Blood & Urine Tests For Detecting Drug Opiates

Submitted on March 27, 2012

In the ancient times, when pain medications and anesthesia were not as accessible as they are today, opium was the main source of sedation for most medical procedures. Till date, it is used widely along with morphine to sedate a person and dull severe pain. Opium is also one of the most abused substances in the world today.

What are Opiates?

Opiates are a class of drugs which are derived from opium. The principle alkaloid of this class of drugs is morphine, which is also one the most widely used painkillers as well as most abused drug. Even in the times of ancient Sumerians, the chemical properties of opium and its effects on the brain were known and studied. In the modern world too, opium is perhaps one of the most widely researched and experimented drugs.

With the invention of a hypodermic needle, the abuse of both opium and morphine has increased manifold. Over the years, the lack of regulation of opium abuse and the subsequent increase in the number of people who smoked opium for pleasure, has caused authorities to now take notice of illegal use of the drug. Opium and most of its derivatives are today banned and are only legally available in hospital settings. Opium cannot be bought and sold freely and can only be sold on a doctor's prescription. However, there is a lot of illegal trading of these drugs.

Opiates like heroin, morphine, and codeine can affect the central nervous system in many different ways. There are different effects of the drug like drowsiness, moodiness, changes in gastrointestinal motility, and a general disorientation. Once opium or its derivatives are injected into the body, they are rapidly broken down into different opiates. These opiates are then further metabolized in the liver and then are finally excreted into the urine.

How To Detect Them?

The presence of these metabolites can be detected using blood and urine tests. Some tests may be performed on the hair and skin too, since the metabolites may be present there as well. The most common of all opiates drug testing is the opiate urine test. The detection of morphine and codeine however, is performed usually by a blood immunoassay. If you are wondering how to pass a drug test for opiates or how to pass a urine drug test for opiates, there is simply no way other than not using these drugs.

Testing positive for opiates may cause a lot of legal trouble. For children and teenagers, the legal issues are different than for adults. However, an opiate blood test which uses low quality equipment may end up in giving a false positive drug test for opiates, mistaking metabolites of several antidepressants as opiates.