“How long do drugs stay in your system?” If you’re Googling that phrase or reading a blog post with that title, you probably have a drug test coming up. Whether it’s for work, probation, or court, a drug test can strike fear into the heart of any casual or not-so-casual drug user and a positive test result has the potential to seriously mess up your life. Knowledge is power, so here’s what you need to know about how long different drugs stay in your system.
Detoxing From Drugs
The human body is a finely tuned ecosystem with one overall purpose: keeping you alive. When you introduce outside substances into the body, the system shifts and adapts to try to keep you on an even keel. That’s why, over time, the same amount of one drug might not have the same effect on you: Your body has become used to having that substance as part of the mix, and has developed ways of offsetting it to keep the system running.
If you’ve been drinking or using for a long period of time, and/or using a lot of a particular substance, that drug can become as normal to your body as the air you breathe — to the point where removing it is like cutting off your air supply. In short, your body will short-circuit, sending you into meltdown mode, aka withdrawal. That’s why detoxing on your own can be dangerous and seriously uncomfortable.
Once you do stop using and start detoxing, the rate at which the drug clears from your system varies depending on the drug. Different drugs work on different parts of the body, so they clear out differently. Plus, since every body is different an individual’s weight, height, metabolism, and other drug use can all affect how fast they can get clean.
Here’s a deeper explanation.
Amphetamines like Adderall will show up in your urine for three to four days; in blood for two days; saliva, one to two days; and in hair, up to three months after your last use. Even if you’ve been prescribed Adderall, when taking a drug test, you better be able to prove it. Although it’s commonly prescribed, Adderall is still a controlled substance because it’s so addictive and easy to abuse.
Barbiturates are not the most commonly abused party drug, because doctors generally stopped prescribing them long ago. But, they do show up on a typical drug test. Drugs in this class are sedatives like Nembutal, Seconal, or Pentothal. They stay in your blood for three days; saliva, three days; urine, six weeks; and hair, longer.
Benzos like Klonopin or Valium have seriously different timelines of detox. For example, valium will show up in your urine for 10 to 30 days, while Xanax and Klonopin can be gone in five.
Buprenorphine is a lot like Adderall: You may have been prescribed Suboxone, but because of how often it’s abused, it’s still part of a typical drug test. Buprenorphine stays in your urine for just under a week after your last use.
Cocaine can dissolve easily in both water and fat, so it frequently clears from your system faster than marijuana. Cocaine will usually show up on a saliva cocaine test for two days after your last use; a urine test, for up to three days; and a hair follicle test, for several months up to a year.
You might be noticing a pattern: Hair follicle tests are the most sensitive kind of blood test you can take. It’s also the most expensive, though, and has difficulty detecting recent use. For that reason, the other kinds of drug tests are more common.
Marijuana is one of the drugs that stays in your system the longest, because the part of the drug that makes you feel high — THC — builds up in your fat stores with chronic use. THC dissolves in fat more easily than water.
For that reason, marijuana generally stays in your system for about 30 days after your last use. People who use pot more frequently could see it show up in a drug test for several months. These timelines can vary a lot depending on the type of test you’re facing, though. Blood tests only show marijuana for a few hours; saliva for a few days; urine, for a few more days; and hair, for several weeks.
Opiates & Opioids Detox
The class of opiates and opioids contains many different kinds of serious drugs: heroin, opium, fentanyl, OxyCodone, Roxies, and methadone. They all operate slightly differently within your body, so it can take anywhere for a few days (heroin) to a few months (fentanyl) for all traces of the drug to be gone from your body.
LSD actually won’t even show up on a saliva test, but it will linger in your hair for up to 90 days. Shrooms, mescaline, and peyote follow a similar timeline. Psychedelics are extremely difficult and expensive to test for, though, and don’t appear on the standard 12- and 15-panel tests. For that reason, most drug tests skip them altogether. It’s usually pretty obvious if someone is actively tripping, anyways…
How to Pass a Drug Test Forever
We’re not about to share ideas for getting drugs out of your system faster, because there’s really only one way to make sure you pass a drug test: Don’t do drugs in the first place. If it’s too late for you to do that, entering treatment before you test could be a better option than testing dirty. And even if you do skate by this time, are you ready to stop worrying about this kind of shit once and for all?
No matter what mix of drugs you’ve done and no matter how long, it’s still possible for you to get clean. We know because we’ve done it, and we can show you how. Call us or send an anonymous chat to learn more.
Getting Clean & Sober at Home
Today, more than 75% of hospitals and healthcare providers offer access to telehealth treatment, with 29 states having gone so far as to enact telehealth parity laws, which force insurance companies to reimburse patients for telehealth at the same rates as they would for in-person treatment.
If you’ve been thinking about getting clean and sober, or if you’ve been wanting to work on and strengthen the recovery you already have, it’s never been easier to do it through telehealth.
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