Detoxing from Drugs: How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your System?

Opioid abuse has become an epidemic, and one with devastating results. The Center for Disease Control reports that nearly 70 percent of drug overdose deaths in the United States are the result of prescription or illicit opioids. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates over 2 million Americans misuse this class of drugs — and the staggering number is only growing. If you’re struggling, there is help for opioid detox and treatment out there.

But how long do opioids stay in your system, and how long before you get better?

Opioids include everything from heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone to codeine and morphine, among other drugs.

These drugs are so highly addictive because they affect the opioid receptors in the brain, parts of the brain that numb pain and spark feelings of euphoria. Sounds good, right? Not so much.

Opioids are dangerous because the body quickly builds a tolerance to their effects, so the risk of overdose increases as more and more of the drug is needed to get high — or eventually, just to “feel normal.”

Once you do decide to stop, opioid withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, abdominal cramping and diarrhea, can be difficult to endure, to say the least. That’s why it’s so critical to enter detox and residential treatment to deal with opioid abuse in a safe and medically supervised environment.

The timeline for detoxing from opioids begins soon after the last dose. Physical withdrawal symptoms are felt within hours and usually last for a week or more, but the psychological effects of kicking an opioid habit can last much longer.

It can take three or four days for the drug to completely leave your body, though some substances in this class of drug can be detected much longer. Hair tests can test positive for nearly all opioids for up to 90 days.

Once your body and mind is cleansed, you can start dealing with the issues that may have caused you to use in the first place, through addiction treatment.

Call us today at The Mend to discuss whether entering residential treatment for an opioid addiction may be the right move for you right now.

Or, if you’re not sure whether it’s time to quit, take our easy 10-question quiz HERE.

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