How long opiates stay in your urine?

Opiates are drugs derived from the opium poppy plant. However, the term opiates is a broad term and can still divide into more specific types like natural opiates and synthetic opiates. Codeine and morphine belong to natural opiates since they are directly taken from the opium plant. While heroin and oxycodone are derived from natural opiates and considered as synthetic.

The medical community often uses opiates as a form of medical management for different illnesses. Even though the drug can effectively treat several illnesses it can cause addiction, especially when taken in large doses.  Also, there is an increasingly recreational use over the past decades since the development of opiates.

When users take opiates, the body processes it and collects in the fatty tissues because the drugs are soluble in body fats. Opiates then release into the blood which traces can still be ‘stored’ in the body. Several drug tests such as saliva, blood, hair and urine test can detect drugs at varying spans of time.

A drug test can happen in the office as part of their job particularly for people involve in operating heavy machinery. Also, it is important to perform drug test for people undergoing rehabilitation treatment or in probation.

Getting rid of traces from opiates does not have any ‘quick fix’. Here are the testing times for the most common used opiates.

What Factors Affect Opiate Detection?

The duration of the abuse greatly affects the detection of opiates in the system. As well as the kind of opiates used, how much was used and how often users take the drug. The user’s age, weight, and overall health also play an important factor in how fast the body can process and eliminate the drug from its system.

Quantity and frequency of the drug consumption

The frequency of the drug intake greatly affects how the body processes the drug.  When users take opiates frequently or in higher doses chances are more traces are left behind. Also, even when users take the drug in smaller doses but takes the drug frequently it can also leave traces behind.

Speed of user’s metabolism

Users who have a quick metabolism rate can process and expel the drugs faster. The age, health and body size of a person can greatly affect the user’s metabolism rate.


Codeine usually comes in a tablet or capsule as a medical prescription to relieve pain. It can work immediately but its side effects can fade quickly. When a person takes 200 milligrams of codeine it has a half-life of around three hours. Codeine side effects will peak about half an hour.

However, because of on its temporary effects, users take more of the drug than the prescribed medication or increase their daily intake.

Drug test can detect codeine in the system as follows:

Blood Test 1 day
Urine Test 1 to 2 days
Saliva Test 1 to 4 days
Hair Test 90 days



The medical community and the health industry does not use heroin. Also, heroin is a street drug that users usually take by snorting, smoking, or injecting. Even though the drug produced short-lived euphoric feeling but takes the lengthiest time to be removed from the body.

In a study of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1 out of 15 people who abuse opiates outside of medical prescription will turn to heroin within a span of ten years. Numerous people who turn to heroin are increasing in numbers in the United States. A drug test can detect heroin in the system up to three months of time.


Blood Test 6 hours
Urine Test 2 to 7 days
Saliva Test 5 hours
Hair Test 90 days



Doctors commonly prescribe hydrocodone as a treatment for pain relief. For a dose of 10 milligrams, hydrocodone has an approximate half-life of 4 hours.  However, withdrawal symptoms may surface around 6 to 12 hours from the last intake, thus creating a physical dependency on the drug. A drug test can detect hydrocodone in urine, saliva, and hair but unable to do so for a blood test.

Urine Test

2 to 4 days
Saliva Test 12 to 36 hours
Hair Test 90 days




Similarly, morphine is another drug widely used in hospital and doctors prescribe the drug as a treatment for pain relief. Morphine can also be taken as a tablet form, administered as injections or in liquid solutions. The half-life of morphine depends on how the users take morphine. Usually, the body can fully eliminate the within 24 hours from the last intake.


Blood Test 12 hours
Urine Test 2 to 3 days
Saliva Test 4 days
Hair Test 90 days



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Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D. CEO

Gastroenterologist and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.

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