Oxycodone is a commonly abused prescription drug that is normally prescribed for acute pain relief. When abused, it can produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation. While these feelings may be pleasurable, they can be dangerous in a number of professions, particularly those that include driving or other use of heavy machinery. As such, many industries test for Oxycodone usage.
Determining How Long Does Oxycodone Stay In Your System
Oxycodone is a synthetic opioid. Because it is a synthetic, there are special types of tests designed specifically to detect its presence. These tests are highly accurate and can detect the presence of the drug in the system long after it has effectively left the user’s body.
Oxycodone has a half-life of 5 hours. This means that roughly half the drug is removed from the body every 5 hours.
In the case of Oxycodone, it takes 5-6 half-lives to fully cleanse the body of Oxycodone and urine tests can usually only detect traces of the drug for about a day beyond that. Normally that would mean that Oxycodone should only be detectable up to 2 days after use.
However, because the tests for Oxycodone are so precise, urine, saliva, and sweat tests can all detect past usage of the drug for up to 4 days after it was last used, roughly double the expected time for other drug types.
Blood tests, however, act normally. Blood tests can only detect Oxycodone in the body for roughly 24 hours after it was last used, which is directly in line with how long most drug use can be detected by a drug test.
Hair Tests For Oxycodone
Finally, while rarely administered, except by law enforcement or rehabilitation facilities, hair follicle tests can detect Oxycodone use for up to 90 days after it was last used. This is almost 3 times as long after use as most other drugs can be detected in hair follicle tests, again due to the precision of the specific tests used to identify Oxycodone usage.
Withdrawal Symptoms For Oxycodone
There is one other way that Oxycodone use can be identified, though it isn’t exactly precise. Withdrawal symptoms start roughly 4 – 6 hours after Oxycodone stops being used, peak after about 72 hours, and usually continue for about a week to 10 days total. Because withdrawal symptoms are relatively obvious, especially during the days just before and after they peak, a person who uses Oxycodone may be identified by these symptoms even if the drug is not detectable in their body. These symptoms include:
- Heightened anxiety that has no reasonable cause
- Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
- Sleep deficiency and yawning
- Runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes
- Chronic, non-acute pain and cramps
- Increased breathing and heart rate
- Uncontrollable mood swings
- Restlessness and possibly even insomnia
- Sudden bouts of weakness
While many of these symptoms resemble those caused by illnesses of some sort, they are unlikely to be written off as illness, especially if no co-workers are sick or no co-workers later get sick. Also, the presence of these symptoms at almost exactly the same time that a drug test is scheduled is a relatively clear indicator that an individual temporarily quit a drug just to pass a test.
Between the fact that these symptoms are pretty clear indicators of drug use and the fact that they are pretty unpleasant as well, it is simply more efficient to enroll in a drug rehabilitation program than to try to temporarily quit Oxycodone in order to pass a drug test.