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How long different drugs stay in your system

Just like each type of drug has its own effects, each type also takes a different amount of time to metabolize and exacts a different toll on the body. Even drugs of the same type, such as opiates like Percocet and Vicodin, can clear the body at very different speeds.


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How long it takes a drug to process out of your body will depend on the type of drug used and the way you used it.

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Written By: Sprout Editorial Team.

How long drugs stay in your system depends on many factors. How long drugs stay in your system can depend on many factors, including the substance, dosage, your metabolism, and even your tolerance.

How long do drugs stay in your system?

How long you can detect a drug in your system also depends on the test used and how it was performed. How long you can detect a drug in your system depends on a host of factors. Here are some of the most common:. Although you often hear metabolism in reference to diet, in this case it means how efficiently your kidney and liver metabolize drugs. The more efficient these organs, the more quickly your body can process and eliminate drugs. Age and metabolism are related.

Generally speaking, the older you get, the less efficiently your kidney and liver can process drugs and alcohol. For this reason, you can expect drugs to linger in your system for longer as you age. In lipid-soluble drugs, like THC, the drug can bind to body fat, leading to a slower processing time.

Because women typically have a higher percentage of body fat than men, women may process lipid-soluble drugs more slowly than men.

A long-time user of a particular drug will often test positive for a longer period of time than someone who just started using. Different test types impact how long a drug can be detected, as indicated in the chart below.

Tests that rely on blood or saliva typically have a much shorter window than urine. Hair follicle tests have the longest detection window, up to months after the last use. Drug detection windows vary, even within the same type of test.

Despite what you might read elsewhere online, you cannot accelerate the rate at which your body processes drugs or alcohol. Educating yourself about how your body processes different drugs can further help you understand how a drug may affect you, and how long you might feel the effects.

Time it takes drugs to leave the body

You can learn more by searching our Resources. If you struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol, you are not alone. Not only can treatment safely guide you through the detox process, but many programs also give you the resources to cope with factors like depression or trauma that can impact your recovery, and help you find the support you need beyond treatment to stay on your path.

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How long do drugs stay in your system?

The charts below show the average window for detection using standard tests, unless otherwise noted. As noted above, many factors can impact your own detection window for various drugs. Alcohol stays in your system for a relatively short time. EtG ethyl glucuronide are some of the most common. These tests use a metabolite of ethyl alcohol to extend the window of detection through urine testing from roughly 12 hours to about days. Detection of edibles can differ from inhaled marijuana.

about edibles here. Tips for Coming Down from Adderall.

How long do drugs stay in your system?

The half-life of opioids, or the time it takes for half the drug to leave the body, ranges from minutes to about 36 hours, according to a report in Anesthesiology. However, drug tests can detect opioids for much longer. Although various tests exist, the CDC recommends urine testing for most opioids. Although this can make drug testing difficult, urine tests have become a reliable method for testing.

The Sprout Health Group editorial team is passionate about addiction treatment, recovery and mental health issues. Every article is expert-reviewed. The Covid pandemic has complicated recovery for a lot of people by disrupting routines and making support more difficult to access.

Drug detection times

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