January 11, 2022 10:56 pm

Riza Delufo
Skeleton Waiting For Drug Test Results

Drug Detection Times

There is so much contradicting information on the web relating to drug detection times and a whole lot of people asking, how long will drugs stay in my system?  There are different  procedures used for drug testing so there are also different detection times depending on what test you will be given. Be it a urine drug test, a oral swab or even a blood test what one person or blog says is sometimes very different to another.  There are  several things you need to know before making any assumptions regarding this topic.  Read through the information and take a look at the Drug Detection Times Chart below to better understand this.

You need to know if you are at risk of detection.  Drug detection times will vary depending on the drug of concern, as well as how much and how often you have used.  There are also many personal factors that come into play such as your activity level, your body fat levels, your age and even your heritage.  Take the time out to learn if and how long you might be at risk for.

Drug detection times basically show the point in time after you last took a drug, where drug testing can reveal the presence of the resulting metabolites in your urine, hair, saliva or blood.

Urine Collection Cup

Which Drugs Will They Look for On My Test?

Drug tests are available in multitude of combinations but you should always be ready for at least the big five:  Marijuana, Cocaine, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine & Opiates.  But the reality of the matter is, exactly which  drugs will show up on your test is entirely up to the testers and you will not be told before hand.   Many drug tests will divide Amphetamines and Methamphetamines into two separate tests.  This is to quickly identify Methamphetamine users from Amphetamine users (which could be from prescriptions). 

When Do The Drugs First Show Up?

Each of the drugs in the chart shown below will generally appear in urine or saliva between 2 – 8 hours after use.  Drugs can be detected in hair on your head about 5 – 7 days after use.  Body hairs take as bit longer to show up as they generally grow slower.

Why Should I Be Concerned With A False Positive Result?

Research shows that a urine drug test generally produces false positive results in as many as 5% of the drug tests given today. Rest assured though, your tester is not going to tell you about or even want to talk to you about this fact.  There are hundreds of prescription drugs and over 250 legal over the counter medications that can cause you to fail a urine drug test.  For example, eating a product with poppy seeds in it can cause a false positive drug test.  I can personally confirm this as I was stood down from job after I produced a false positive to opiates after eating 4 Vita Wheat biscuits, so keep in mind that seeded breads, poppy seed cake, seeded cereals, biscuits etc. really can produce a false positive results.  Take a look at this clip from the crew at Myth Busters.  And there are many others…  Read this article if you’d like more information on False Positive Results.

Why Do The Drug Detection Times Vary Between Sites?

Tests available have various cut off levels increasing or decreasing your detection times.  For example, the Amphetamine Drug Test is available in cut off levels from 500 to 1,000  pg/mg with corresponding longer detection times.  To be on the safe side, we do not propose the minimum time a drug can be detected with the least sensitive tests, rather we publish the maximum time a drug can be detected with the most sensitive tests.  In reality, you’re not going to have any idea what the sensitivity level of the test you are taking so assuming on the least sensitive one could get you into trouble.  To say it how it is, many websites around are more interested in making a sale that giving you the correct information.

Hair Test Detection Times

Most technicians who take  hair samples use only the hair within about 1 1/2 inches of your scalp.  This limits the detection history to about 90 days.  But please be aware, if the tester decided to take the hair sample from longer strands of hair, the detection time could be as long as that piece of hair tested was growing from your body after contamination.  You should also understand that if you don’t have enough hair on your head for the test, they can use any body hair. I’ve heard of people shaving their head to dodge a hair test, but they went straight for his armpit.  The reason they go to the head first is that body hair tends to grow much slower than head hair with correspondingly longer detection times.

Blood Test Detection Times

A  blood drug test will only show what contamination is in your body at the actual time of the blood test.  A Blood drug test is most often used to determine the presence of current health issues including nicotine, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cholesterol levels, hepatitis and other things concerning the overall health of an individual.  Most drugs have a detection period of less than 2 days when tested by a blood drug test.  The exceptions are THC, Nicotine and even alcohol (when alcohol is used in excess over a long amount of time which chronic use can be detected up to 2 weeks).  The blood drug test can be given along with a urine drug test, so if there is a risk of this for you in your current situation, be ready for both.

Detection Times Are Expressed In Terms Of a Worse Case Scenario

The drug test detection times shown in the chart below are your best chance on being safe.  Without doubt, you will find other charts professing differences in drug detection times.  We believe in publishing clearly safe lengths of time as in reality drug detection times can vary substantially based upon the following factors:

  • Amount and Frequency of Use: Single or small doses of drugs are generally not as detectable for as long a period of time as chronic or long-term use.
  • Metabolic Rate – Individuals with slower body metabolism are prone to a longer detection times.
  • Body Mass – In general, human metabolism slows with increased body mass resulting in longer detection time.
  • Physical Activity – Physically inactive individuals with a high percentage of body fat in relation to total body mass are prone to a longer detection time due to the increased amount of excess metabolites stored in their fat cells.
  • Age – In general, human metabolism slows with age.
  • Overall Health – Human metabolism slows during periods of deteriorating health which can result in a longer detection time.
  • Drug Tolerance – Users typically metabolize a drug faster once a tolerance to the drug is established.  This can result in a shorter detection time.
  • Urine pH – Urine pH can impact drug detection.  A highly acidic urine results in a somewhat shorter detection time.
  • Please Note – Users may test positive longer than times shown below in a small percentage of cases.  This is most obvious in cases of long-term chronic use (particularly in the case of THC), individuals with significant body fat, and individuals with health related issues resulting in abnormally slow body metabolism.

