How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your System? North Jersey Recovery Center - A young woman is speaking with an addiction therapist and asking, "How long do opiates stay in your system?" while reviewing her options for treatment to break free from opioid addiction.

How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your System?

How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System?

How long do opiates stay in your system, and what affects this? These are common questions from many individuals struggling with opioid addiction.

The short answer is it depends.

Both opioids and opiates affect the brain and body similarly, but there are different types. For example, there are prescription opioids and illegal opioids.

The type of opioid or opiate and how it is used impacts how long it stays in your system.


What are Opioids?

First, what are opioids? Opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin, which is illegal. This drug class also includes synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

Pain medications available by prescription are also opioids. Prescription pain relievers include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and codeine.

Opioids and opiates are effective as short-term pain relievers, but they are very addictive. Opioid addiction has led to the so-called opioid epidemic. Tens of thousands of people die each year due to opioid overdoses.

While there are different types of opioids, all affect certain receptors in the brain and body.

Along with pain relief, opioids can cause drowsiness, nausea, and constipation.

They can also cause euphoria, known as being high.

When exploring the question of how long do opiates stay in your system, it’s best to break them down into categories. The general categories for reference are prescription opioids, fentanyl, and heroin.

What Factors Affect How Long Opiates Stay in Your System?

Most opiates have short half-lives. Relatively speaking, this means they leave the system quickly.

However, the effects can last for hours.

When answering, “How long do opiates stay in your system?” individual factors play a role.

Some factors that influence how long opiates stay in your system include:

  • Your body weight and mass
  • Your metabolism
  • How much body fat you have
  • Liver and kidney health
  • How you used the drug
  • How often you use opiates
  • Age
  • Drug quality
  • How much water you have in your body

How Long Do Pain Pills Stay in Your System?

Prescription opioids are used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. For years, they were very widely prescribed.

There have been efforts recently to curb how often they’re prescribed because of the opioid epidemic. Prescription pain pills are linked to addiction, dependence, and overdoses. Even if someone takes opioids as prescribed, there’s an abuse or addiction potential.

Hydrocodone is one example of a prescription opioid. If you were to take hydrocodone orally in the form of a pill, it must first pass through the digestive system. It takes longer to feel the effects of opioids used orally. It also takes longer for them to leave your system.

While hydrocodone or oxycodone’s effects might wear off in three or four hours, that doesn’t mean the substance is still not in your system. In some cases, the drug could show up in certain tests anywhere from one to four days.

For example, how long do opiates stay in urine? Opiates can show up in urine tests for up to four days after someone uses them, despite the effects that have long since worn off.

A saliva test may be able to detect prescription pills for up to 48 hours after use.

Hair tests can detect use for up to 90 days.

Blood test detection for prescription pain pills can appear for up to 12 hours after someone takes them.

It is important to note that these are just estimates. Some prescription opiates are longer-lasting and have a longer half-life. Similarly, some are shorter-lasting.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

When asking how long opioids stay in your system, you may be curious about heroin as well.

Heroin is typically injected instead of being ingested orally. Heroin has a much shorter half-life than other prescription opioids. The half-life is around 30 minutes. This means if you take a dose of heroin, it will take 30 minutes for your body to flush out half of the drug.

There have been studies showing the half-life could be as short as a few minutes. This can impact how it shows up on a drug test, but more advanced testing systems are being developed with increased sensitivity.

For most people, heroin might not show up in their urine after two days, but some tests will appear positive for up to seven days after heroin is used.

Due to the short half-life, it’s not common for blood or saliva tests to be used to screen for heroin.

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay in Your System?

Fentanyl is one of the most powerful synthetic opioids. The potency makes it incredibly dangerous. Fentanyl is available as a prescription under brand names like Actiq and Duragesic.

It is also sold illegally on the black market. Fentanyl’s potency is estimated to be anywhere from 50 to 100 times that of morphine.

