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Oxycodone and Drug Test Screening

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Whether for employment, legal reasons, or drug and alcohol treatment, screening for substances in a person’s system is a necessary element for quality care and monitoring of current or potential opioid use. Regardless of the reason, there are a host of scientifically proven methods of testing both the presence and the amount of oxycodone in your system. As common as this practice is, many are unaware of just how this testing works or what the mechanisms of action for these tests really are.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an opioid use disorder, help is available. Guardian Recovery is a national leader in providing high quality substance use treatment to those who are struggling. Our intake coordinators are standing by 24/7 to provide information and guide you towards your best course of action as you begin the journey to freedom from addiction. Call Guardian Recovery today.

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How Do Drug Tests for Oxycodone Work?

Oxycodone is an opioid (1) that is prescribed by a medical professional commonly for the management of pain. Opioids are also a classification of illicitly used substances for recreational purposes. These substances can either be prescription opioids used incorrectly or illegal opioids like opium and heroin.

As these opioids enter, remain, or exit the body, drug tests are able to detect (2) the presence and amount of these opioids found in your system. They are also able to detect metabolites that are associated with these various substances giving testers the ability to determine the length of time that an opioid like oxycodone has been in your system.

Oxycodone Metabolites That Can Be Detected on Drug Tests

As oxycodone is metabolized in the body (3), it is converted into various other substances known as oxycodone metabolites. Oxycodone is metabolized to noroxycodone, oxymorphone, and their glucuronides and is excreted primarily via the kidney. By determining the amount of these metabolites along with the and understanding of the time it takes for the body to break down each of them, those administering oxycodone tests are able to determine both the amount as well as the general time period of the last ingestion of oxycodone.

Do Standards Panel Drug Screens Test for Synthetic & Semi-Synthetic Opiates?

The most common method (4) of urine drug testing used in pre-employment or legal settings is the standard 10 panel test. A standard 10-panel test typically looks for cocaine, marijuana, PCP, amphetamines, opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene, and Quaaludes. Though it does test for opiates, often synthetic opiates like fentanyl are undetected by this test. Legal entities and testing facilities are including the single test for fentanyl specifically.

How Long Can Oxycodone Be Detected in the Body?

Like any substance, the length of time that oxycodone is detectable in someone’s system is determined by their rate of metabolism. Metabolism is determined by a multitude of factors including age, weight, activity, and diet. Depending on the method of testing, oxycodone will be detectable for different amounts of time.


One of the most common methods for testing for illicit substances is a urine drug screen. General estimates determine that oxycodone will be detectable in a user’s urine for 2 to 4 days after the last use.


Perhaps the most telling form of drug testing is the hair follicle test. With substances remaining detectable (5) in the user’s hair for much longer than any organ, hair test provides the clearest picture of the extended history of the one being tested. Oxycodone is estimated to remain testable by this method for months or even years.


Though oxycodone reaches its peak concentration in the bloodstream 1 to 2 hours after use, it is completely cleared from the bloodstream in approximately 24 hours.


Often used in medical settings, the saliva test is able to detect the presence of oxycodone for up to 4 days.

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How Long Do Opioids Usually Remain in the System?

Though there is some variance, other opioids remain in the system for approximately the same amount of time as oxycodone. Testing methods are the largest determinant in the presence of these substances.

Can You Prepare for a Drug Test for Oxycodone?

Though there are many substances on the market as well as home recipes for a mixture that, once ingested, will make opioids like oxycodone undetectable on a drug screen, there is no fool proof method for more quickly expelling a substance from your system. The only fool proof method for showing a negative result of a drug screen of any sort is to not ingest the substance in question.

As you’re beginning the process of taking a drug screen, though there is not much preparation involved there are a few key elements to keep in mind.

  • Ensure that you have the correct paperwork for your testing facility.
  • Make sure that you have the necessary fluids in your system if a urine drug screen will be administered.
  • Communicate to the facility administering the test any medications that you may be taking at the time of testing.

Accuracy & Reliability of Drug Tests for Oxycodone

No drug test is 100% guaranteed to be accurate. There are a variety of factors (6) that can make a test read incorrectly. Though they may not be without flaw, testing for oxycodone will still be taken into consideration by medical, legal, and employment entities. If there is a question as to the validity of a drug screen, it is common to request additional testing.

False Positives & False Negatives

A common concern of those being tested for oxycodone is the possibility of a false positive. Though these are rare, they do happen. If this is the case you may request another test or request to have the specimen sent to a lab for further examination.

Reasons Someone May Fail a Drug Test for Oxycodone

Though the most common reason that someone will test positive for opioids like oxycodone is because they are present in their system, there have been instances of failing a drug test without these substances present. A common rumor that may have validity (7) is the consumption of foods containing poppy seeds will trigger a false positive and cause the patient to fail a drug screen even though they have no opiates in their system.

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Seeking Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction

If you or someone that you know is experiencing the life controlling side effects of an opiate use disorder, we understand the battle that you are fighting and want to join you in the fight. Guardian Recovery is committed to attending to the substance use treatment needs of each individual that enter our program. Our highly trained staff is available 365 days a year to guide you on your path to recovery. Call today to begin your journey to freedom.


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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.


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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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