How Long Do Opioids Stay In Your System?

In 2021, drug overdoses accounted for over 100,000 deaths in the US. That number increased by 28.5% from 2020. Opioids are largely responsible for these staggering statistics.

Any opioid use can be considered dangerous or life-threatening. That said, it’s crucial to understand how opioids work and how long they stay in the system. 

What Are Opioids? 

Opioids are a class of either naturally occurring or synthetic drugs associated with pain relief. They work by suppressing pain signals in the body. Some opioids, like hydrocodone or oxycodone, come in the form of prescription medicine. Other opioids, like heroin, are illicit and can only be bought on the street. 

Some people abuse opioids by snorting or intravenously injecting them for their pleasurable, euphoric sensations. They may also mix them with other drugs to enhance certain effects. 

In general, opioids are powerfully addictive. Many people develop a quick tolerance to their effects, making them want to take more over time. Furthermore, the emergence of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms often reinforces the habit.

How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effect of Opioids?

This depends on the type of opioid and how the method of administration. For example, someone who intravenously injects heroin can feel the effect almost instantaneously- after just a few seconds. However, someone who takes a prescribed, extended-release form of oxycodone may not feel the effects for 10-15 minutes.

Peak blood levels vary, but they tend to occur about 10-30 minutes after consumption. This range, however, varies based on the drug and other drugs that might be present in the bloodstream.

How Long Do Opioids Stay In Your System?

The exact length of time that opioids remain in the system varies. This timeline depends on several factors, including one’s age, general health, medical history, type of opioids used, and frequency of use. 

The typical half-life for opioids ranges from 1-9 hours. For example, the half-life of oxycodone is about 3.2 hours. On average, it can take about 18-24 hours for the body to clear itself after the last opioid use. 

Traces of the drug, however, can persist well after 24 hours. Keep in mind that it takes numerous half-lives for the body to fully clear itself of a drug. 

Dosage: The higher the dose of opioids, the longer it will take for the body to thoroughly metabolize the drug. If someone is abusing opioids, the drugs typically stay in the system much longer.

Age: Younger people typically metabolize substances faster than older adults.

Frequency of use: If someone abuses opioids every day for several months or years, the body develops a high sense of tolerance. It will take longer for the drug to leave the body (compared to someone who might only take opioids for a few days).

Sex: Some research suggests that women take longer to metabolize opioids than men, even when taking weight and BMI into consideration. 

Physical health: Heart, kidney, liver, and stomach issues can all impact the metabolic process. Unfortunately, many people who abuse opioids are not aware they have certain conditions. Their continued drug use may exacerbate their health problems. 

How Long Do Opiates Stay In Urine, Blood, Saliva, or Hair?

Different tests will detect different levels of opioids. You may need to take a drug test for medical, legal, or employment-related reasons. Depending on the circumstances, failing these tests can undoubtedly result in serious consequences. 

Urine tests: Urine tests can typically detect opioids for up to 3-4 days. 

Blood tests: Blood tests can typically detect opioids for up to about 1-2 days.

Saliva tests: Saliva tests can typically detect opioids for about 1-14days.

Hair tests: Hair tests can typically detect opioids for about 90 days. 

Final Thoughts

Any opioid use can be extremely dangerous. Illicit opioids are often laced with toxic ingredients or even more potent opioids like fentanyl, which can aggravate how the body metabolizes them. Problems with this process may lead to an overdose or death.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid use, it’s important to get help. You don’t have to go through this journey alone. Contact us at (866) 578-7471 to get the support you need. 

  1. Going by the article about, it depends on the Ty as well as the quantity. I appreciate this update from the Detoxification.

  2. I’m just knowing about opioid has a pain relieve or suppression drugs. since it a dangerous drug to the body it should be taken minimally.

  3. I do really love this article. It’s really educative and helpful. Never knew that Opioid can be extremely dangerous.

  4. This is pretty interesting and informative, I have learnt one or two from here today, I really didn’t have an idea about what opioids are before . Now I can enlighten people on what opioids are, and also advice them on the consumption.

  5. I think the right prescription of it should be taken by one body system. Harmful drugs such as this should be taken with care.

  6. Never thought Opioid can be extremely dangerous before now. But this content has actually opened my eyes to some depth about Opioid.

  7. So even pain killers are abused huh? At Ironic we take it to reduce the pain but in some cases we become addicts due to it. Our bodies adaptation became its biggest culprit as with any thing once our body adapts we need to take it higher for it to have an effect.

