Opiate compounds, such as morphine and codeine, are naturally occurring alkaloids of opium and are widely used as analgesics. Although drug abusers may abuse morphine and codeine, another opiate compound, heroin, is synthesized from morphine and is the most commonly abused opiate. When ingested or injected, heroin is metabolized to the molecule, 6-monoacetyl morphine, which is hydrolyzed back to morphine. Opiates are rapidly metabolized by the body and excreted in urine, allowing immunoassays to detect recent use of morphine, codeine, and/or heroin. Codeine is excreted in urine with over 95% of a single dose being eliminated within 48 hours; heroin is rapidly deacetylated to 6-acetylmorphine; up to 87% of a morphine dose is eliminated in 72 hours.
Manufacturer’s reagent package insert, Architect Opiates, Microgenics Corporation 46500 Kato Road, Fremont, CA 94538 USA., September 2016.