How Long Does Codeine Stay In Your Hair?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D on April 30, 2021

Codeine is a naturally occurring opiate that can be detected in hair drug tests for months after your last use. A variety of factors, including drug dependence, can affect the average detection window.

How Long Can Codeine Be Detected In Your Hair?

Hair tests can detect codeine or other opioid drug use for up to 90 days, or three months, after ingestion.

Codeine is a strong pain reliever commonly found in over-the-counter medicines and some prescription drugs. It is also found in some cough syrups.

Codeine Detection Time In Hair

Hair follicles can contain traces of drugs like codeine for months after you’ve stopped taking them. The average amount of time codeine stays in hair can depend on a variety of factors but is typically detectable for up to 90 days after your last use.

Factors that can affect this timeframe include:

  • how often you take codeine
  • dose taken
  • using multiple drugs (e.g. opioids, benzodiazepines, alcohol)
  • metabolic rate
  • liver and kidney function

Hair samples can come from the scalp or another area of the body, such as the armpit. Dying your hair, washing it, or using styling products won’t affect how long drugs stay in your hair.

What To Know About Codeine

Codeine belongs to a class of central nervous system depressants known as opioid analgesics, or opiates. These drugs are known for their high addiction potential.

Codeine is similar to drugs such as:

  • morphine
  • heroin
  • oxycodone
  • hydrocodone
  • hydromorphone
  • oxymorphone

Taking higher doses of codeine, or taking it more often than prescribed can risk developing severe dependency and addiction.

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Once dependent on codeine, it can be difficult to stop taking it without medical support. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms, which can be very uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst.

Codeine Detox And Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one is addicted to codeine, the safest way to stop using it is to seek medical support through a drug detox program.

Detox programs for codeine can offer:

  • medicine to ease withdrawal
  • medical supervision
  • a strong support system

After detox, additional treatment through an inpatient or outpatient substance abuse program may be recommended.

The most effective treatment for codeine addiction involves the combined use of behavioral therapy and medications such as methadone and buprenorphine.

Find Codeine Detox And Treatment Today

Searching for drug detection times is common among people struggling with drug abuse and addiction. If you’re addicted to codeine, you don’t have to face this alone.

Call our helpline today to find a codeine detox program or to find additional opioid addiction treatment options near you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D on April 30, 2021
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