How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System?

Sometimes employers or court systems will need people to pass a drug test. Some drugs will be detectable after months, but some vanish in hours. The type, amount, and frequency of the drug being taken, along with many other factors determines how long it will stay in your system.

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Different Drugs Stay in Your System for Different Amounts of Time

The length of effects of different drugs vary greatly. For example, the high from LSD lasts 6 to 12 hours, but the high from cocaine lasts about 15-30 minutes. The same is true for how long a drug stays in the body’s systems, even after the effect has worn off. Some drugs will stay in your system for days; some months. How long a drug is detectable depends on a number of factors.

There are a variety of reasons that a drug test might need to be conducted such as probation, legal cases, custody, divorce, employee testing, and court-ordered testing. Additionally, many sporting officials require urine drug screens to check whether athletes have used performance-enhancing drugs.

There are different types of drug tests that are used depending on the goal of the test. These include urine, saliva, blood, hair, and perspiration. Urine testing is the most common because of its ease, affordability, and fast results. It is also the only testing method approved for federally-mandated testing. Urine testing can detect if a substance has been used in the past few days for most drugs.

Hair drug testing is very effective and almost impossible to cheat at, as the hair follicle from a person’s head is taken and sent to a laboratory to be tested. It can tell if someone has used most drugs for a significantly longer period, sometimes up to the past 90 days. Hair testing is also the most efficient for the purpose of detecting on-going or repetitive drug use, because if a person only uses a drug one time, they are less likely to show up as positive on a hair test. Hair tests are also efficient when used to draw comparative test results, to find out when a drug was used, how long it was used for, or to determine if drug use was discontinued. However, it is not good if the tester only wants short term results. It also has a longer turnaround time and is more expensive.

Factors That Determine How Long Drugs Stay in Your System

  • Type of drug(s) used
  • Amount of drug(s) used
  • Frequency of use
  • Hydration levels
  • Body mass
  • Physical activity
  • Drug tolerance
  • Metabolic rate
  • Medical conditions that impact drug elimination
  • The presence of other drugs or alcohol in the body
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Weight
  • The drug’s half life

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?

Over 22 million Americans reported using marijuana in the past month, making it the most commonly used illicit drug. In many states it has been legalized for recreational and medicinal use, and many others have only legalized medical marijuana. However, there are still states across the country where marijuana is illegal, and employers or court systems may need to conduct a drug test.

Tests for marijuana are actually testing for the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that makes people feel high. The results of a drug test depend on many factors, including how much body fat a person has, how often someone smokes, and how much they smoke. First-time marijuana users are more likely to pass a drug test, compared to a person who smokes marijuana multiple times per week. The timeframe for detection depends on the drug test:

Marijuana
Urine testUp to 30 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 4 hours
Saliva testUp to 72 hours

How Long Does Synthetic Marijuana Stay in Your System?

Synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 or spice, are man-made chemicals that are sprayed on dried plants to be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized. This drug is sometimes marketed as “fake weed,” and it is unpredictable and dangerous, sometimes causing violent behavior, vomiting, suicidal thoughts, and rapid heart rate. The results of drug tests for synthetic marijuana greatly depend on how frequently the user inhales the drug.

Synthetic Marijuana
Urine testUp to 72 hours
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 48 hours
Saliva testUp to 48 hours

How Long Do Opioid Drugs Stay in Your System?

Opioids are a class of drugs that include fentanyl, heroin, and pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine. The misuse of prescription opioids and heroin affects 2 million Americans each year and is steadily increasing. A study found that 80% of employers are concerned about opioid use and 30% have restrictions for opioid use in place. Living in the midst of an opioid epidemic may require employers or judges to test people for drugs. The timeframe for detection depends on the specific drug, the frequency and quantity of use, metabolism, and body fat.

Morphine
Urine testUp to 3 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 3 days
Saliva testUp to 3 days
Codeine
Urine testUp to 3 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 24 hours
Saliva testUp to 4 days
Fentanyl
Urine testUp to 3 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 2 days
Heroin
Urine testUp to 3 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 6 hours
Saliva testUp to 1 hour
Hydrocodone
Urine testUp to 4 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 24 hours
Saliva testUp to 36 hours
Methadone
Urine testUp to 12 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 24 hours
Saliva testUp to 10 days
Oxycodone
Urine testUp to 4 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 24 hours
Saliva testUp to 4 days
Propoxyphene
Urine testUp to 10 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Tramadol
Urine testUp to 72 hours
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 48 hours
Saliva testUp to 48 hours

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How Long Do Benzodiazepine Drugs Stay in Your System?

