How long does Heroin stay in your system?

Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug derived from morphine, often used illicitly as a narcotic. Heroin is often injected, snorted, or smoked. Heroin can remain active in the bloodstream for up to 12 hours, and it often takes about 24 hours to fully process out of the body. Heroin is highly effective at treating pain, but carries a high risk of addiction and potential for abuse (more about Heroin withdrawal).

Heroin’s Half Life

How long a substance remains active in the system is its half-life, which is half the duration of time the drug is working. Heroin has a very short half-life, of only 3-6 minutes; this is the amount of time it takes for half a dose of Heroin to leave one’s the body. The total amount of time heroin stays in the body depends on the amount taken, as well as many other factors.

How long does Heroin stay in your system?

  • Blood: Up to 6 hours
  • Saliva: Up to 24 hours
  • Urine: Up to 3 days
  • Hair: Up to 90 days

Factors That Determine How Long Heroin Stays in the System

Many factors can determine how much Heroin is in a person’s body at any given time, such as the patient’s weight, height, age, and body mass index (BMI). The daily amounts of the Heroin being used, as well as the time period also play a role. If a person has been consuming Heroin by taking high doses for a long period of time, it will build up in the fatty tissue, where it will be stored.


In conclusion, the timeframe that Heroin remains in someone’s system depends on different factors, including the method of drug screen administered and individual factors of the patient. Different drug testing methods will provide different time frames, with a hair follicle test typically being able to detect the presence of drugs much longer than a urine or saliva test. The dosage, as well as the length of time the patient has been on the drug also determines how long the drug remains in the system, among other factors.