The effects of Heroin last no more than a few hours, sometimes as little as a few minutes, but the drug will actually stay in the system well beyond length of the euphoric high. In fact, it can linger much longer than users might expect; the length of time needed for the Heroin to exit the body, depends upon the part of the body being tested.
As an opiate, Heroin enters the blood stream with ease and accumulates in fatty tissues. While stored in fat tissue, Heroin can still enter the blood stream slowly over time. This is generally responsible for the longer high that Heroin may provide. The effects of opiates are often felt by users as longer-lasting than other drugs, which means that the system will hold on to the drug for a longer period of time, as well.
Blood and Saliva
Since Heroin moves from the blood stream to fat tissue, Heroin can leave the blood stream in as little as six hours. This makes a blood test for the drug one of the less reliable options. Saliva is equally as unreliable. Typically, saliva tests will return with a positive result within a day of the last use. However, it is possible for the test to come back negative in as little as five hours after use or return positive as late as two days after use.
Urine is the most popular and effective method of testing someone’s body for the presence of drugs. A user may test positive for Heroin within two and a half hours after use and may still trigger a positive up to two days later. Heavy users may even fail a urine test for drugs a week after their last use.
The use of hair follicles in drug testing is increasingly popular because hair can retain trace amounts of drugs long after the user has last taken any. Heroin, in particular, may linger for up to three months after the last use.
There are a number of factors that may affect the absorption rate, and the rate that the opiate, Heroin, to finally move through and exit a person’s system. The individual’s weight, height, or metabolism, as well as the amount consumed and the quality of the drug can affect how slowly or quickly a drug passes through a user’s system. There are even theories that drinking excess fluids or exercising may help to flush the remnants of Heroin from a person’s system more quickly. The exact time the drug will stay in a person’s system is hard to predict.
A drug test may have a negative result within a few hours after use, but to completely rid the system of Heroin, a detoxification is really the only answer. Though many assume that only addicts and the heaviest users may experience the symptoms of a pure detox, even occasional users may note its effects. Beginning as early as a few hours after the last use and peaking anywhere from one to three days after, the user may feel ill, experience new aches or pains, crave more Heroin, and experience drastic changes in mood. These side effects of withdrawal may last up to a week.
One of the most important steps in giving up Heroin is not doing it alone, but seeking help from others. Not only is support of friends and family important during this time, but professional, experienced assistance is greatly beneficial. If you or someone you know are using or addicted to or regularly using Heroin, seek help immediately.