Your body metabolizes drugs and alcohol in different ways. As a result, each drug will stay a different length of time in your body. The drugs are detectable in your urine, blood, oral fluids and hair. The drug detection test for each drug test type and drug will vary.
Here are the top 10 illicit drugs used by addicts, and the amount of time that they stay in your system.
How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System
Methamphetamine, or meth, enters and exits the body quite slowly.
Meth has a plasma half-life of anywhere from 12 to 34 hours. This means that the concentration of the drug in your blood will be halved after 12 to 34 hours. It takes anywhere from 2 to 10 days for it to leave your body completely.
The length of time that it takes will be dependent on:
- The concentration of the dose taken
- The purity of the dose taken
- The amount of meth ingested
- The ingestion method
- The way that the body metabolizes the drug
In most cases, the effects of meth will last anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. Meth can be detected in urine tests for up to 5 days after last use.
How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System
Cocaine has one of the shortest half-lives out of all the drugs out there. Its half-life is only about an hour to an hour and a half. This stimulant is two times more likely to be abused by men than women.
Although it has a relatively short half-life, the drug does take quite some time to metabolize. The drug is easily detectable via a urinalysis, a blood and saliva drug test and a hair drug test.
It can usually be detected via a urinalysis 2 to 4 days after last use. For chronic users, urine drug tests can still be positive up to 12 days later. Chronic users who took high doses may even have positive urine tests for up to 3 weeks.
It’s possible to detect cocaine in a user’s blood and saliva anywhere from 12 to 48 hours after its last use. It remains in the hair for years, and traces of cocaine linger in a person’s sweat for several weeks as well.
When Do Levels of Cocaine Peak in Blood Plasma
The strength of the high obtained from cocaine will depend on the dosage taken and the purity of the drugs. The average purity of street cocaine is about 65.1%. However, it’s not unusual for addicts to come across some extremely pure samples.
In most cases, the effects of cocaine will last about 20 to 30 minutes. The moment when the concentration in blood plasma reach peak levels will vary depending on the mode of administration. Users can expect levels to peak:
- About 30 minutes after snorting the cocaine
- Around an hour after orally taking the narcotic
- Approximately 5 minutes after injecting it
- About 45 minutes after smoking the drug
It’s important to note that cocaine can accumulate within the body of chronic users. In these cases, it may take only a short while for the drug levels to peak and longer for it to be fully metabolized.
How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System
Opiates, like hydrocodone, are also one of the top illicit drugs abused by addicts.
In comparison to other opiates, hydrocodone leaves the body quite quickly. It has a half-life of about 3.8 hours, and will be completely excreted from the body after 20.9 hours.
Hydrocodone metabolizes into many metabolites. In particular, it metabolizes into a substances known as norhydrocodone. It takes quite a bit longer for the body to metabolize this substance. In fact, the body may not clear the substance for up to 2 days.
Hydrocodone remains in the saliva for 12 to 36 hours after the last capsule is taken. It remains in the urine for 2 to 4 days, and lingers in the hair for up to 90 days.
How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System
When compared to other illicit drugs, the body takes a much longer time to get rid of Xanax. Xanax is one of the most popular drugs in the benzodiazepine class. It has a calming and relaxing effect on the body.
With that said, Xanax has an approximate half-life of around 9 to 16 hours. This means that it will stay in one’s system for about 4 days. Even in small doses, this narcotic can be detected in one’s blood, saliva or hair for up to a week.
Users can still test positive with a urinalysis 4 days after their last use and 2.5 days with a saliva test. Xanax use can be detected in the blood for up to 1 day after its last use as well.
Factors that Affect How Long Xanax Stays in the Body
There are many factors that determine the rate at which a body metabolizes Xanax. Some of these factors include the person’s:
- Body fat content
- Height and weight
- Kidney condition
- Liver condition
- Metabolic speed
It can also be dependent on factors like the amount of Xanax taken, and the length of the drug use.
How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System
Heroin is one of the top illicit drugs that have the fastest half-life. The body clears almost all traces of it within a couple of days, as the half-life ranges from 3 to 30 minutes.
The body metabolizes heroin into morphine, and the half-life of morphine is about 3.6 hours.
Since the body clears heroin quite quickly, it can be difficult to test for this drug. Blood tests will only be accurate if they are done on the same day. This narcotic remains in the urine for 1 to 2 days afterwards. The most accurate test would be a hair drug test. Traces of heroin will linger in the hair for up to 90 days.
