How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your System?

by | Feb 4, 2022

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

Opioid use and addiction can be initiated through the illegal use of heroin and synthetic fentanyl, or it can start through a simple prescription from a doctor. Opioids are extremely addictive and quickly impact the system. While the effects of opioids often only last for a few hours, they can create lifelong problems for individuals who misuse them. 

At Impact IOP, our addiction treatment programming supports individuals struggling with opioid addiction. We work with each client to determine the best course of treatment to address their needs through outpatient treatment. Our collaborative environment provides supportive individual therapy and combined group therapy to ensure comprehensive addiction treatment is available, even in our outpatient setting.

Contact us today to see how our outpatient therapy can support you on your path to recovery.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a form of pain medication that works to block the opioid pain receptors in nerve cells to prevent pain. There are many forms of legal and illegal opioids on the market today. The most common prescription opioids include:

  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana®)
  • Morphine (Kadian®, Avinza®)
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl

These prescription medications are strictly monitored and evaluated to maintain the strictest control. Illegal opioids include heroin and any illegally obtained synthetic fentanyl or prescription medication.

Are Opioids Addictive?

Opioids are extremely addictive. This is why prescription opioids are so closely monitored, and the “miracle drug” heroin was transitioned from a prescription medication to an illegal drug. Unregulated use of opioids can quickly lead to addiction. In fact, even medically monitored use can open an individual to the possibility of dependence on the drug. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 80% of individuals who use heroin, first misused prescription opioids.

Opioid Misuse

Opioid misuse can occur in several ways. Opioid misuse can occur when an individual takes the drug to get high, takes the drug in an unsafe manner, in a way that is not recommended, or simply by taking too much or taking it too frequently. 

Taking a drug to get high increases the risks and the possibility of addiction. Experimental drug use can lead to unsafe use or taking additional risks while using. Opioids can cause depression in the central nervous system and are often associated with overdoses. 

Individuals who take drugs in an unsafe manner or in a way that is not recommended increase their risk of using the drug by combining other risks. Most commonly, individuals mix opioids with alcohol or with stimulants. By combining drugs, the risk of impact on the body is doubled.

Finally, individuals who misuse their prescription by taking too much of the medication or taking it too frequently can develop a tolerance to the drug and increase their risk of developing an addiction to the drug.

What are the Signs of Opioid Withdrawal?

Opioid withdrawal symptoms can vary based on the amount of the drug, how long an individual has been taking the drug, and what drug was used. Most often, individuals experience:

  • Piloerection
  • Myalgia
  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Hyperactivity

This variation in symptoms is why it is highly recommended that individuals who are ready to make a change and stop using opioids do so under medical care. Through proper detoxification and support, individuals can experience fewer symptoms and prevent some of the longer-lasting effects of opioid withdrawal syndrome. 

How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your System?

Opioids only remain in the system for several hours but are detectable in the urine for approximately three to four days. Opioids may still be detected in a hair follicle test for up to 90 days. 

Is There Outpatient Treatment For Opioid Addiction?

If you are worried about being able to commit to a residential program for opioid addiction, have no fear. There are outpatient treatment programs that are designed for individuals with opioid addiction.
Through Impact IOP, our clients focus on learning the skills necessary to manage their sobriety through an intensive meeting schedule that still allows time for work or other responsibilities. To see if this type of programming is for you, contact Impact IOP today to see how our comprehensive outpatient treatment programs can support you on your path to recovery.

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