Depending on the type of fentanyl someone uses and how they use it, it can stay in the system or at least be detected for up to four days after use. A blood test might show fentanyl use anywhere from five to 48 hours after the last use. A urine test could show fentanyl for up to three days after it is used.

Treatment for Opiate or Opioid Addiction

Even when someone takes opiates or opioids as prescribed, there is a significant potential for addiction. Your doctor should go over this with you.

You have to be careful to follow the dosage and prescription instructions with opiates or opioids.

These drugs affect your brain by binding to opioid receptor sites. In doing so, they trigger feelings of euphoria. That euphoria, in turn, activates a reward response in your brain. The reward response is what leads to addiction.

If you are addicted to opioids, your use is out of your control. It’s compulsive use that characterizes addiction to any substance.

Addiction treatment is available.

Treatment options for opiate or opioid addiction include:

  • Medical Detox: When you use opioids regularly, you can become dependent on them. If you stop suddenly, withdrawal symptoms may occur. During medical detox, you receive supervision and clinical care while you go through withdrawal.
  • Inpatient Treatment: Inpatient treatment is also known as residential rehab. You live onsite at a treatment facility for weeks or months based on your level of addiction and needs. The environment is safe and supportive. Triggers are eliminated so that you can focus on recovery.
  • Outpatient Treatment: This is a broad term. Outpatient treatment can be intensive and very similar to inpatient treatment, except you spend your nights at home. It can also be therapy or meeting with your counselor once a week.
  • Relapse Prevention: Your relapse prevention plan is what you enact after treatment. Relapse prevention plans might include participating in group or individual therapy. Recovery support groups are also often part of relapse prevention.

If you would like to learn more about opioid addiction treatment, please reach out to North Jersey Recovery Center today.

Our compassionate, clinically-trained team can verify your insurance and answer any questions you may have.

What are the Takeaways?

The question of how long do opiates stay in your system depends on your body and health, the type of opiate, and how you use it.

In general, they can stay in your system anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

Even though you might not feel the effects of an opioid any longer, it can still show up in tests, such as blood or urine tests.

Snorting Oxycodone – Opioid Dependence - North Jersey Recovery Center - a pile of crushed oxy pills sits next to a bottle on its side with pills spilled out.

Snorting Oxycodone – Opioid Dependence

Can You Snort Oxycodone?

Snorting Oxycodone is a dangerous practice that often leads to opioid dependence.

Users perform this dangerous practice by first crushing their Oxycodone pills.

They do this because snorting the drug speeds up its effect on the central nervous system.

While the high is more intense than it would be after swallowing a pill, there is also an increased risk of overdose.

Snorting Percocet is a common practice, particularly among younger drug users.

In any of its forms, snorting Oxycodone is never a good idea.

If you are facing an addiction to Oxycodone, we can help.  

What is Oxycodone Normally Used for?

Oxycodone is a powerful prescription opiate that, when medically administered, is used to relieve moderate to severe pain.

It is an active ingredient in several prescription drugs, including OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, and Tylox.

Oxycodone is more often referred to as one of its street names, like Roxy.

Many young drug users refer to this type of Oxycodone abuse as snorting Roxy.

Other street names for Oxycodone include Perc, Oxy, Ox, and Hillbilly Heroin.

When taken appropriately, Oxycodone can ease chronic pains and improve the quality of life for patients with cancer, arthritis, or severe injuries.

Illicit use of Oxycodone

But it is much more frequently used in illicit settings.

And its euphoric effects can be addicting, especially when abused. It is easy to build a chemical dependence on Oxycodone.

Snorting the substance only increases its risks. And when taken this way, its effects are similar to those of heroin. Oxycodone is a schedule II drug, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

While it has some approved medical uses, it carries a high risk of abuse and addiction.


What Other Ways Can You Take Oxycodone?

Prescription painkiller misuse is the second most common form of illicit drug use in the United States. Snorting Oxycodone is one of the most dangerous ways to misuse this particular opioid.

Percocet is often the drug of choice. Snorting it allows it to pass through the lining in your nose and right into your bloodstream. It ensures that most of the drug starts to circulate through your system almost immediately.

