Vicodin may be effective at relieving moderate to severe pain, but it can also cause you to fail a drug test. It's by no means certain, however, so some questions need answering. For example, under what circumstances could you fail a drug test because of Vicodin? How long does Vicodin stay in your system? What's more, is there an easy way to pass drug tests
with Vicodin still in your system?
Do all drug tests detect Vicodin?
Vicodin is actually a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, which is a simple over-the-counter product that should not cause problems on drug tests. Hydrocodone, in contrast, is a powerful narcotic that can be tested for.
That said, hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that does not metabolize into morphine, so the opiates panel of a typical 5-panel drug test generally does not detect it. However, please don't exclude the possibility of new 5-panel drug tests incorporating Vicodin detection into their opiates panel.
Extended drug tests are far more likely to look for prescription drugs like Vicodin, so you should certainly be concerned if you need to take one of these.
How long does Vicodin stay in your system?
The effects of Vicodin may only last a few hours, but residual metabolites can be detected in your bodily fluids for up to five days later, although it may be less for some people. Drug tests are usually performed on urine or saliva samples, with blood tests being limited to clinical settings.
You may, however, be asked to take a hair drug test, and this is a very different beast. Hair has the quality of permanently storing traces of drug metabolites, so any sustained use of a drug over the past 90 days can easily show up on a drug test.
How can you pass a drug test with Vicodin still in your system?
First of all, you can always avoid failing your drug test by telling your tester or employer that you are taking Vicodin. Often a medicine bottle with your name on it will be enough, but you may need to produce the original prescription or get a note from your doctor.
If you prefer not to do this, perhaps because you prefer to keep your medical condition private, you can take other measures to avoid failing, even if you've used Vicodin recently.
For urine drug tests, you can use some detox pills or a detox drink a couple of hours before your test time. When used correctly, this will lower the concentration of drug metabolites in your urine sample and help you to avoid detection.
Passing a saliva drug test is even easier, because all you need to do is use a special detox mouthwash just before your test.
Finally, hair drug tests might seem scary, especially because of the 90-day detection period, but there is a way to clean the slate. While normal shampoos will do nothing to help, there are special detox shampoos that can help you pass a drug test on the same day.