A common question among people who use drugs—whether illicitly or by prescription—is, “How long will this drug stay in my body?” This question may be asked by those looking to understand how long the drug’s effects will last, when to expect the beginning of withdrawal, or whether they can pass a drug test, but the fact is that this answer is rarely clear and can be highly variable among individuals. Although there are certain guidelines you can follow when estimating how long it takes certain drugs to get out of your body, it is not an exact science. In many cases, how long do drugs stay in the body varies according to several factor. Here’s more information.
Everybody processes drugs differently. Your overall health has a lot to do with your body’s ability to effectively process toxins. Diet, genetics, and the health of your liver and kidneys play a part in how quickly your body purges chemicals. Generally, most drugs (except marijuana) will be out of your system within one week’s time.
AspenRidge provide support and treatment for individuals struggling with substances abuse. Contact us today directly at 855-281-5588.
Here’s a list of the nine most addictive substances answering how long do drugs stay in the body.
How Long Do Drugs Stay In The Body: According to Substance Type
How long do drugs stay in the body? 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.
The amount of time it takes a drug to leave your body is based on the drug’s half-life, or how long it takes for the liver and kidneys to break down and filter half of the amount of the drug in your bloodstream. This means that if a drug’s half-life is one hour, after one hour you’d have half as much of the drug in your blood as you did when you first took it.
After two hours, you’d have a quarter of the drug left, and after three hours, an eighth. For most medical purposes, a drug is considered to have cleared your system after five half-lives, when only about three percent of the drug is left. Each drug has its own half-life, ranging anywhere from seconds to days.
It is important to recognize that there are two types of drugs – water soluble and fat soluble. Most drugs are water soluble. This means they dissolve in water and are processed and removed from the body with water. This is not the case with marijuana. It is fat soluble. This means marijuana hangs around awhile. It will stay in your system longer than any other drug because it stores in your fat cells. When you’re wondering how long do drugs stay in the body… marijuana is one exception to most rules.
How much you weigh has everything to do with how long marijuana stays in your system. The more fat you have, the longer it will take to get marijuana out of your body. Another thing to consider when it comes to how long marijuana stays in your system is how much you have been using. The more you smoke or ingest, the longer it takes. If you just take a few puffs of marijuana, it can get out of your body in just a few days. If you smoke an entire joint, it could take as long as two weeks. Beyond that, let’s talk about the weight issue again.
Although it may be difficult to believe, it can take up to three months for marijuana to get out of someone’s system if they are severely overweight. A chronic user should expect marijuana to stay in the system for as long as one month after they stop using and up to three months. This is a fact.
Because it is legal, most people don’t think of alcohol as a drug. But, alcohol is a drug – period. In fact, alcohol is one of the most dangerous and highly addictive drugs in the world. Just because it is sold at the corner store doesn’t make it safe.
Typically, it takes the body one to two hours to process one beer, one glass of wine, or one shot of liquor. So, if you have one drink, alcohol could be completely out of your system within one to two hours. However; after a night of binge drinking, it will take twelve to twenty-four hours for all of the alcohol to completely leave your system. You might still feel the effects of alcohol for as many as four days as heavy drinking causes fatigue and disorientation.
If you’re a chronic drinker, keep in mind that quitting drinking isn’t as simple as putting down the bottle and moving on with your life. You can have seizures and die when you detox from alcohol. If you have a problem with alcohol, you should definitely withdraw from the drug in the safety and comfort of a medical facility or rehabilitation center.
Cocaine is a water-soluble drug that comes in two forms – powered cocaine and rock cocaine. Powered cocaine (also referred to as “white” or “powder”) is either snorted or injected. Rock cocaine (called “dope” or “hard” on the street) is smoked. This is a highly addictive and very powerful stimulant. While the high wears off pretty quick, it takes days for the drug to get flushed out of the system. When addressing how long do drugs stay in the body, cocaine is relatively quick to exit the system.
It really doesn’t matter if you snort, smoke or shoot cocaine – it usually takes about seventy-two hours to five days for the drug to leave the system of the average user. However; some cocaine users have reported that it takes as long as two weeks for cocaine to completely leave the body. As is the case with all drugs, how long it takes to flush the drug depends on the person. Everybody metabolizes cocaine differently.
Whether you are using street heroin or legal prescription opiates or opioids like Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, or Hydrocodone; it usually takes three to seven days for opiates to completely get out of your system. But, before you stop taking opiates, there’s something you should know. To get opiates out of your system, you have to go through the withdrawal process.
