Heroin and other opiates are detectable in the system via standard drug tests from an hour to months after use and it doesn’t matter if its effects wear off hours after use. You will probably get tested for heroin if:
- You are showing signs or/and symptoms of abuse or addiction.
- Your prospective employer wants pre-employment drug testing and subsequent random testing to ensure productivity among employees.
- You are suspected by a family member, employer, or the police of using heroin.
- You are involved in an accident.
- You previously tested positive.
- The law obligates it.
- You are going to be participating in a major sport event.
Testing for Heroin in Your Workplace
The main reason for drug tests in a workplace is the suspicion of illicit drug use or addiction and the fact that it could hamper productivity among employees. However, testing for drugs like heroin is also a way of detecting abuse or addiction on time and helping the abuser or addict before the problem becomes further complicated.
It’s worth noting that in some institutions, drug testing is a requirement for employment and by law all employers have the authorisation to put employees through drug tests. Apart from ensuring productivity, there are other reasons an employer would conduct a test for heroin. Here are some of them:
- To identify workers who abuse or are addicted to heroin and refer them to help.
- To comply with insurance provider’s requirements, government regulations, or the ethics of organisations with which the employer is affiliated.
- To improve safety in a workplace.
- To establish a no-drug-use standing as well as boundaries and disciplinary rules to which all employees are required to adhere.
Methods Used During Drug Tests for Heroin
The method adopted during a test for heroin depends on the reason behind the test and its urgency. Here are the four main methods:
- Oral testing is able to detect immediate heroin intoxication. With this method, heroin can be detected from an hour to 48hours after use.
- Blood testing is not popular for heroin detection, since opiates usually leave the blood within six hours of usage and are hard to detect during that time.
- Urine testing can detect heroin in the system from a few hours to four days (seven days for heavy users) after use.
- Hair testing can be adopted if the tester is checking for heroin usage dating up to three months into the past.
It’s possible for heroin to be detected (or undetected) outside (or within) the detection periods of the abovementioned testing methods. This can be due to one of many reasons:
- The quantity of heroin consumed.
- How often heroin is consumed.
- When the candidate first began to use heroin regularly.
- The quality of the heroin consumed.
- The user’s metabolism and tolerance for heroin.
What to Do When You Test Positive for Heroin
Chances are that you have been abusing heroin, and that’s why you tested positive. If so, then seek help. The tester should be able to refer you to a rehab clinic where the abuse or addiction can be safely treated.
However, if you are certain you have never used heroin (perhaps you haven’t used it recently), it’s possible that you have recently been around people smoking it resulting in being a second user. In that case, you should avoid those people.
Again, if you believe the result of your heroin test is mistaken, you could request to take the test again, request for a laboratory to verify the result, or request for hair testing (if that hasn’t been performed already), as it provides the most effective result for heroin testing. You may, however, be responsible for the costs of the test.