Opioid testing looks for the presence of opioids in urine, blood, or saliva. Opioids are powerful drugs that are used to relieve pain. They are often prescribed to help treat serious injuries or illnesses. In addition to reducing pain, opioids can also increase feelings of pleasure and well-being. Once an opioid dose wears off, it's natural to want those feelings to return. So even using opioids as prescribed by a doctor can lead to dependence and addiction .
The terms "opioids" and "opiates" are often used in the same way. An opiate is a type of opioid that comes naturally from the opium poppy plant. Opiates include the medicines codeine and morphine, as well as the illegal drug heroin . Other opioids are synthetic (man-made) or part synthetic (part natural and part man-made). Both types are designed to produce effects similar to a naturally occurring opiate. These types of opioids include:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin®)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
- Fentanyl. Drug dealers sometimes add fentanyl to heroin. This combination of drugs is especially dangerous.
Opioids are often misused, leading to overdoses and death. In the United States, tens of thousands of people die every year from opioid overdoses . Opioid testing can help prevent or treat addiction before it becomes dangerous.
Other names: opioid screening, opiate screening, opiate testing