How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

Heroin has relatively long-lasting effects. Users can feel the effects of the drug for several hours after ingesting it. How long does heroin stay in your system, though? Does your body flush it out as soon as the high is over? 

Heroin and opiates, in general, are expelled from the body quite quickly in contrast with other drugs. While the amount of time it takes for someone to flush the drug out depends on a number of factors, heroin has a particularly short half-life.



What is the Half-Life of Heroin?

“Half-life” is a term used to describe the amount of time it takes for the human body to metabolize a drug. The term was coined as such because it describes how long it takes for the body to decrease the presence of the substance in the body by half. Every substance has its own unique half-life. When talking about how long heroin stays in your system, we need to take the drug’s half-life into consideration. 

While many drugs have a half-life of several hours or even days, heroin has a half-life of less than one hour. This means that every 45 to 60 minutes, the user will expel 50% of the heroin in their body. Theoretically, someone could flush all of the heroin out of their body in only a couple of hours. 

Of course, it isn’t necessarily this simple. Because heroin is consumed in rather large quantities, it usually takes longer than a few hours for someone to get rid of all the dope in their body. A severe addict or even a habitual user can have traces of heroin in their system for several days after their last dose.

How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System?

The half-life of heroin doesn’t apply to other opiates. Prescription pain pills like Percocet and Oxycodone are designed to have long-lasting effects. Therefore, those drugs have far greater half-lives than heroin itself. Every drug has its own half-life and stays in your system for a different amount of time. Heroin and the opiate family are no exception.

How Long Does Heroin Appear in Your Urine?

If used regularly, heroin can stay in your system for several days. Severe addicts may show traces of heroin use for over a week after they’ve stopped using. The problem is that, when used habitually, the byproducts of heroin begin to accumulate in the liver. When the addict urinates, therefore, the drug will show up in their urine. 

If you use heroin regularly and are required to take a drug test, you should know that your body may show evidence of opiate usage.

How Long Does Heroin Show Up in Blood?

Drugs tend to filter out of the blood much faster than the urine. As the body recognizes that foreign chemicals have entered into the bloodstream, it works to expel them. Heroin is only present in the bloodstream for around 6 hours in the average user. In heavy users, however, it can be detected for a few days.

Am I an Alcoholic?

Factors that Affect How Long Heroin Stays in Your System

There are a variety of additional factors that can affect how long heroin stays in your system. Some of these factors include:

Nature of habit: Heavy users will show traces of heroin in their system for longer than casual users. Someone who uses large quantities of heroin or who has taken it for many years will have a tougher time flushing all traces of heroin out of their body. 

Physical health: The health of your organs is an important factor in determining how long heroin stays in your system. Your liver, for example, is a main component in the metabolic process. If your liver has trouble processing opiates, it will be more difficult for you to expel all of the heroin in your body. 

Body size/BMI: Oftentimes, drugs are stored in our fat cells. Someone with a lot of fat on their body has more storage space for the byproducts of heroin use. 

Method of consumption: The method you use to do heroin can impact the drug’s half-life. If you inject or snort heroin, for example, the drug will be metabolized much faster. When you smoke heroin, however, it takes longer for the body to break the drug down. Someone who smokes heroin will have traces of the drug in their system for a longer period of time than someone who uses other methods to consume it. 

Quality of the dose: When talking about how long heroin stays in your system, it is important to take into consideration the fact that all heroin is different. Many batches of heroin are cut with different materials that can impact its half-life. If a batch contains a substance that makes it harder for the body to break down, it will stay present in your system for a longer period of time.

Do You Struggle with Heroin Addiction?

If you’re asking how long heroin stays in your system, it’s possible that you are struggling with an opiate addiction. If that is, in fact, the case, you may want to find some help. Heroin addiction is a dangerous condition that can have negative consequences in your life as well as the lives of those around you. 

Fortunately, there are resources available for you. A detox and rehab program can provide you with the support you need to get clean. Contact us today if you want to talk about your drug habit or discuss possible treatment options. We’ll help you get heroin out of your system for good.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

(877) 736-9727 Contact Us