How long does morphine stay in your system?

Morphine stays in your system for a couple of days after use. More about morphine detection windows for blood, hair, and urine tests here. And how to know if you are taking too much morphine.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D.

Morphine is absorbed and metabolized quickly by the body.

For most standard drug tests, like the DOT 5 panel drug screen, morphine will only be detectable for a couple of days after taking the medication. However, morphine is detectable in hair for longer periods of time. Learn more about opium (morphine) addiction and treatment considerations, what you can do to address it, and your long-term rehab and recovery options. Help is available TODAY! All your questions about morphine in your system are welcomed at the end.

Main morphine uses

Morphine is used as a pain reliever in cases of moderate to severe pain. Morphine belongs to the opiate class of medications and alters the brain and nervous system’s response to pain, causing numbing effects which are actually based on the way that we PERCEIVE pain. Morphine can also cause euphoria, which is one of the main reasons people abuse morphine and take it for non-medical reasons.

How do you take morphine?

Morphine comes in the form of an immediate-release tablet, an extended-release tablet, and an oral solution (liquid). When swallowed and taken as prescribed, morphine provides effective pain relief. However, morphine abusers will sometimes chew or crush the tablets to release all the medication at once. They may also crush the tablets and either snort them, or dissolve them in water and inject the mixture into the blood. These modes of administration are not recommended as chewing, snorting, or injecting morphine raises the risk of overdose and dependence.

Peak levels and half life of morphine

Morphine starts to take effect quickly. It reaches peak levels within 60 minutes when taken orally – within 30 minutes of injection. The drug has a half-life of about 3 hours in a normal oral formulation. It may take longer to clear the system depending on how it was administered and the health of the person taking the morphine.

Morphine drug testing: How long does morphine stay in the body?

Narcotic pain medications like morphine don’t stay in the body very long. When drug screening for morphine, blood tests are the least used method due to the short detection window, followed by urine and hair tests. Note here that all types of morphine drug tests are reasonably accurate and reliable. And that a positive drug morphine screen indicates use.

How long does morphine stay in blood?

Due to its short half-life, morphine doesn’t stay in the blood long-term. It will typically fall beneath detectable levels after a day.

How long does morphine stay in hair?

This kind of testing may be used to monitor someone’s compliance in a drug treatment program, as morphine is a known drug of abuse. Most drugs can be detected in hair for about 90 days. This does depend on how long someone’s hair is, how frequently they have haircuts, and how much of a drug they’ve taken. Additionally, trace amounts of morphine will be harder to detect. Although hair sample testing for morphine is not standard for employment and most other contexts, hair samples can detect morphine abuse triggered when you take morphine to get high.

How long does morphine stay in urine?

The exact amount of time (the morphine detection window) depends on the amount of morphine a person is taking, what formulation of the drug they’re using, how long they’re used it, and other factors. Typically, morphine can be detected in urine for 1-2 days. In cases of heavy or chronic use, morphine might be detectable for slightly longer, but it usually can’t be detected after about 4-5 days.

Morphine and addiction

Morphine is a highly addictive drug. Even when taken as directed by a doctor, morphine can be habit-forming. The drug can give a euphoric high when taken in large doses, which opens it up to abuse. With morphine addiction come the risks of withdrawal and potential overdose.

Morphine in your system questions

We invite your additional questions about morphine in the system below. We try to respond to all legitimate morphine questions with a personal and prompt reply. And if we don’t know the answer to your question, we will refer you to someone who does.

Reference Sources: DMME: Drug Free Workplace
Medline Plus: Morphine Oral
Toxnet: Morphine

PubChem: Morphine
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
Medical Reviewers
Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. is a general surgeon practicing women's focused medici...

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.

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