How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System?

Opioids can stay in a person’s system for a surprisingly long amount of time, whether they are abused or taken as prescribed. In addition, someone who has been abusing these drugs for a prolonged period will actually keep traces of opioids in their body for even longer.

Are you or is someone you love suffering from an opioid use disorder? Call 800-994-1867Who Answers? now to learn about your options for treatment and to be matched with safe, reliable rehab centers that will suit your needs.

How Long Will You Be Affected by Opioids?

In truth, different opioids may continue to affect a person who takes them for different periods of time. Some people will experience effects for longer periods simply because of certain variables like frequency and amount of use.

A person will also be likely to experience the effects of an opioid drug for different periods of time depending on the type of drug. For example, according to Harvard Medical School, heroin is a short-acting opioid drug with effects that only last about 4 to 6 hours. However, methadone is a medication with longer-acting effects, and a person can experience these effects for a prolonged period of time after taking the drug.

How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System?


Opiates can be detected anywhere from 1 to 7 days after use.

The length that opioids will stay in a person’s system can be determined based on other variables. A person’s weight, age, and other factors will help determine how long it takes for a particular opioid to pass through their system. However, other factors will affect this as well.

  • When someone uses opioids frequently, especially if they are abusing them, a build-up of the drug will usually occur inside the fatty tissues of the body. This may cause the drug to stick around in a person’s system longer than it would if they weren’t using often.
  • Someone who takes large doses of opioids, which usually applies to abusers, will also often experience a build-up of the drug in the fatty tissues.

But how long do opioids generally stay in a person’s system and how can we tell? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “The drug clearance rate tells how soon a person may have a positive test after taking a particular drug” while also telling how long they will continue to test positive for the drug. This is generally based on the variables and procedures associated with a urine test.

It takes a few days for a urine sample to stop reflecting the presence of opioids in a person’s system, but different drugs take different amounts of time to fully leave the body. In general, drug test can confirm the presence of a certain opioid for a certain amount of time.

  • Heroin: 2 to 7 days
  • Morphine: 2 to 4 days
  • Methadone: 1 to 3 days
  • Oxycodone: 1 to 2 days
  • Opium: 2 to 4 days
  • Hydrocodone: 2 to 4 days
  • Codeine: 1 to 2 days
  • Oxymorphone: 2 to 5 days
  • Fentanyl: 2 to 5 days

Different tests that utilize hair or saliva samples may be able to detect the use of opioids for a longer period of time. However, the timeline can always change depending on specific variables associated with one person’s situation.

Will the Drug Stay in My System Even If I’m Not Abusing It?

Yes. If you are taking opioid drugs as prescribed by a doctor, they will show up on a drug test even if you are not abusing them. However, they probably will not linger in your system as long if you are not abusing them.

How Can I Find Help for Opioid Abuse and Addiction?

If you have been struggling with opioid abuse and addiction, you can seek help. Finding professional treatment, especially before you begin to experience withdrawal, is important and can allow you to begin your recovery as safely and effectively as possible.

Methadone maintenance treatment is a safe and reliable option for opioid addiction recovery. Many choose MMT in order to start living their lives safely and without the use of addictive opioid drugs. Call 800-994-1867Who Answers? today, and let us help you find the best program for your current recovery needs.

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