Opiate Drug Test

What Are Opiates?

The term opiate is often used interchangeably with opioid and narcotic. Opiate technically refers to drugs naturally derived from the poppy plant, while opioids are synthetic or semi-synthetic. Since opiates and opioids are structurally similar and have the same effects on the user, typically opiates are just referred to as opioids. Opioids are a class of narcotic drugs that include prescription pain relievers and heroin. Some of the most commonly used prescription pain relievers include hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Opiates and opioids do have pain-relieving benefits, but they’re also extremely addictive. These drugs cause a euphoric high in many people, triggering a reward response in the brain that then leads to the psychological disease of addiction. Even for people who are prescribed opioids as a way to manage pain, they may end up misusing them to the point their use becomes compulsive. For many people, the use of opioids is outside of their control. The addictive nature of opioids has given rise to the opioid epidemic in the U.S. It’s estimated that millions of people misuse these drugs each year.

Opiate Drug Test
The widespread misuse of opiates and opioids leaves people wondering about the specifics of an opiate drug test. There are several reasons a person might have to undergo an opiate drug test. Some pain management clinics and medical facilities administer these tests, as do employers. An opiate drug test could be given in the workplace or before starting a new job. Frequently, an opiate drug test is required as part of a law enforcement program. There are professional drug tests and at-home tests available.

Whether or not someone will pass an opiate drug test depends on a multitude of factors. For example, how long ago they last used drugs will play a role, as will their individual health and organ function. Opiates tend to have a short half-life, which means they leave the system quickly. How someone uses the drug will also determine whether or not they pass an opiate drug test. For example, if someone takes prescription pills orally, it may stay in their system longer than if they inject a drug like heroin.

Heroin tends to be detectable in a urine test for anywhere from two to seven days after the drug is last used. With an opioid like hydrocodone, a urine test will usually detect the drug for two to four days after the last dose. With a naturally-derived opiate like morphine, it may show up in urine tests for up to three days. For people who have heavily used drugs in the long-term, it will be more difficult to pass an opiate drug test. Opiates and opioids build up in the fatty tissue of the body throughout long-term use.

Certain things can cause a false positive on an opiate urine test. For example, poppy seeds come from the poppy plant and may have trace amounts of opium. This can trigger a false positive. This is an issue to the point that federal organizations recommend people refrain from eating poppy seeds in the days leading up to any type of drug test. Sometimes substances like diphenhydramine, which is found in Benadryl can also cause a false positive for opiates on a urine test. Other substances that may have this effect include dextromethorphan, fluoroquinolones, quinine, rifampin, and verapamil.

With an opiate test kit, people may also wonder if a false negative is possible. A false negative would indicate someone wasn’t taking opiates or opioids when they actually were. A false-negative opiate urine test can occur for one of two main reasons. The first is due to the wrong test being used for a specific opiate. The second reason for a false negative opiate urine test can be because the person doesn’t have a high enough amount of the drug in their test sample. To avoid this, clinicians will often test for specific opiates outside of what’s tested for in a standard drug test kit. When conducting opiate tests, there is also a focus on making sure the lowest possible cut-off point is being used. This will help avoid a false negative on an opiate urine test. Most opiate tests are designed to show positive test results within one to three days after the last time the person used the drug.

Do you or a loved one struggle with opiates or opioids? It’s scary and overwhelming, but there is help available. Call The Recovery Village to learn about the options including how to cover the costs of effective treatment.

Opiate Drug Test
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