  8. This post is really educative. “Opioid use or abuse is dangerous and life threatening”. Abstain from the usage.

  9. Thank you for this enlightenment, opiate is a dangerous drug when used without prescription. Now I know how long it stays in the system. Detox to rehab thank you for sharing this educative article.

  10. I particularly appreciate Detox for giving us information about opioids as drugs. Indeed, I have learnt how drugs stay in an individual system.

  11. The factors listed in the article are the determinants on how long opioid can last in one’s system. Thank you so much Detox.

  12. Thanks for this piece of information. I think Detox want everyone to learn here is the avoidance of opioid.

  13. This is another blessing I’m receiving today for reading this article. We’re not aware of this stuffs until we are into them. Thank you for enlightening me

  14. Fro the above information, what I can deduce is that opioid affect every part of body system. The substance can kill. It must be avoided by everyone.

  15. Drug addiction, especially Opioids, can have adverse effects on the users. However, kudos go to Detox for the public enlightenment on how long Opioids can stay in a person’s system.

  16. No matter the longevity of this substance, it is not good for human health. Thanks to Detox To Rehab for this piece of information.

  17. Wow, thanks for this educational piece. This is a great eye opener on what people need to know about opioids.

  18. When I learned about opioids for the first time, I became skeptic, which made me never to take any body pain relieve substances to subsidize my pains. Information is wealth, had it been i never gained such info, I could’ve been living with opioids substances till today.

  19. Opiate addiction comes with great risk and effects. For opioid to stay in the body for long comes with a lot f risks which may require taking medical tests.

  20. After the intake of opioid, it takes 10 to 15 minutes for users to start feeling its effect. Abstinence is the key since opiate addiction is very dangerous to health.

  21. This is an educative post on opioid. The substance takes within 10 to 30 minutes to take effect. No matter how long the substance stays in the body, it is still very dangerous for health.

  22. since it is a dangerous drug to the body it should be taken minimally. For opioids to stay in the body for long comes with a lot of f risks which may require taking medical tests. Thank you so much detox for this amazing enlightenment.

  23. Opioids remain in our system for a long time, so it has a very bad effect on our body. Thank you so much detox for this amazing enlightenment.

  24. I sure love this write up. Hair test is definitely what I’ll ask for if someone comes to me. It’s really better to be sober than pretend to be. Thanks for this educative one about opioids once again.

  25. Let help someone that’s into opioid in our environment or community. This is a great and educative information. Thanks for sharing this information.

  26. For everyone going through opioid addiction. It’s very important to get help immediately and early enough. It’s consequences on one’s life is just so enormous. Taking a drug test can jeopardize the chances of people addicted to opioid.

  27. These are some of the things I have never thought of using. I believe on being sober minded all the time. Some of these effects re not worth.

  28. Thank you Detax to rehab for sharing these type of stories with all of us.These stories are really very much inspirational for many people.

  29. I have always wondered how long drugs could “stay” in the body before they thoroughly disappear. This is the first time I have learned that other factors, such as sex, age, and physical health could also play a role into how a person would be able to fully metabolize the drug. Indeed, this article is quite an eye opener.

  30. It’s interesting how age and gender come into play with opioid use. With opioid overdoses surging, it’s very important to raise awareness on its deadly health risks.

  31. Considering the abundant negative side effects and consequences associated with the usage and abuse of opioids, it’s best advisable not to attempt patronising the drug at all.

  32. As long as it opioids are used for medical purposes only, it is fine. But when people start taking it for leisure or other purposes that is where the problem lies.

  33. Honestly, one can get addicted to opioid if not careful. I once had a surgery and was given options as a pain relief, it did make the pain go away but I was told frequent use could make me addicted to it. Ito me this drug shouldnt be easily accessible to individuals so as to avoid abuse.

  34. Seriously how long Opioids stays in different part of the body still baffles me. 1 to 14 days in the mouth. Though some seems helpful when used moderately but illicit ones can cause death. Be warned

  35. Nice piece, very educative. Though I never knew how long opioid stays in the body, now I know and different reasons while it differ in different people.

  36. Delm, this drugs are very powerful. I think we should take note of the days and hours each drug tend to stay in the body, it could safe and mere someone’s job. Be careful

  37. I found this very informative and educational. I never quite understood how dangerous opioids can be until I read this.

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