How Long Do Opioids Stay In Your Urine?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on July 5, 2021

Opioids are a class of drugs used to relieve moderate to severe pain. As drugs that can be highly addictive, prescribed use of them is typically monitored. Urine tests, the most common type of drug screening, can detect opioids for two to four days on average.

Detecting Opioids Through A Urine Test

Opioids, also known as opiates, are a class of drugs capable of relieving moderate to severe pain. Use of these drugs, when prescribed, is closely monitored due to their addictive potential.

One of the most common methods of screening someone for opioid use is by using a urine test, or urine screen.

Learn more about detecting opioids through various drug tests

How Long Can Opioids Be Detected In Urine?

Opioid drugs can be detected in the urine for two to four days on average. This time-frame varies depending on the type of opioid someone has taken.

Common opioids and their average detection times in urine include:

Short-acting opioid drugs will pass through the system more quickly compared to long-acting opioids.

In addition to the type of opioid, several other personal and biological factors can also influence detection times.

Factors That Can Affect How Long Opioids Stay In Urine

Average detection times for opioids may not be applicable to everyone. The amount of time an opioid stays in a person’s urine can depend on a range of factors.

Factors that can affect opioid detection times include:

  • age
  • dose taken
  • method of use (e.g. oral, snorting, injecting)
  • body mass
  • drug tolerance
  • metabolism
  • liver and kidney function
  • use of other drugs

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How Opioids Are Detected In Urine

Opioids can be detected in the urine either unchanged or by their metabolites. Metabolites are the substances drugs are broken down to as they are metabolized in the body.

Some types of urine screening methods are more sensitive than others. In addition, some opioids may be detected as other opioids in the body due to their similar chemical structure.

For instance, someone who has used heroin may also test positive for morphine or codeine. Someone who has taken codeine may also test positive for hydrocodone.

Why Are Opioid Drug Tests Used?

Urine tests for opioid use may be ordered for a variety of reasons.

Common reasons why urine tests are used:

  • pre-employment screening
  • prescription drug monitoring program
  • workplace drug testing
  • court-ordered drug testing

People with substance use disorders may also be tested for opioid use to confirm compliance with their treatment plan, as part of an addiction rehab program.

Finding Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one is worried about testing positive for opioid use, this may indicate a need for opioid addiction treatment.

Trying to get off opioids without professional support can be dangerous. We can help you find an opioid addiction treatment program that’s right for you.

Call our helpline to find an opioid addiction treatment program today.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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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 July 5, 2021
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