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Opioids are powerful medicines that help relieve pain. They are products that are derived from the opium poppy plant, also known as the Papaver Somniferum plant. Codeine, morphine, Fentanyl, and heroin, are all common examples of opioids.

These drugs, except heroin, are sometimes prescribed to help alleviate pain ranging from moderate to severe. They are used for patients that are suffering from cancer pain, surgical pain, and traumatic pain. In some cases, they are prescribed for severe toothaches.

The problem with these substances is that they are quite habit-forming. If misused, they can easily get a person addicted. And because of its relaxing qualities, some people use it recreationally.

Easily accessible, opiate abuse is a common problem. Not only is it illegal, it can also cause adverse effects on the person’s body. On this article, we will be talking about some of the most common opiates, and focus on how long they stay in a person’s body.

Do take note that regardless of type, all these opioids can cause addiction, and will be much harder to recover from without medical assistance. This guide is only for people who have not yet developed physical dependence for opiates.

Opiates: Factors That Affect Detection Time

Drug tests are conducted to detect certain substances in the body. The effectiveness of detection depends on what type of drug test is used. However, there are other factors that affect detection time.

The type of opiates, the frequency of intake, as well as the quantity taken will determine how much of the drug will be in your system in the first place. The method of administration, whether it is snorted, injected, or taken orally, will dictate the time it takes for effects to kick in. Most prescription drugs come in tablet or capsule form, so opioids are commonly taken orally. This means the drug has to go through the digestive system first. It may take an hour before the effects of the drug could manifest.

Taking opioids intravenously provides a more intense high, and the effects kick in much faster. The drug also exits the system more quickly. However, taking the drug intravenously can cause blood-borne illnesses when using shared needles.

Additionally, rate of absorption and the detection time is also affected by the person’s metabolism, body weight, body fat, age, and health condition. If the body is in good health, the drug is excreted quicker.

Common Opiates: How Long Do They Stay in Your System?

Not all opioids are the same. The detection time varies for every substance. Here’s a guide to some of the most common opioid’s detection time.

  1. Opium

Opium is the dried latex taken directly from the opium poppy plant. It is further processed to make all other opiates. This drug can be detected by blood tests for only six hours since the last dose. Saliva tests and urine tests are slightly more effective. Saliva tests can work for 1 to 4 days since the last dose, while urine tests can work for 2 to 4 days.

But as we will see prominently with the rest of the drugs on this guide, hair follicle tests are the most effective kind of drug test.

For all the opioids on this list, hair follicle tests can detect substances for up to 90 days since last drug intake. It is less frequently used, but it is the most efficient one.

  1. Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone, when abused, can lead to physical and psychological addiction. At 10mg, its half-life is only around 3.8 hours. However, an addicted person can display withdrawal symptoms around 6 to 12 hours after the last dose.

Blood tests could not detect hydrocodone. Saliva tests could work for 12 to 36 hours, but urine tests are more efficient. A urine sample could contain traces of hydrocodone for up to 4 days since the last dose.

Hair follicle tests could detect it for 90 days.

  1. Morphine

Within 24 hours, most of morphine would be excreted from the body. Its half-life is quite short. But most of the tests can detect the remaining traces of it for quite a while.

Blood tests could work for up to 12 hours, and urine tests could find it for 3 days. But for morphine, saliva tests work best among the drug tests that are most commonly used. Saliva tests could find traces of morphine for up to 4 days.

As with the first two, hair follicle test could work for up to 90 days.

  1. Codeine

Codeine works immediately, and its effects also fade quickly. At 200, it peaks at half an hour and will have a half-life of only 3 hours. Its detection times are also very short.

At best, the saliva tests could find it for up to 4 days. Urine samples only contain traces of t for 2 days. Blood tests only work for 1 day after the last dose. Codeine is easily excreted from the body.

Hair tests still work on it, detecting traces of codeine in hair strands for up to 90 days.

  1. Heroin

Heroin is one of the few opiates that have no use in the medical industry. They also take the longest amount of time to leave the system. For heroin abusers, a urine test works best. It could detect the presence of heroin in a person’s system for up to one week after the last dose. Blood tests only work for 6 hours. Saliva tests only work for 5 hours.

The hair follicle test is still the most reliable, with accurate results for up to 90 days.

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Opioid Addiction Treatment

While the body could flush out these substances naturally, getting addicted to opioids is another story entirely. It is extremely difficult to overcome physical dependence without medical assistance.

If you or someone you love is suffering from opioid addiction, the best you can do is find the right treatment facility. The patient will undergo a medical examination, during which the best treatment plan will be created, based on their specific condition. Their drug intake will be taken into consideration.

The patient will most likely undergo detoxification. It is a process that involves gradually lowering the dosage of intake, while managing withdrawal symptoms.

They may also be required to undergo behavioral therapy, with an incentivized system that focuses on abstinence.

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