Do heroin and morphine pass through the body unchanged?

I seem to recall reading somewhere that opiate drugs are not broken down by the human body and are excreted through stools or urine unchanged. Is this right? And if so couldn’t an addict extract the drug from the urine and make one fix last for ever?

Morphine metabolism(wiki)

Heroin metabolism (picture) - note how it turns into morphine (at which point, refer to morphine metabolism above)

In both cases, as seen in above links, they do not pass through the body unchanged.

If they passed through the body unchanged, they wouldn’t have any effect, would they? It seems like they’d need to chemically interact with SOMETHING in the body in order to do what they do.

I read in one of those “News Of The Weird” type columns that meth actually does pass thru the body more or less unchanged, and that a resourceful addict can strain their piss and eventually get enough for another few hits, if they know what to do…

(It sounded hard to swallow, but the article sounded like they knew what they were talking about)

I see what you did there.

Not so. Morphine, for example, does “chemically interact” with something (an opioid receptor), but it is not changed in the process. It is metabolized by unrelated processes, which are not necessary for it to have an effect.

My roommate in college said that in his Religious Studies class, the midterm had a question on how to experience the mystical mushroom experience if you couldn’t afford the dose. He said the correct answer was to drink the urine of the shaman. I don’t know if this is true, and haven’t tried it.

It is quite common for chemicals to be involved in reactions without being themselves altered. They are known as catalysts.

Where did he go to school?

It is true for Amanita muscaria (fly agaric). See this Wiki articleunder “Siberia”. According to the article, drinking the urine of a user may actually be preferable to using the mushroom itself, because the poisonous ingredients may have been filtered out.

Go to a medical library and get a copy of "Goodman and Gilman and enlighten yourself.

<nevermind. missed it>