Opiates Drug Test Facts

Opiates are a class of drugs derived from opium and here are some opiates drug test facts. Included in opiates are heroin, morphine and codeine which are derived from the poppy plant and has the natural chemical morphine. Opiates are one of the leading types of drugs that are abused.

Heroin, morphine and codeine affect the central nervous system and cause moodiness, drowsiness, gastrointestinal motility and disorientation. Opiates are highly addictive and are the cause of many health problems. Some of the effects of opiates are cellulitis, heart failure, collapsed veins and brain wave patterns that are abnormal. It is estimated that approximately one-quarter of heroin users become addicted. People that inject heroin are also at risk for Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, and because of a poor immune system, pneumonia. Pregnant women who use heroin have the risk of having a baby that is heroin dependent and has serious medical complications which requiring hospitalization.

Opiates are mainly used in a hospital setting to control pain. Continued use can make a person’s tolerance level go up which causes them to use more drugs. They may also cause a physiological dependency in users which can eventually lead to substance abuse. A person using heroin and cuts their dosage down or stops abruptly will experience severe symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms include insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes, restlessness, and muscle and bone pain. Withdrawal symptoms are worst between 48 to 72 hours after the last usage and last about a week. Some people may have symptoms of withdrawal months after stopping the drug. Sudden withdrawal by users with bad health can die. Cravings may last for years.

There are many prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs that can cause a drug test for opiates to be positive. It is important to tell the person taking your test that you have taken a prescription or OTC drug that contains codeine, dihydrocodeine, heroin, morphine or opium. Some of the OTC drugs are: Zomorph, Tylex, Robitussin Night-Time, Dimotane and many others. Some of the prescription opioids are: Emprin, Tylenol with codeine, Capital with codeine, Margesic, rifampicin, Vicodin, Percodan, Percocet and Wygesic.

Opium or its derivatives are broken down in the body into different opiates. The liver then metabolizes them and they are exited from the body by the urine. The drug tests that detect metabolites are mainly blood and urine tests. Hair and skin tests can also detect the presence of metabolites. The usual test for morphine and codeine detection is blood immunoassay. There is no way to pass a urine test for opiates other than total abstinence from the drugs. Poor quality testing equipment may give a false positive by mistaking metabolites of an antidepressant as an opiate. If opiates do show up in the urine, it is only an indication of past exposure and does not provide evidence that the person is currently under the influence. The drug test cannot pinpoint exactly when the person used the drug.

After detoxification, there are some drugs that may help a user stop taking heroin. These drugs are: Methadone, Buprenorphine, Naltrexone and Naloxone. Methadone can be quite effective and has been used for over thirty years, but it should be combined with therapy and treatment for any other medical issues. Buprenorphine produces a lower level of physical dependence than Methadone, but does not work for everyone. Naltrexone is not used widely because of patient compliance.  Naloxone is used mainly in cases of over dosage of heroin. One of these drugs combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy, education about healthy living, and coping skills can help an individual return to a normal life.

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