Heroin sometimes referred to as “smack,” is an illicit drug that is only available through illegal means. This drug is derived from morphine and is one of the most powerful and addictive opioids available. While its effects are certainly intense, this drug only stays in the system for a short period of time. For most people, heroin is out of the system in as little as 30 minutes and undetectable in the body after one to three days.

Heroin addiction is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to heroin, Vertava Health Ohio has several treatment programs that can help you reclaim your life in sobriety.

Detection Times Of Heroin In The System

Heroin has an extremely short half-life of just three to six minutes. During this time, heroin is broken down into morphine and 6-acetylmorphine within the body. Most drug tests detect these two substances rather than heroin itself due to how quickly heroin is metabolized. Morphine has a half-life of two to seven hours, while 6-acetylmorphine has a half-life of up to 25 minutes. It takes several half-lives for a drug to be completely out of the system.

The detection time of heroin will vary depending on the type of test used. The following are the most common drug tests used to detect heroin and their approximate detection times:

  • Urine Test — This is the most common type of test used to detect drugs in a person’s system. This form of drug test is able to find heroin in a person’s system for up to three days after the last use.
  • Blood Test — Blood tests are not commonly used to test for heroin due to the drug’s short half-life. A blood test may not be able to detect any heroin in the system shortly after using the drug.
  • Saliva Test — As with blood tests, saliva tests are rarely used for detecting heroin due to the short half-life of the drug.
  • Hair Follicle Test — Hair tests can often detect drug use much longer than other types of tests. A hair follicle test may be able to detect heroin in the system for up to 90 days after the last use depending on hair length and frequency of heroin use.

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Factors That Influence How Long Heroin Stays In The System

As with many other opioids, a number of personal factors can affect how long heroin remains in the system. How frequently and how much heroin a person uses is a major factor that can influence heroin detection time. The more heroin a person uses and the longer he or she uses it, the longer the drug will be detectable in the system.

Other factors that influence how long heroin is detectable in the system include:

  • age
  • weight
  • height
  • genetic factors
  • health
  • metabolism
  • liver and kidney function
  • level of hydration in the body
  • body fat
  • the quality of the heroin used
  • how heroin is used (snorted, injected, smoked)
  • the severity of the abuse and/or addiction

All of these factors can play a role in how long a person may test positive for heroin.

Getting Help For Heroin Abuse And Addiction

Heroin is a dangerous and highly addictive substance that can lead to dependence and addiction after only a few uses. The more a person uses heroin, the more at risk he or she is of the negative consequences of the drug. This includes the increased risk of overdose, which can be fatal.

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, Vertava Health Ohio can help you overcome your substance use disorder and learn how to live a productive life in sobriety. Our evidence-based heroin treatment programs are customized to meet the needs of each patient, and our comprehensive programs ensure that individuals receive the care they need and deserve.

To learn more about how long heroin stays in the system, contact one of our dedicated treatment specialists today.