Benzodiazepines are sedatives that are commonly prescribed for anxiety or insomnia. The number of adults misusing these drugs is increasing, with the largest group of people misusing being ages 50 to 64. Common Benzodiazepines include Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin. Benzodiazepines usually stay in your system for 2 to 7 days if being detected by a urine test but can be detected for longer if the use is repeated.

Ativan
Urine testUp to 6 days
Hair testUp to 30 days
Blood testUp to 3 days
Saliva testUp to 8 hours
Librium
Urine testUp to 6 weeks
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 48 hours
Saliva testUp to 10 days
Valium
Urine testUp to 6 weeks
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 48 hours
Saliva testUp to 10 days
Restoril
Urine testUp to 6 weeks
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 24 hours
Saliva testUp to 24 hours
Xanax
Urine testUp to 4 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 24 hours
Saliva testUp to 2 days

How Long Do Hallucinogens Stay in Your System?

Hallucinogens are drugs that alter someone’s awareness and can cause people to see and hear things that aren’t there. They are split into two categories: dissociative drugs, like PCP, and classic hallucinogens, like LSD. Some hallucinogens, like PCP and Ketamine, are man-made chemicals while others such as Psilocybin (commonly called magic mushrooms) are grown as plants and then consumed. Most of these drugs will be out of your system in a few days, but similar to other drugs, they can be found in hair follicles up to 90 days after use.

Ketamine
Urine testUp to 11 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 4 days
LSD (Acid)
Urine testUp to 4 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 12 hours
Mescaline
Urine testUp to 3 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 24 hours
Saliva testUp to 10 days
PCP
Urine testUp to 4 weeks
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 24 hours
Saliva testUp to 10 days
Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms)
Urine testUp to 24 hours
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 24 hours

How Long Do Stimulant Drugs Stay in Your System?

Sixteen million American adults are prescribed stimulants that are meant to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Unfortunately, some people misuse prescription medications or use illicit drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine (meth). Ecstasy, also called MDMA or Molly, is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens.

Ecstasy
Urine testUp to 4 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 2 days
Saliva testUp to 2 days
Cocaine
Urine testUp to 3 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 24 hours
Saliva testUp to 2 days
Meth
Urine testUp to 1 week
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 3 days
Saliva testUp to 4 days
Adderall
Urine testUp to 72 hours
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 46 hours
Saliva testUp to 50 hours
Vyvanse
Urine testUp to 4 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 8 hours
Saliva testUp to 48 hours
Ritalin
Urine testUp to 2 days
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 12 hours
Saliva testUp to 2 days

How Long Do Barbiturate Drugs Stay in Your System?

Barbiturates are drugs mainly used to treat insomnia and seizures disorders. They are not as commonly prescribed as they used to be because of better alternatives available today. However, the number of people abusing Barbiturates is on the rise, giving the user a high that makes them feel drowsy and intoxicated. There are several factors that determine how long Barbiturates will stay in your system. First is if the drug is short acting or intermediate acting. Second is how much and how often the drug is taken, and third is the individuals body weight, hydration levels, metabolism, food intake, and sex.

Barbiturates
Urine testUp to 6 weeks
Hair testUp to 90 days
Blood testUp to 72 hours
Saliva testUp to 3 days
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Drug Tests for Alcohol

Alcohol is a Central Nervous System depressant, and although it is legal for people over 21 in America, it is commonly abused and causes 88,000 deaths each year. Most standard drug tests do not include alcohol, but there are tests to confirm alcohol abstinence if need be.

Alcohol
Urine testUp to 48 hours
Hair testUp to 90 days
Saliva testUp to 3 days

Treatment Is the Best Way to Make Sure Drugs Stay Out of Your System

There are hundreds of products that claim to help people pass drug tests, such as synthetic urine and detoxing cleanses, but the only guaranteed way to pass a test is to abstain from using drugs. If someone you know is unable to stop misusing drugs or consuming alcohol to pass a drug test, they may have a serious substance abuse disorder. Contact a treatment provider to get more information on treatment options.

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