How Long Do Different Drugs Stay In Your Body?

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We're not encouraging anyone to do drugs, but we're also not going to pretend that our readers don't do any. If you do and have to, say, take a drug test for a job, it may be helpful to know how long certain drugs stay in the places they're most likely to check: your urine, blood and hair follicles.

This video by Business Insider is a quick and dirty breakdown of the approximate durations that certain drugs will remain in your system after their last use, but keep in mind that the drug's metabolites could stick around longer than indicated. The timeline for you depends on your age, height, weight, amount of the drug used, how often you use them, your overall health and even your state of hydration. Here's how it looks:

How long does alcohol stay in your body?

  • Urine: 3-5 days
  • Blood: 10-12 hours
  • Hair: Up to 90 days

How long does marijuana stay in your body?

  • Urine: 7-30 days
  • Blood: about 2 weeks
  • Hair: Up to 90 days

How long does amphetamines stay in your body?

  • Urine: 1-3 days
  • Blood: about 12 hours
  • Hair: Up to 90 days

How long do methamphetamines stay in your body?

  • Urine: 3-6 days
  • Blood: 24-36 hours
  • Hair: Up to 90 days

How long does cocaine stay in your body?

  • Urine: 3-4 days
  • Blood: 1-2 days
  • Hair: Up to 90 days

How long does heroin stay in your body?

  • Urine: 3-4 days
  • Blood: Up to 12 hours
  • Hair: Up to 90 days

How long does LSD stay in you body?

  • Urine: 1-3 days
  • Blood: 2-3 hours
  • Hair: Up to 3 days

How long does MDMA stay in your body?

  • Urine: 3-4 days
  • Blood: 1-2 days
  • Hair: Up to 90 days

Some workplaces typically test for THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), cocaine, opiates (heroin, vicodin, percocet, etc.), amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP). The test typically involves peeing in a cup. In rarer cases, they also check saliva, blood, or hair.

These aren't hard ranges, especially if you're a chronic and heavy user. For example, a first-time weed-smoker might be able to pass the urine test within a couple of days. Long-time, heavy smokers, however, might have to wait at least 10 days. The best thing to do is to just stop using if you know you have to be tested periodically.


Comments

    How do these times relate to the roadside tests you see on the police reality shows? You often see them pulling over someone and detecting pot or meth and booking them. I'd like to know are they actually high and a danger or could they still be getting detected after they're actually "sober"?

      I'd like to know are they actually high and a danger or could they still be getting detected after they're actually "sober"?

      "Sober" drivers can still cop fines: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-29/greg-barns-drug-driving-laws-are-unfair/7116994

      "One of the problems with 'zero tolerance' drug driving laws is that they punish some drivers who are not impaired as a way of deterring other drivers who might be impaired or might become impaired from driving. This is what we call 'vicarious punishment' and it offends basic notions of fairness."

        Chris, that description skips over the fact that whilst they may not be driving under the influence they were still found to have an illegal substance in their system....

          Getting busted for using illicit drugs is fine. Getting slugged with a driving offence when you're completely unaffected seems a bit unfair though.

            Seems like most people know how long these sorts of things stay in the system and that the Police do random drug testing, not to mention a lot of companies do testing before starting as well. If with all this knowledge people are still willing to take the risk then they have accepted that risk and if they get caught that's the consequences, unfair or not its hard to plead ignorance in this day and age.

            Personally, I work as a Pilot and know that random drug testing gets done all the time and there is no way I'd touch any illicit drug for a variety of reasons, the least of which is putting my career in jeopardy, not to mention my life and most of all the lives of the people around me and my passengers.

            Not to mention that I'm fairly sure the law doesn't stipulate with drugs that you're "affected" or "under the influence" but simply that whilst you're driving if you are pulled over and these drugs are in your system you'll be fined.

            I'd be interested if someone in the know could quote the exact law they'd be booked under.

        Yeah, this is what I was getting at. I'm assuming saliva is similar to blood in terms of detection time *. So someone who had a joint two weeks ago could be booked. That's patently ridiculous. It's also highly concerning for non-users who are exposed to incidental smoke. If you are at a party where someone is smoking weed how much passive exposure is required to become detectable?

        I have no problems seeing people who are wasted getting booked, but the idea that someone who is sober can be done is terrible.

        * If saliva detection time is different to blood would have been worth seeing that mentioned in the article.

    Missing from the lists is the time a drug is detectable via saliva or does this fall under blood?

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