How long do pain meds stay in your system?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 4/23/2008 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I had surgery on March 19th and was put on a morphine pump for 4 days. I was released from the hospital on the 5th day and was given Vicodin for pain, which I took for about 10 days after I got home. So, it's been about 3 weeks since I've taken any pain medicine.

Here's my dilemma: I just started a new job at a church, and they want me to take a drug test. Are these pain meds still in my system? I would be so embarrassed if they got the results and think I'm a druggie!! I didn't tell them in my interview that I'm 5 weeks post-op, because I didn't want to lower my chances of getting the job.

Any info on this would help ease my mind. Thanks!!
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Small Bowel Obstruction Surgery in '08, caused by adhesions.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 4/23/2008 6:56 PM (GMT -7)   
i dont' think that vicodin would show up on what they test for anyway, but i seriously doubt it would still be in there after three weeks anyway. You can get your dr to sign a paper and take it to the lab with you, that's what i always did when i would have to take drug tests.
Just remember not to eat any poppy seed muffins!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 4/24/2008 3:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cecilia:

Being an employer and also having been on massive pain meds for an extended period of time I have the following perspective. Tell them ahead of the test. Employer's don't like surprises and you have a perfectly legitimate reason for taking the pain meds. Knowing some of your history, I feel any employer (especially a church!) would be understanding under the circumstances.

1. Yes you did recently have surgery but you came through it well and there is no expectation of any further complications.

2. You have an excellent work record in a very similar job.

3. You have succesfully "weened" off the pain meds.

Quite frankly, this could be considered a plus as opposed to a negative. You have successfully dealt with adversity and you have prevailed. However, if you tried to hide it and get caught the results could be dire.

This is just one guy's opinion, If it doesn't work we are looking for help in my office (can any office stand more than one ostomate? ha! ha!). But I know it's quite a comedown from Sanibel to Westchester County. NY (although it is beautiful here this time of year).

Best of luck whatever you decide.

Ileostomy since August 2005.
As result of surgery (modified whipple) for necrotising pancreatitis. Removal of gallbladder, 2/3 of pancreas, resections of large and small intestines. Massive infection. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 4/24/2008 3:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks! I can always count on you guys to give great advice! I decided to Google my question last night and found out that these meds only stay in your system for a couple of days, so I have nothing to worry about.
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