How Long do Drugs Stay in Your System?

Many employers require drug tests of their employees or potential employees. These tests used to target illicit drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana. But with the widespread prescription drug use today, the window of time during which tests can show positive for drugs has become a serious issue for law enforcement, employers, employees, and defendants in court proceedings. It is important to know how long drugs stay in your system.

Which Factors Determine Drug Duration in Your System?

It can be very difficult to determine how long a particular drug will stay in your body, simply because everyone is different and there are numerous variables that determine drug duration in your body. Here are a few things that make a difference:

1. Metabolism

If your metabolism is very fast, that means your body uses up things quickly – including food, water, and any drugs that you put into it. The slower your metabolism, the longer a drug might stay in your system.

2. Hydration and Body Mass

If you are overweight, drugs might linger in your system longer, as they might become trapped in fatty tissue. On the other hand, if you are very thin your metabolism might be high, prompting the drug to leave your system fast. Being very hydrated can help the drugs disappear, but that’s not true every time.

3. Amount and Frequency of Drug Use

How often you use a particular drug can make a big difference. Since a tolerance builds up over time, it stands to reason that the one-time use of a drug might clear your system quickly, but using drugs on a regular basis can lead to a lingering effect in your body. The amount you use makes a difference as well.

4. No Exact Timetable

Researchers have been unable to detect a particular time table on which the drugs leave the system. This is because drugs react differently for everyone; for instance, someone might tolerate pain medication very well and need very little. Someone else might need a higher dose, and that means the drug stays in their system longer, simply because of the sheer volume of it. The bottom line is that there is no exact timetable on when the drug clears the system, so there is no way to know when it is “safe” to test.

List of Common Drugs’ Duration in Your System

Though it can be tough to determine just how long a drug will stay in your body, there are some general rules of thumb when it comes to the most common drugs. Keep in mind that this list is not absolute, and shouldn’t be seen as a certainty. For more information on drugs and their time spend in the body, check out this site: http://www.passyourdrugtest.com/timetable.htm

Substance

Misc Names

Urine

Blood

Saliva

Hair

Alcohol

Alcohol, wine, beer, booze

3-5 days via Ethyl Gluconoride (EGT) metabolite

12 hours

1-5 days

Up to 90 days

Cannabis

Marijuana, Mary Jane, pot, grass, reefer, weed

2 days to 11 weeks

2 days

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

Cocaine

Flake, snow, powder, coke, crack

2-30 days

24 hours

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

Codeine

Tylenol 3, Robitusin A-C, schoolboy

2-4 days

12 hours

1-4 days

Up to 90 days

Tobacco

Cigarettes, cigs, cigars, snuff

1-3 days

n/a

1-3 days

Up to 90 days

Ecstasy

Adam, XTC, STP

2-5 days

24 hours

1-5 days

Up to 90 days

Darvon

Opiate, painkiller

8-24 hours

n/a

1-2 days

Up to 90 days

Demerol

Mepergan, Pethidine

6-12 days

n/a

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

Heroin

Cheese, Gear, Black Tar, Bobby, Junk, Harry, Smack

2-4 days

6 hours

1-4 days

Up to 90 days

Dilaudid

Palladone, hydrostat

2-4 days

n/a

1-4 days

Up to 90 days

Opium

Dover’s powder

2-4 das

12 hours

1-4 days

Up to 90 days

Fentanyl

Lollipop, China White

8-24 hours

12 hours

1-2 days

Up to 90 days

Halcion

Benzos

1-6 weeks

6-48 hours

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

Hash

Hashish, Hashish Oil

2 days – 11 weeks

2 days

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

Hydrocodone

Vicodin, Lortab, Vics, Lorcet, Norco

1-6 days

n/a

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

Spice

Synthetic Cannabis, JWH-018

2 days – 11 weeks

2 days

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

LSD

Hallucinogenic, Acid, microdot

8-24 hours

3 hours

1-2 days

Up to 90 days

Paragoric

Laudanum, Opium-based painkiller

2-4 days

12 hours

1-4 days

Up to 90 days

Loperamide

Maalox, Immodium AD

20-24 hours

n/a

n/a

Up to 90 days

Ludes

Methaqualone

2 weeks

n/a

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

Peyote

Mescaline, cactus, buttons

2-3 days

24 hours

1-3 days

Up to 90 days

Meth

Crank, Crystal, ice, speed, rocks

1-4 days

1-3 days

1-4 days

Up to 90 days

Morphine

Roxanol, Robitussin A-C, Codeine

3-4 days

12 hours

1-4 days

Up to 90 days

Nembutal

Barbiturate

2-10 days

1-2 days

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

Oxycodone

Percocet, Oxy, oxycontin, percodan, hillbilly heroin

3-4 days

24 hours

1-4 days

Up to 90 days

Oxycontin

Oxy R, Oxy fast, Percocet with Acetaminophen

3-4 days

24 hours

1-4 days

Up to 90 days

PCP

Angel dust, killer weed, wack, Supergrass

1-7 days, heavy use 1-4 weeks

24 hours

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

Phenobarbital

Barbiturate

2-10 days, heavy use 1-2 weeks

4-7 days or 5-10 days

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

Mushrooms

Shrooms, magic, purple passion

2-5 days

n/a

1-5 day

Up to 90 days

Ritalin

Mommy pills

1-2 days

n/a

1-2 days

Up to 90 days

Tramadol

Tram cars, Ultram, ultracet

2-4 days

6 hours

1-4 days

Up to 90 days

Valium

Xanax

7-10 days, heavy use 1-6 weeks

6-48 hours

1-10 days

Up to 90 days

 
 
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