How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?
I was recently asked this question and I had no idea, so I did some investigating. I would like to get the Vivtrol shot used in the facility that I work in. I have seen patients detox here and then when they are mental stabilized, they released back out into the community and they go right to their drug. Most times they stop using their mental health drugs, or they are not as effective mixed with a substance they end back in hospital, Jail, or worse and overdose.
I am doing as much as one person can do to help get this epidemic at least slowed down. I am trying to get Vivtrol administer at this hospital. Before receiving the shot I would like to tell them about some of the risks, and some chemical dependency classes while they are here. We do not have classes per-say, but we do have a couple counselors.
One of my struggles is that most doctors, nurses and social workers do not know what exactly a peer supporter is. That is a shame. I myself have many resources at least in the Stark County area. That could help patients that have a duel diagnosis get back on their feet.
Back to my original reason for writing this. How long does heroin stay in your system?
While heroin’s effects can persist for 4-5 hours after the last heroin dose, heroin’s half-life is estimated to be roughly 30 minutes long.1 In other words, the concentration of heroin in the blood is generally reduced to half of its original value only 30 minutes after consumption.
That being said, the following factors can also play a role in how long the drug lingers in an individual’s body:
The heroin user’s height and weight. The size of a person partially determines how much drug consumption needs to occur before that individual gets high. It also determines how long the drug will be detectable in the person’s system. Smaller individuals may find that the drug remains in their body for longer periods of time.
The amount consumed by the heroin user. The more heroin you take, the longer it potentially remains in your system. The quality of the drug also factors in. Higher quality heroin will be more potent than lower quality heroin. However, lower quality heroin may also be cut with a variety of unknown additives – which may or may not affect how long the substances remain in the body.
The speed of an individual’s metabolism. An individual with a relative fast metabolism – such as someone who exercises heavily and regularly – may find that traces of detectable heroin diminish much faster following the last time it was used. This is because the body is able to detoxify itself of any toxins at a faster pace.
Detecting Heroin Through Drug Testing
If you suspect that your loved one is using heroin, it may be essential to carefully time the drug test – or to choose one of the more accurate testing methods – if you want an accurate result.
Heroin Testing Options
Heroin can be detected in the body by using the following tests:
- Hair follicle test.
The drug tests mentioned above have been approved by the FDA and can detect heroin in the body at various points in time after last drug use. Testing sensitivity varies, however, and some tests will show a positive result for heroin abuse for a far longer duration than others.
Hair follicle testing is considered one of the more revealing methods of testing for opiate abuse, as it can show that there’s heroin in a user’s system for up to three months after use. The length of time that blood and saliva tests can detect drug use is about equal – in that both test methods can detect heroin in the body for only about 12 hours after last drug use, at most.
Urine tests can detect heroin use slightly longer than blood or saliva tests, and are a simple, cost-effective method that is used quite often. Heroin may still appear positive on a urine test conducted up to 3 days after the last instance of drug use.