOral 3 Weeks, Injected 3 to 6 Months
BenzodiazepinesLibrium, Rohypnol, Roofies, Tranks, Valium, XanaxUsually 2-3 Days, Some 4-8 Days
CocaineCandy, Coke, Crack, Flake, Rocks, Snow, Whitecoat1 to 2 Days
CodeineRobitussin A-C, Tylenol w/codeine,1 to 2 Days
GHBG, Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid X1 to 2 Days
Inhalantsnot availableFew Hours
KetamineK, Kit Kat, Special K, Vitamin K2 to 4 Days
LSDAcid, Blotter, Microdot, Yellow SunshineA Few Hours to 5 Days
MarijuanaPot, Weed, Blunt, Bud, Grass, Herb, MJ, reefer2 to 5 days
Methadone‘Done1 to 7 Days
MethamphetaminesCrank, Crystal, Desoxyn, Glass, Ice, Speed2 to 4 Days
MethaqualoneLudes, Quaaludes10-15 Days
MDMAEcstasy,Molly, E1 to 5 Days
NicotineCigarettes, Cigars, Tobacco, Nicotine Gum, Patch1 to 2 Days
OpiatesHeroin, Opium: China, Dreams, Laudanum1 to 2 Days
OxycodoneOxyContin, Percolone, Roxicodone1 to 2 Days
PCPAngel Dust, Boat, Hog, Love Boat1-8 Days



NOTE:Duration can vary depending on tolerant  to the drugs you are as well as body weight,metabolism etc..



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Gastroenterologist and medical professional focused on addiction.

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  • Research studies on addiction treatment have shown that some alcohol and substance addiction treatment and follow-up procedures are more successful than others. At Detox of South Florida, we emphasize on using the best approaches in alcohol or drug detox.

  • Our goal is to ensure that all our patients regain their physical and mental states of health. Our treatment is therefore tailored to address each patient’s unique conditions. The treatment involves a combination of detoxification procedures such as opiate detox, alcohol detox, and heroin detox, just to mention a few, with other intervention procedures such as group and individual therapy, relapse prevention education, after-care planning, and in-house completion programs aimed at ensuring long-term sobriety and prevention of relapses.

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