If you've been taking hydrocodone for pain management, you may be at risk of failing a drug test. Of course, you can always get a note from your doctor, but what if you want to protect your privacy?
Hydrocodone is in a rather gray area when it comes to drug testing. There's a lot of false information out there, leaving many people confused. Questions like "Will you be tested for hydrocodone?" and "How long does hydrocodone stay in your system?" really need to be answered. Read on to get all the facts, so you can prepare yourself.
Will You Be Tested for Hydrocodone?
The only answer to this is maybe. Much will depend on whether you need to take a five-panel test or a 9, 10, 12 or even 20-panel test.
Basic Five-Panel Tests
The basic five-panel test is usually focused on five main substances: weed, coke, amphetamines, opiates (e.g., morphine and codeine), and PCP. These are known as the SAMHSA-5 group, and federal law requires testing for these by companies that use commercial-class drivers.
Even though hydrocodone is synthesized from codeine, it won't show up on a normal opiates test. This is because unlike raw codeine, it doesn't break down into morphine. We won't guarantee this absolutely, however, because it's feasible that some companies might include hydrocodone detection in their opiates panel in future.
Optional extended tests include other substances not covered by the standard test. There's no standard about what an extended test looks for. Many testing companies just choose a few options from a basket of possible substances.
The vast majority of these extended tests cover prescription drugs like hydrocodone. If you'll be taking an extended test, there's a good chance you'll be tested specifically for hydrocodone.
How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System?
Hydrocodone breaks down fairly quickly in the body. In most people, the drug will be undetectable in a urine drug test after three or four days of abstinence.
This means that if you haven't used it for at least four days, you shouldn't need to worry about failing a drug test. Everyone is different of course, so you should always confirm it with a home-testing kit.
Also, bear in mind that hair drug tests have a typical detection time of 90 days.
What Should You Do about a Drug Test?
Firstly, whenever you have a prescription for a drug, you cannot be punished for using it. Sometimes you may need to just show the prescription label. Other times you may need to get a note from your doctor. If you're worried about people at work regarding pain medication as a weakness, though, you can take other roads.
Protecting your privacy requires some extra measures. For example, detox drinks have been used for years to get round drug tests. These drinks use the body's own detox mechanism to flush toxins out of your urinary system. This gives the temporary benefit of being able to submit a clean urine sample.
If you need to take a saliva test, use some special detox mouthwash shortly before your test. If you need to submit a hair sample, even your hair can be cleaned from toxins with a special shampoo.