Prescriptions for Oxycodone usually dictate swallowing the pill. This method is less dangerous and less likely to lead to addiction or overdose. Snorting Oxycodone is the most common abuse method.

Other users might mix Oxycodone with water to inject it or chew the pills to get them to kick in faster.

The Opioid Epidemic

Since the 1990s, prescription pain relievers and illicit opioids have turned the abuse of opioids into an epidemic. This epidemic has occurred in waves.

In the 1990s, before many medical professionals knew the true dangers of these pain relievers, opioids were prescribed in record-high numbers. Some experts suggest that we are still facing the impact of this unwise decision.

However, others point to the second wave of the opioid epidemic. In 2010, our focus shifted to the alarming rise in heroin-related deaths. Drug-induced overdoses related to both heroin and prescription painkillers were rising.

Studies revealed that up to 86% of respondents had used prescription opioids before trying heroin. And then, we saw what experts call the third wave of the opioid epidemic just a few short years later.

A drastic uptick drove this wave in deaths caused by potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The opioid epidemic is one of the most concerning modern health crises we have faced.

Opioid overdoses have impacted millions of American families over the last three decades. In 2018 alone, there were 46,802 opioid-related overdose deaths. Snorting Oxycodone heightens the risks associated with opioid abuse. But it does not have to be this way.

Side Effects of Snorting Oxycodone

Snorting Oxycodone is linked to a wide variety of troubling mental and physical health concerns. While the most pressing is the high correlation to overdose deaths, there are other complications to be aware of.

The short-term side effects of opioids include pain relief and feelings of relaxation and happiness. But other, more troubling side effects appear the longer you abuse opioids. Some of these harmful effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Euphoria
  • Slowed breathing

Slowed breathing due to opioid misuse can cause a condition called hypoxia. Hypoxia occurs when too little oxygen is reaching your brain.

The short and long-term psychological and neurological effects of this condition can be fatal. These effects can also include coma and permanent brain damage.

Snorting Oxycodone is not worth the risks that are associated with it. Choose a better way to live. We can help you get there.

Recovering from Snorting Oxycodone

Depending on your addiction level, withdrawal symptoms, and other individual factors, we will work with you to build a customized treatment plan.

Our goal is to suit your individual needs, not recommend pre-planned treatment programs that we think will work for everyone. Each person and addiction is unique.

We offer a wide variety of treatment settings and methods to reflect individuality. Inpatient and outpatient treatments are two of the most common.

But we also offer intensive outpatient services, support group meetings, aftercare planning, and several other supplemental care settings.

What works best for one person may not necessarily work best for the next. We work with you to ensure that we provide the right types of care at the right times. We will not leave your recovery up to chance.

We will provide you with high-level, customized care throughout your recovery journey. If you are trying to stop snorting Oxycodone and fail, the solution may be right here at North Jersey Recovery Center.


Insurance for Addiction Treatment

Many people who decide against seeking addiction treatments will cite the costs as the reason for their reluctance. But what many people do not know is that addiction health care is more affordable than you might think.

If you have health insurance, you may find that your treatments are partially or fully covered. Most major health insurance providers offer some extent of coverage.

If you are not sure of your plan coverage, please call our admissions specialist. They will review and confirm your coverage so that this step is out of the way. If you do not have insurance, ask about alternative payment options. Costs should not stand between you and a healthy, successful recovery. You deserve high-level, customized care, support, and guidance.  

North Jersey Recovery Center

If your goal this year has been to stop snorting Oxycodone, the dedicated experts at North Jersey Recovery Center can help.

We provide high-quality drug and alcohol addiction treatment that works.

We understand that addiction is a three-fold disease that affects you physically, spiritually, and mentally.

And by addressing each dimension of addiction, we can provide you with holistic, unique, and effective care.

Whether you need round-the-clock care, weekly check-ins, or something in between, we have a program available for you.

Help is right around the corner.

Call us today for more information.