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Opiate Screen


Immunoassay screen for qualitative detection of the opiate in urine.

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 (6-AM or 6-MAM), 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. 

The opiate screening assay uses monoclonal antibodies that detect opiates in urine. The assay is based on the competition between an enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) labeled drug and the free drug from the urine sample for a fixed amount of specific antibody binding sites. In the absence of free drug from the sample, the specific antibody binds the drug-labeled G6PDH and the enzyme activity is inhibited. This phenomenon creates a direct relationship between drug concentration in urine and enzyme activity. The enzyme G6PDH activity is determined spectrophotometrically at 340 nm by measuring its ability to convert nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) to NADH.

Test Utility

This test is used to detect the presence of illicit or prescription medications in urine.

Specimen Collection and Preparation

  • At least 1 mL of urine should be collected in a urine specimen container.

Specimen Storage and Stability

Urine specimen should be stored under refrigerated conditions (2–8°C) until analysis. Samples will also be stored under refrigerated conditions on site for 2 weeks post analysis.

Specimen Rejection

  • Insufficient sample volume

  • Specimen labeled incorrectly or not labeled

  • Specimen validity tests indicate adulterated test

Reference Pages


Monday – Saturday

Result available within 24-48 hours of receipt in laboratory

NOTE: Specimens are refrigerated (2-8°) for 14 days before disposal


Vibra Health Laboratory

1307- A, Allen Dr

Troy, MI 48083

(248) 846-0663

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