How Long Does Methadone Stay in Urine? Understanding The Factors

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Methadone is a synthetic, long-acting opioid drug. It is primarily used to manage severe pain and to treat opioid addiction. It is a long-acting medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). It works by hooking to the same receptors in the brain as other opioids, such as heroin and morphine. Unlike these drugs, methadone is regulated by the government. It is only available through a licensed methadone clinic.

It is considered safe and effective to take medicines as prescribed. It enables people to overcome their addictions and resume productive lives. For the best results, patients should participate in MAT, which involves counseling and social support.

This article provides information about how long methadone stays in the urine. It also explains the factors that can affect the results of a methadone urine test.

Methadone Formats

Methadone often has 24 – 36-hour effects after a single dosage. A person on drug treatment therapy must visit the dispensing clinic to get the next dosage within the time frame. There are three ways to get methadone:

Tablets

It is often known as diskettes. These are dissolved in water before being swallowed.

Powder

For oral intake, this is also dissolved in water.

Liquid

The liquid version is most frequently used in methadone maintenance clinics.

Injection

Methadone for injection is always illegal. A recovered person cannot obtain injectable methadone from licensed medical centers or physicians. 

passing a urine test for methadone

How Methadone is Metabolized

Methadone is metabolized in the liver into several metabolites excreted in the urine. The primary metabolite of methadone is 2-ethylidene-1,5-dimethyl-3,3-diphenyl pyrrolidine (EDDP). It can be easily detected by blood, hair, saliva, and urine tests. In most cases, methadone leaves the body in two weeks.

Role of the Liver

The liver is responsible for breaking down methadone into its metabolites. These metabolites are then excreted from the body. Individuals with liver disease or damage may metabolize methadone differently. It can affect the detection window for methadone in urine/hair/saliva/blood.

Factors That Affect Methadone Metabolism

Several factors can affect how quickly methadone is metabolized in the human body. These include gender, age, body weight, liver function, and other medications. Certain drugs can also affect the metabolism of methadone. It can alter the detection window for methadone in urine.

How Long Does Methadone Stay in Urine

Methadone addiction treatment can be an effective tool in managing opioid addiction. It also helps reduce the risk of relapse. For this purpose, it is vital to know how long methadone stays in urine. Methadone tests can analyze this.

Detection windows refer to when a drug or its metabolites can be detected in a biological sample. The sample can be blood, hair, urine, or saliva. The detection window for methadone in urine depends on several factors. These factors are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Liver function 
  • Metabolism 
  • Additional ailments
  • Dosage amount
  • Frequency of use
  • Duration of Methadone use
  • Concurrent usage of any other drug
urine test for methadone

Standard Detection Windows for Methadone

The standard detection window for methadone in urine is 2-4 days. However, this can vary depending on the factors mentioned above. Sometimes, methadone can be detected in urine for up to 13 days or longer after the last dose. Factors such as hydration and pH levels can also affect the detection window for methadone in urine.

How Long Does Methadone Last in Your System?

Up to 8 hours may pass between highs triggered by the medication. Nonetheless, based on how often a person uses methadone, its effects might last up to 48 hours. Methadone’s actual high can last anywhere from 6 to 8 hours. The medicine can stay in the human body for four days.

A person on methadone may experience sedation, euphoria, and sleepiness, among other symptoms. Some typical adverse effects of methadone include:

  • Sweating
  • Slower heart rate
  • Abdominal pain
  • Narrowed pupils
  • Cottonmouth 
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Flushing of the face

Symptoms of Methadone Addiction

To provide yourself or your loved ones with the care they require, you must be able to recognize the symptoms of methadone addiction. When someone starts using methadone or ups their dosage, their behavior might alter radically. They will become addicted to the drug. The following are some signs of a methadone addiction:

Increasing Tolerance

After a user of methadone reaches a certain point, they may become addicted to it. As a person becomes tolerant to a substance, a greater dosage is needed to provide the same effects as previously. This is typically the first indication, although it’s not a failsafe method.

Prioritizing Methadone

Addiction may be evident if a Methadone user puts their drug use ahead of their social and family obligations.

Discomfortable Withdrawal

These are present in persistent Methadone users after quitting the drug. From cramping and sleeplessness to sadness, these signs might be present. These are only a few.

addiction treatment for methadone in los angeles

Factors Affecting Methadone Urine Test Results

The detection window for methadone in urine can vary depending on several factors. To pass a urine test, methadone users can follow best practices, prepare properly, and avoid false positives. Let’s look at the elements first.

  1. Dosage of Methadone

The dosage of methadone taken can affect the detection window for methadone in urine. Higher doses of methadone can result in a longer detection window. On the other hand, the lower doses may be eliminated more quickly.

  1. Frequency of Usage

The frequency of methadone use can also affect the detection window for methadone in urine. Individuals who use methadone regularly may have a longer detection window than those who infrequently do.

  1. Diversity & Variability Among People

Individual differences, such as age, gender, weight, and overall health, can affect how quickly methadone is metabolized and eliminated from the body. Individuals with liver disease or damage may metabolize methadone differently, which can affect urine test results.

  1. Age of Individual

Drugs are metabolized and excreted more slowly in older adults (65 years and older). This is typically caused by several factors, such as decreased liver and renal function, slowed metabolism, ineffective physiological function, etc.

  1. Presence of Other Substances

The existence of additional substances, such as other opioids, alcohol, or medications, can affect the metabolism and elimination of methadone.

How to Pass a Methadone Urine Test

Methadone users can take several steps to help pass a urine test. Communicating with the healthcare provider about any other medications being taken is essential, as they can impact methadone metabolism and detection. The crucial steps include the following:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Follow the prescribed dosage
  • Avoid other substances that can affect methadone metabolism

Preparing for a Urine Test

Understanding how methadone is metabolized and detected in urine can help individuals manage their medication use and pass drug tests. It is advised to drink plenty of water and urinate frequently leading up to the test.

Communicating with an addiction treatment healthcare provider about any other medications being taken and following prescribed dosages is essential. Individuals should also be aware of the detection window for methadone in urine and plan accordingly.

Tips for Avoiding False Positives

False positives can occur when other substances in the body are mistaken for methadone metabolites. To avoid false positives, individuals should inform the healthcare provider of any medications or supplements being taken. They must also avoid consuming substances that can cross-react with the test, such as poppy seeds.

Launch Centers Can Assist With Methadone Addiction Treatment

Methadone is a valuable tool in managing pain and addiction. Urine testing can help ensure that it is being used appropriately. By understanding the detection window and factors affecting results, you can take steps to pass a urine test and maintain your addiction treatment plan.

Located in Los Angeles, California, Launch Centers offers comprehensive addiction treatment programs for your Methadone addiction. Our team consists of qualified therapists, staff members, and clinicians with experience in treating problems related to substance abuse. We can assist you whether you’re interested in counseling, sober living, or our intensive outpatient treatment.

Addiction is treatable. Let’s get going!

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About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

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