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Article Summary

Drug Testing Detection Periods

When any type of drug goes into your body it will stay in there for a certain period of time. Some stay longer than others, which most people don't realize. There are a lot of factors, other than the type of drug, that will determine what shows up on a drug test. For example, there are different types of drug tests that are given. The types that are used can test the urine, hair, blood and oral fluids. The detection periods for each of these will differ. Frequency of use, body mass, age, health and metabolism are all different things that will affect these tests.

Detection Periods for Drugs

Alcohol

- Urine is from 6-80 hours; hair is up to 2 days; oral fluids is 12 to 24 hours.

PCP

- Urine is from 3 to 7 days for one use and up to 30 days for regular use; hair is up to 90 days; blood/oral fluids is 1 to 3 days.

Amphetamines (except meth)

- Urine is 1 to 4 days; hair is up to 90 days; blood or oral fluids is 12 hours.

Methamphetamines

- Urine is 3 to 5 days; hair is up to 90 days; blood or oral fluids is 1 to 3 days.

Steroids

- Urine is 3 to 30 days.

Methadone

- Urine is 7 to 30 days; hair is up to 90 days; blood or oral fluids is 24 hours.

Ecstasy

- Urine is 72 to 96 hours; hair is up to 90 days; blood or oral fluids is 72 to 96 hours.

Barbiturates

- Urine is 1 day; hair is up to 90 days; blood or oral fluids is 1 to 2 days.

Phenobarbital

- Urine is 2 to 3 weeks; hair is up to 90 days; blood or oral fluids is 4 to 7 days.

LSD

- Urine is 12 to 24 hours; hair is undetectable; blood or oral fluids is 2 to 4 days.

Tricyclic Antidepressants

- Urine is 7 to 10 days; hair is undetectable; blood or oral fluids is undetectable.

Morphine

- Urine is 2 to 4 days; hair is up to 90 days; blood or oral fluids is 2 to 4 days.

Benzodiazepines

- Urine is 7 days for therapeutic use and 4 to 6 weeks for chronic use; hair is up to 90 days; blood or oral fluids is 6 to 48 hours.

Cannabis

- Urine is 3 to 30 days; hair is up to 90 days; blood or oral fluids is 2 hours to 3 days.

Cocaine

- Urine is 2 to 5 days; hair is up to 90 days; blood or oral fluids is 2 to 5 days.

Morphine

- Urine is 2 to 4 days; hair is up to 90 days; blood or oral fluids is 1 to 3 days.

Codeine

- Urine is 2 to 3 days; hair is 2 to 3 days; blood or oral fluids is 2 to 3 days.

What can Affect Different Tests?

There are a lot of variables that can affect the results of a drug test. How much a person weighs is an example of one. Someone with high body fat can have a cannabis detection period of 30 days or more, while someone with lower body fat could have a detection period of just a few days.

The amount of use is also a big factor when it comes to results. For example, someone who chronically uses benzodiazepines will have an urine detection period of 4 to 6 weeks while a therapeutic user will have a detection period of up to 7 days.

The rate of metabolism someone has will also affect their drug test results. Someone who has quick metabolism has a greater chance of their drug test coming out clean. This does depend on their weight and how much they use, but the metabolism can help out quite a bit.

Why are Drug Tests Required?

Drug tests can be ordered for a number of different reasons. The most common is for individuals when they are at work. This could be for starting a new job or being randomly drug tested. Generally an urine test will be required, but sometimes there are others required as well.

Individuals who are in rehab programs will also be required to go through drug testing. This will help the medical staff determine what drugs they are on and when they are finally clean. Sometimes it can take months to rid a patient's body of drugs.

Probation will also require drug tests for most individuals. Sometimes this will be on a weekly basis while other times it will be more frequent.

Sobriety tests are also given for individuals who are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence.

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