How Long Do Opioids Stay In Your System (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 Days

There was a time when a simple illness like a cold could cause death because no cure was there to save a person. Even if a person faced any pain, they would have to apply traditional methods to ease the pain. 

However, thanks to German Scientist Friedrich Seturner, the world was introduced to morphine. It was the first Opioid to be made in 1803. It was a fierce painkiller as it was derived from opium. These days thousands of painkillers are introduced into the market. These painkillers have proven to be a boon to humans. 

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How Long Do Opioids Stay In Your System?

Things have changed majorly now with the invention of painkillers. These days there are medicines for all kinds of pain, be it minor or very severe. Many painkillers have now become the standard go-to medicine for pains. A majority of painkillers can be obtained from over the counter too.

There is one such medicine that cures pain is opioids. Opioids form a lot of other pain relievers too. The human body does not retain anything once the energy and nutrients are consumed. So is the case with Opioids. Once the opioid enters the human body, it gradually is digested and eventually let out of the body. How long it takes for opioids to leave the body depends on the medication that a person takes.

Opioids also have a specific timeline in which it leaves the body. The fact is that once a medicine leaves the body, the traces can still be found for some time. For opioids, it takes four days to be flushed from the body completely. However, it can be found in hair for up to 90 days.

There are many medicines in the market today that have opioids as their main formulation. Those medicines also will take the same time to leave the body.

Type of test administered Traces to be found for
Urine TestOne to three days
Blood testTen to twelve hours
Saliva testTwo to three days
Hair testMaximum 90 days

Why Do Opioids Stay In The System For That Long?

Muscle pain, joint pain, and even headaches have become very common. Popping a painkiller is the easiest way to keep up with the day-to-day minor pains. Hence the medicine takes time to be flushed out of the body. 

  • One of the reasons it takes time to be flushed out of the body is the formulation of the medicine. Not all opioids are formulated in the same way. Some opioids are fiercer than others and hence take longer to leave the body. The less powerful the medicine, the sooner it will leave the body.
  • Apart from the formulation, it also matters if the person who ingests it is addicted to opioids if it’s a one-off case. In a one-off case, the medicine will leave the body sooner. However, in the case of a person who is either addicted or takes opioids frequently, the opioids will not be flushed completely.
  • An important aspect is determining how long it will take for opioids to leave the body is the metabolism level of an individual. If a person has a low metabolism level, it will take longer for the medicine to be flushed out of the body. Likewise, if the metabolism rate of an individual is high, then the opioids will be flushed faster.
  • There are other factors also that decide how long it will stay in the human system. These factors are mostly age, weight, and the health of an individual. For an aged individual, it will take longer as the liver becomes weaker. If a person has liver issues, it will take longer to get rid of the traces of the medicines.


Medicine was created in such a way that they are not fully absorbed in the bloodstream. Certain remanents leave the body over time. However, traces in the blood or saliva can still be traced upon administering the different tests.

Some medicine takes longer to leave the system as compared to milder ones. It is always the best practice to take opioids only when prescribed so that there is no excessive build-up of medications in the body.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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