Abstract Opioids are drugs used in medicine for pain control. In this paper, retention–pharmacokinetics and retention–pharmacodynamics relationships of opioids are proposed and statistically validated. These models are based on the compound retention in the biopartitioning micellar chromatography system (BMC), a new methodology which has successfully been used to develop QRAR models for many other families of compounds. The obtained results are compared to the traditional QSAR models using lipophilicity data. The adequacy of QRAR models is due to the fact that the characteristics of the compounds such as the hydrophobicity, electronic charge and steric effects determine both their retention in BMC and their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic behavior.