How Long Does Heroin Stay In Your System?

How Long Does Heroin Stay In Your System?

Last Updated: Fri, January 19, 2024

Heroin may be snorted. However, people usually administer the drug intravenously with a syringe or smoked using tin foil and a tiny tube. If you or your loved one life is using heroin, keep an eye out for physical changes in their appearance. Knowing how long does heroin stay in your system also helps. 

Heroin, like other substances, causes distinct bodily responses that cannot be ignored. In this article, we will talk about heroin, how long does it take to work, and how long does heroin stay in your system. 

What Is Heroin? 

Heroin is a narcotic that belongs to the opioid class of pharmaceuticals. Opioids attach to receptors in the brain, ones responsible for pain, pleasure, and relaxing feelings. Opioids are, therefore, highly addictive due to their potent effects on the brain.

In addition, heroin is often sold as a powder. It can be injected, smoked, snorted, sniffed, or combined with crack cocaine. 

The drug is also frequently sweetened with sugar or powdered milk. Additionally, it is frequently used with other, less expensive medications.

How Long Does It Take for Heroin to Work? 

A heroin high starts quite rapidly after using the substance. However, sensations of pleasure and euphoria normally peak within a few minutes and continue for just a few hours. 

Many factors determine the length of a heroin high, which might be substantially shorter or non-existent for someone who is developing a tolerance for heroin. Drowsiness and sluggishness might continue for several hours after the first heroin high.

The duration of a heroin high can also be affected by the technique of administration. For example, when someone smokes or injects heroin, the high is stronger. 

However, it lasts longer than when the substance is snorted. The high from snorting heroin may be less strong, but it may stay longer.

The heroin high, no matter how long it lasts, is fleeting in comparison to the long-term, lethal consequences of heroin usage.

How Long Does Heroin Stay In Your System? 

The effects of heroin last longer than those of cocaine and meth. However, it has a relatively short half-life of roughly 30 minutes. 

This means that if a user takes a single dose of heroin, half of the drug will be flushed out of the person's system in 30 minutes. According to some studies, its half-life might be as little as three to eight minutes.


Blood tests, on the other hand, can identify heroin in the body for just around 12 hours after the last drug use. 


Urine testing can reveal heroin usage for a somewhat longer period of time than blood or saliva tests. Heroin can still be detected in a urine test up to three days after the last time it was used.


Saliva tests, just like blood tests, can identify heroin in the body for just around 12 hours after the last drug use. 


Hair follicle testing can detect heroin up to 90 days after it has been used. Individuals who have used heroin for a longer length of time may have much longer hair detection windows.

Factors Affecting How Long Does Heroin Stay In Your System 

Here are the factors affecting how long does heroin stay in your system:

1.     Amount Taken 

Higher doses of Heroin will take your body longer to process. The longer the half-life of heroin, the larger the dose.

2.     Frequency Of Use 

If you use heroin on a regular basis, your bloodstream has a larger concentration of the substance. As a result, your body will take a long time to entirely remove the medicine.

3.     Metabolism Speed 

People who are physically active have a faster metabolism. As a result, individuals are more likely to excrete Heroin quicker.

4.     Height, Weight, and Body Fat Content 

When you're overweight, your body has a harder time breaking down Heroin. A high BMI can also lengthen the half-life of the medication in the body.

Furthermore, heroin may linger in the bloodstream for nearly twice as long in persons who are overweight as it does in people who are normal weight.

5.     Age 

Heroin's half-life is also affected by age. In young and healthy people, the typical half-life is about 11 hours. In healthy, older persons, however, it would take little more than 16 hours.

6.     Health Of The Liver 

The quality of your liver also influences how long Heroin remains in your bloodstream. Chronic liver illness patients are prone to have a more difficult time breaking down Heroin. This can result in a half-life of over 20 hours, as opposed to an 11-hour half-life in healthy people.


People who are addicted to heroin are hesitant to seek therapy for their addiction. This may be because persons in the early stages of addiction may not believe their drug usage has become a problem.

 Those who have a strong heroin addiction may have attempted to quit multiple times and found it hard to do so. In any case, staging an intervention may be one of the most effective ways to urge someone to get assistance. A sober app like I Am Sober can also help. 

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