Opiates bring about incredibly painful withdrawal symptoms that can be life-threatening. These symptoms can last for weeks. If you have been taking opiates for an extended period of time and you suddenly stop taking them, you will experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, head-to-toe body aches, anxiety, severe depression, and insomnia. You might also experience seizures, coma, or even death.
If you are ready to stop taking opiates, it is a good idea to seek help at a detox facility or in-patient treatment center. They will probably recommend an opioid replacement therapy or they will perform a professional medical detox. Find more information on how long opioids stay in your system.
Benzodiazepines like Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin, are popular tranquilizing pills that are prescribed by a doctor for anxiety, insomnia, and mood disorders. Also known as “benzos,” these are highly addictive substances that can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Like opiates, it is not recommended that you stop taking benzos without professional medical assistance. Quitting benzodiazepines is very painful and cause seizures or even death.
How long do drugs stay in the body? Benzodiazepines typically leave your system within three to five days and no more than seven days. However; it will take your body a couple of weeks to completely navigate the withdrawal process.
Whether you are snorting, smoking, or shooting methamphetamines – also called meth, crystal, ice, or crank – the drug usually gets out of your system within three to five days. However, for heavy users, it could take up to ten days for the drug to completely leave the body. Keep in mind that today’s meth is made in street labs that use all sorts of weird ingredients like pesticides and gasoline, for example. It can take a couple of weeks for the liver to completely flush these toxic chemicals from your system. While meth is relatively quick to exit the system, it’s still one of the hardest addictions to overcome.
It is important to explain that withdrawal from meth is a very unpleasant process. The drug plays tricks on the mind. You could experience extreme mental confusion, hallucinations, the sensation of bugs crawling on your skin, and delusions as the drug leaves your body. You will definitely experience extreme depression, anxiety, uncontrollable crying, insomnia, and nightmares when you kick this drug.
7. Gamma Hydroxbutyrate (GHB)
Gamma Hydroxybutyrate – more popularly known as GHB – gets out of your system relatively quickly. Usually, the stuff is flushed from the body within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Sold in a liquid form, GHB has become very popular on college campuses in the United States in recent years. It is known as a club drug taken at raves or parties for its euphoric effects. Furthermore, GHB has gotten a reputation as a date rape drug because it renders unsuspecting users unconscious.
Although GHB may leave the body in a hurry, the lingering effects of GHB can last for weeks after the party’s over. People who quit taking GHB after heavy use say they have body aches, fatigue, depression, and insomnia for as long as a month after they quit the stuff.
MDMA is the active ingredient in ecstasy and the pill known as “Molly.” It is powerful stuff that brings about a relaxing sensation that causes the user to feel as though they love everything and everyone. Many people say MDMA feels a lot like heroin. Risks of MDMA are alarming and abuse of this drug can be extremely toxic and dangerous.
Typically, MDMA gets out of the system in about seventy-two hours. However; it can take some people a week to fully process MDMA from their bodies. During this time, the user will feel effects of the drug until the MDMA is completely flushed from the system.
Methadone is prescribed by a doctor for those who want to stop abusing heroin. The problem is, Methadone in itself is highly addictive. Most people take Methadone at a clinic. Making the decision to take Methadone treatments to stop using heroin is a step in the right direction. But, eventually, you will have to stop taking Methadone and withdraw from the drug.
Medical experts report that Methadone stays in the body for about five days. However; it can take the average person about a week to completely flush Methadone from the system. Keep in mind that quitting the use of Methadone will bring the onset of withdrawal symptoms that resemble opiate withdrawal.
You should never attempt to stop taking Methadone without a doctor’s supervision. If you want to stop taking methadone, talk to the experts at your clinic to find out how you can step down off the drug. If you have been taking Methadone illegally, visit a methadone clinic and ask for help.
How To Speed Up The Process Of Removing Drugs From Your System
It takes the body as long as it takes to remove drugs from the system. There is no real way to rush the process. However; drinking water helps to aid the system in flushing toxins. Also, exercising can help.
You may have heard that drinking cranberry juice, lemon juice, or pickle juice will flush drugs from the system. You might have also been told you can buy over-the-counter detox drinks that will flush your system in a few hours. This is not true. The only thing that is guaranteed to get drugs out of your system is sweet time. There is no miracle remedy.
Treatment For Drug Abuse
Regardless of how long is in your system, if drug abuse is an issue there are more alarming facts surrounding addiction. Consider how long drugs stay in the body is not the only associated risk. Detoxification is a crucial step for anyone thinking about ending their substance use, but it is only one piece of the addiction treatment puzzle. In fact, since detoxification only targets the person’s physical dependence on substances, additional treatment is needed to address the psychological addiction. Contact AspenRidge for treatment options for various drug types and severity of abuse at 855-281-5588.