What Are Drug Detection Times?

Drug Detection Times indicate a point in time in which drug testing can reveal the presence of the drug metabolites in your urine, hair or saliva.  This includes the time from when the drug can first be detected to the point in time when you will test clean. 

Drug detection times do vary and can range from hours to many months depending on the drug test, the specific drug involved, the length of time you have been using and even on many of your personal health, activity level and other factors unique to you.

Drug detection of over the counter medications, some foods and prescriptions can give false drug detection times and can cause you to fail even if you are innocent.  This is called a False Positive Drug Test and some say happens with over 5% of the drug tests.

Most drugs will generally appear in your urine or saliva within 2 – 8 hours after use.  With blood drug tests the detection is almost immediate.  Drugs can be detected in the hair on your head about 5 – 7 days after use.  Detection in your body hair take as bit longer to show up as body hair generally grows slower.

What Can Affect My Drug Detection Times?

A drug test does not look for the actual drug in your system.  It looks for something called a metabolite.  When you ingest a substance your body changes (metabolizes) that substance into one or more metabolites.  It is these metabolites the drug tests looks to identify.  Any metabolites your body does not use are stored off in the fast growing cells such as hair, nails and to the greatest degree your fatty cells.  The more fat in your body the longer the drug detection times tend to be.    

Get your drug detection times for urine, hair, saliva and blood drug test.The problem is that an exact timetable for how long drugs remain detectable is almost impossible to exactly determine due to the many factors that can affect how an individual’s body processes and stores metabolites of the drugs.  Most tests are also available with various cut off  levels which can increase or decrease your drug detection times.  As an example, the amphetamine drug test is available in cut off levels from 500 to 1,000 pg/mg with corresponding longer detection times as the cut off level gets higher. 

To be safe, Always Test Clean publishes the maximum time a drug can be detected with the most sensitive tests.  Even though there are some standards for drug cut off levels, one rarely knows the sensitivity level of the test faced.  Betting on the lower (minimum) time can get one into real trouble.  Many other charts profess minor differences in drug detection times.  We believe in publishing clearly safe lengths of time.  These drug test detection times are your number one bet on being safe.  

Drug Detection Times Can Vary Substantially Based Upon:   

  • 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 bad health which can result longer drug detection times.
  • 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.

 Note On The Drug Detection Time For The Hair Drug Test:  The hair sample can be taken from anywhere on your body.  Shaving your head won’t work.  The hair drug test sample is usually taken as close to the scalp as possible and is about 1.5 inches long giving a drug detection time of about 90 Days.  Should the tester take 2 inches of hair your drug detection time will be extended an additional 30 days.  Drug use can be detected for many months or even years in your hair is long enough.

Note On The Drug Detection Time For The Blood Drug Test:  A blood drug test looks for the presence of the actual drug in your blood.  The blood drug test is most often used to determine the presence of current health issues such as nicotine, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cholesterol levels, hepatitis and other things of concerning overall health.  Most drugs have a detection period of less than 2 days.  The exceptions are THC and Nicotine, which chronic use can be detected for several weeks.  The blood drug test is often given along with a urine drug test, so be ready for both.

Drug Detection Times

DSI Starts Hours UDT Urine Days HDT Hair Days SDT Saliva Days BDT Blood Days
Amphet­a­mines1 - 459031
- MDA2 - 759031
- Ephedrine / Pseudoephedrine2 - 759031
- Inter­me­di­ate Act­ing – Butalbital2 - 779033
- Inter­me­di­ate Act­ing – Amobarbital2 - 779033
- Short Act­ing – Pentobarbital2 - 789022
- Short Act­ing – Secobarbital2 - 789022
Buprenor­phine3 - 87903
- Buprenex2 - 479031
- Norspan3 - 8109031
- Sub­ox­one2 - 479031
- Long Act­ing – Valium2 - 7429032
- Inter­me­di­ate – lpra­zo­lam / Xanax2 - 6109031
- Inter­me­di­ate – Lorazepam Ativan2 - 7109031
- Inter­me­di­ate – Oxazepam3 - 8109031
- Inter­me­di­ate – Chlordiazepoxide2 - 6109031
- Inter­me­di­ate – Clonazepam2 - 7109031
- Inter­me­di­ate – Flunitrazepam3 - 8109031
- Short Act­ing – Triazolam2 - 6109031
- Short Act­ing – Flurazepam2 - 7109031
Cocaine – Crack1 - 729033
Codeine2 - 759033
- Vicodin2 - 669022
- Norco2 - 669022
- Lortab2 - 669022
- Lorcet2 - 769022
Ket­a­mine1 - 47907Unknown
LSD2 - 659033
- Sin­gle Use1 - 439021
- Casual (1– 3 Times Per Week)0149021
- Heavy User (3+ Times per Week)0289045
- Chronic (Longer Than 3 Months)0779047
- Hashish1 - 4429045
- Hash Oil1 - 4429045
Meth (MethAm­phet­a­mine)2 - 759031
- Des­oxyn2 - 759031
Methadone1 - 4129071
Mor­phine2 - 72 - 72 - 72 - 73
Mush­room2 - 65903Unknown
- Nico­tine – Casual User1 - 459032
- Nico­tine – Chronic User0149075
- Lau­danum1 - 419022
- Butor­phanol2 - 729022
- Sadol2 - 729022
- Codi­ene2 - 759023
- Dex­tro­prox­phene239022
- Heroin22222
- Hydrocodone
- Hydro­mor­phone2 - 639022
- Dilau­did2 - 639022
- Mor­phine2 - 72 - 72 - 72 - 73
- Oxy­codone2 - 759023
- Oxy­Con­tin2 - 759023
- Per­co­cet2 - 759023
- Per­co­dan2 - 759023
- Tylox2 - 759023
- Oxy­mor­phone2 - 759053
- Opana2 - 759053
- The­baine2 - 759021
- Rox­anol2 - 759053
- PCP – Casual User2 - 679031
- PCP – Habitual0109052
Ritalin – Methylphenidate1 - 45905Unknown
Val­ium2 - 7429032
- Diazepam2 - 7429032
Xanax2 - 6109031
- Alpra­zo­lam2 - 6109031

Drug Detection Times Reference:

Drug Testing Facts:  Drugs.com

Limits Of Detection (LOB) Table:  Mayo Clinic