How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System
Prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, Percocet contains both oxycodone and acetaminophen. These two ingredients take varying lengths of time to be cleared from the body.
Acetaminophen has a half-life of about 1.25 to 3 hours, and is usually cleared from the body within 24 hours.
Oxycodone has a much longer half-life at 3.2 hours. This ingredient is further metabolized into noroxycodone and oxymorphone. The half-life of oxycodone is about 3.2 hours.
As a result, Percocet has an average half-life of about 3.5 hours. In most cases, this drug will be completely cleared from the body in about 19 hours. The narcotic is detectable in urine for up to 2 days.
How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your System
Much like many other opioids, Vicodin is a short-acting opioid. It has a half-life of about 4 hours, and its effects will usually peak 30 minutes to 1 hour after ingestion.
The drug is usually cleared from the body within several days. With that said, the body stores trace amounts of the narcotic in the fatty tissues of chronic users. The fatty tissues may slowly release trace amounts of the drug into the body.
Interactions with Other Drugs
It can take even longer for the body to clear Vicodin if other drugs are being used. Vicodin may interact with other drugs like:
- Antihistamines, like cetirizine
- Cough relievers like codeine
- Drugs that induce sleep like lorazepam
- Mixed opioid agonists and antagonists, like butorphanol
- Muscle relaxants, like cyclobenzaprine
Mixing Vicodin with other drugs can even become deadly.
How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System
Suboxone is a common drug used to treat opioid addictions. While effective, it can unfortunately be misused. Misuse can lead to abuse and addiction.
The main active ingredient in this drug is buprenorphine, which has a long half-life of about 37 hours. Due to this reason, it can take the body up to 8 days to clear a single dose of Suboxone.
To look for Suboxone, most people use urine tests. The buprenorphine can be detected in a urinalysis as soon as 40 minutes after the last dose. It can also remain in the urine for quite some time. Heavy users may still get a positive urine test up to 2 weeks later.
Suboxone accumulates in hair follicles as well. A hair test can detect drug use for up to 1 to 3 months.
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System
The rate at which the body clears alcohol will depend on the amount of alcohol consumed. It is also dependent on how healthy the drinker’s liver is.
Essentially, it takes the liver about an hour to metabolize and clear one ounce of alcohol from the body. One ounce of alcohol results in a blood alcohol level of about 0.015.
With this in mind, it’s easy to calculate the length of time it takes for alcohol to leave the body.
The legal blood alcohol level for drivers is 0.08. This works out to approximately 5 ounces of liquor. It takes approximately 5.5 hours for this much alcohol to leave the body.
Alcohol will also accumulate in the body depending on how quickly one is drinking. At high concentrations, alcohol gets absorbed into the blood and fatty tissues. This usually starts to happen once the blood alcohol level exceeds 0.055. Alcohol absorption rates slow down with the presence of food.
It’s not unusual for many Americans to binge drink. After all, binge drinking is defined as for men as 5 or more drinks on one occasion. For women, a binge drinking session is any occasion where 4 or more drinks is involved.
How Long Does Valium Stay in Your System
Valium is one of the most commonly abused prescription medications. It falls under the benzodiazepine class.
In comparison to other prescription medications, Valium has a long half-life. It can take anywhere from 30 to 56 hours for 50% of the drug to be removed from the body. Due to this reason, it can approximately 10 days for all traces of Valium to leave the body.
This doesn’t include the different metabolites that come from taking the prescription medication. It takes the liver much longer to get rid of these agents.
Saliva tests for Valium can detect the drug for up to 7 to 9 days after its last use. Blood tests also offer a similar timeframe; however, it is usually only recommended for long-term users. Urine tests can detect the presence of Valium for weeks after the last use. Valium can also accumulate easily in hair follicles. It can be detected for up to 90 days.
Test for Drugs
Most of the top 10 illicit drugs will remain in the body for quite some time. Due to this reason, you should always get a drug test done if you suspect a family member or friend of using narcotics. Drug tests are quite inexpensive. Some will even provide instant results.
Get more information about drug addictions by contacting one of our counselors. If someone close to you is an addict, this is one of the first places where you’ll want to seek help from.
We have a wide array of treatment plans available. With our help, they’ll break free from the shackles of addiction, and have control over their lives again. They’ll be able to detox safely, and learn how to deal with their triggers to avoid relapsing. We have all of the resources that they’ll need to get sober.