Please look at our Drug Detection Times Table below which will outline drug detection times in Urine and Saliva, and how long it takes for a drug to actually appear on a drug test.

DrugStarts showingDays will show in UrineDays will show in Saliva
ALCOHOL1 Hour11
AMPHETAMINE (AMP) Butalbital Amoarbital
Amphetamine Adderall Dexderine1-4 Hours53
METHAMPHETAMINE(MET)
Desoxyn Methcathinone MDA2-7 Hours53
MDMA53
Ecstasy2 Hours53
Phentermine (PCP)
Casual User Heavy User2-6 Hours 2-6 Hours7 153 3
Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine2-7 Hours53
BARBITURATES (BAR)
Long Acting
Phenobarbital2-7 Hours154
Intermediate Acting
Butalbital Amobarbital2-7 Hours73
Short Acting
Pentobarbital Secobarbital2-7 Hours32
BENZODIAZEPINES (BZO)
Long Acting
Diazepam Valium2-7 Hours6 Weeks3
Intermediate Acting
Alprazolam / Xanax2-6 Hours103
Lorazepam Ativan2-7 Hours103
Oxazepam3-8 Hours103
Temazepam2-4 Hours103
Chlordiazepoxide2-6 Hours103
Clonazepam2-7 Hours103
Flunitrazepam3-8 Hours103
Short Acting
Triazolam2-6 Hours72
Flurazepam2-7 Hours72
Buprenorphine
Buprenorphine3-8 Hours73
Buprenex2-4 Hours73
Norspan3-8 Hours103
Suboxone2-4 Hours73
COCAINE (COC)
Cocaine or Crack1-4 Hours55
Flunitrazepam
Rohypnol1-4 Hours22
Hallucinogens
LSD (lysergic Acid Diethylamide)1-4 Hours55
2-Me-DET 2-methyl-diethyltryptamine 5-ho-dmt Bufotenine Dimethyltryptamine Ibogaine Tabernanthe Iboga1-4 Hours55
Ketamine1-4 Hours77
LAAM1-4 Hours77
MARIJUANA (THC)
Single Use1 – 4 Hours3-72-7
Casual Use (1-3 times a week)2-7 Hours142-7
Heavy User (3+ times a week)4 Weeks7-10
Chronic (longer than 3 months)12 Weeks+7-14
Hashish1-4 Hours64
Hash Oil2-7 Hours64
Pethidine1-4 Hours2 Weeks2 Weeks
Methadone1-4 Hours127
Meprobamate
Soma1-4 Hours77
Mescaline/Psilocybin
Peyote1-4 Hours8Unknown
Methaqualone
Quaaludes1-4 Hours2 Weeks2 Weeks
Methylphenidate
Ritalin1-4 Hours55
Nicotine1-4 Hours53
OPIATES (OPI)
Laudanum1-4 Hours12
Butorphanol2-7 Hours32
Sadol2-7 Hours32
Codeine2-7 Hours52
Dextroproxphene2 Hours32
Heroin2 Hours55
Hydrocodone
Vivodin Norco Lortab Lorcet2-6 Hours62
Hydromorphone Dilaudid2-6 Hours32
Morphine2-7 Hours43
OXYCODONE (OXY)
OxyContin Percocet Percoda Tylox2-7 Hours52
Oxymorphone Opana2-7 Hours55
Thebaine2-7 Hours52
Roxanol2-7 Hours55
PROPOXYPHENE (PPX)
Darvocet Darvon1-4 Hours105
STEROIDS
Nandrolone Decanoate1-4 Hours18 monthsUnknown
Nandrolone Phenylpropionate2-7 Hours18 monthsUnknown
Boldenone Undecyclate Metehenolone Enanthate Trenbolone Trenbolone Acetate Injectable Methandienone1-4 Hours12 monthsUnknown
Omnadren Sustanon Testosterone Enanthate Testosterone-Mix Testosterone Ccypionate2-7 hours2 MonthsUnknown
Drostanolone Ppropionate Ethylestrenole Fluxymesterone Formebolone Injectabel Sanozolol Mesterolone Testosterone Enanthate Methandienone Noretadrolone Oxandrolone Oral Stanozolol Oxandrolone Oxymetholone1-4 Hours3 WeeksUnknown
Testosterone Propionat2-7 Hours1 WeekUnknown
Clenbuterol1-4 Hours4Unknown
TRICYCLIC ANTI-DEPRESSANTS (TCA)
Tryptomer Elavil Amioxid Ambivalon Equilbrin Evadyne Anafranil Deparon Tinoran Norpramin Pertofrane Noveril Azaphen Depressin Vagran Vivactil Kevopril Kinupril Adeprim Quinuprine Survector Maneon Directim Prondol Galatur Tetran Insidon Pramolan Ensidon Oprimol Stablon Tatinol Surmontil2-7Hours7 Days5 Days
Nandrolone Phenlpropionate2-7 HoursOral 2 Weeks Injected 3 Months4
Nandrolone Decanoate1-4 HoursOral 2 Weeks Injected 3 months5
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