How Long Does Heroin Stay in the System?
Heroin has a short half-life and can be detected in the following tests:
- Depending on the test used, heroin can be detected in urine up to two to seven days after use
- In blood and saliva, heroin is typically detectable for five to six hours after the last use but can be detected for up to two days.
- Hair follicle tests can detect heroin use up to three months after the last use.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a direct derivative of the opium poppy pod. Mature pods are scored with sharp razors, and the resin from inside spends days seeping from the pods and drying on the surface. Later, the pods are harvested and the dried sap is scraped from them. This opium compound is as potent as it gets. Later, it is refined into morphine and, from there, converted to heroin. Most forms of heroin that are bought on the street have been cut with another product. This serves to decrease potency and also expand batches of drugs for better profits and larger supplies. Thus, an individual using heroin can expect that their supply is actually part heroin and part another substance, such as cornstarch.
How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?
Some people who use drugs use the term “half-life” to refer to how long a drug or alcohol stays in an individual’s system, but that isn’t accurate. The half-life of a drug is simply the period of time it takes for the drug to reduce to 50 percent of its concentrated dose. How long a substance stays in your body depends on several factors, including:
Although heroin’s effects can be felt up to four to five hours after the last dose, heroin’s half-life is estimated to be about 30 minutes. A drug’s half-life is the amount of time that it takes for a drug to reduce to 50 percent of its concentrated dose.
However, there are several factors that can play a role for how long a drug stays in your system, such as:
- Your metabolism
- The testing method being used
- How much and how often you’ve been using
- Body mass
How Is Heroin Detected in the Body?
The rate that heroin leaves the body affects how long the drug can be detected through drug testing. Heroin is typically only detectable in urine for two days but depending on the test used, it can be detected for up to seven days after the last use. In blood and saliva tests, heroin can become undetectable in five to six hours, but they can be found for up to two days after the last use. Hair follicle tests can show a positive result for heroin for up to three months after the last use.
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