Have you been using methadone to treat opioid dependency or pain? Do you worry about failing a drug test because of it? Testing for prescription drugs can be confusing, and it's not always easy to get reliable information about how they affect drug tests.
So, will you be tested for methadone? How long does methadone stay in your system? Read the rest of this article for all the facts.
Methadone and Drug Tests
Although methadone-which is also known as Symoron, Methadose, Dolophine, Physeptone Amidone and numerous other names-has similarities with morphine, it doesn't show up as an opiate on a standard 5-panel drug test. Only drugs that break down into morphine, such as codeine, will show up as opiates on this test.
This doesn't mean you're safe from testing, however. Most drug testing labs offer a second tier of extended tests. What these extended tests look for varies between labs, but methadone is commonly included.
In short, if you know you'll only be taking the standard 5-panel test, you don't need to worry about methadone showing up. On the other hand, if you know you'll be taking an extended test, you should certainly prepare yourself to be tested for it.
If you don't know the exact form of your drug test, it's best to assume you will be tested for it.
How Long Does Methadone Stay in Your System?
The effects of methadone last longer than those of morphine, and this is reflected in the detection time. In a urine test, the typical detection time is 7-10 days, which is considerably longer than the 2-4 days for morphine. There are even reports of maintenance users showing positive for methadone 10-30 days after their last use.
Saliva tests are much easier to pass, with the detection time typically being only 24 hours. Hair tests, however, are a different matter. Expect a hair test to detect methadone for 90 days after last use.
Preparing for a Drug Test
Opioid dependence doesn't just affect recreational drug users. Many people become dependent on opioids after simply being prescribed them for serious pain. Despite this, some people still regard it as a weakness.
Given this, you might prefer to avoid informing your employer about your methadone treatment. Fortunately, you can do a few things to protect your privacy.
Detox drinks can allow you to provide a normal sample of your own urine. These take an hour or so to work, and then you have a few hours to safely submit a sample.
Saliva and Hair Tests
Saliva tests shouldn't normally be a problem. If you worry about surprise tests, however, a bottle of detox mouthwash can set your mind at ease.
Despite their long detection time, even hair tests don't have to be a problem. Applying a special detox shampoo can eliminate related toxins from your hair.