A frequent question we receive is how long various drugs remain in your system. Be it heroin, alcohol or cannabis (or any other addictive drug), there are many factors that determine a drug’s length of stay, but there are general guidelines
that do provide general insight. We caution that the information provided below should only be referenced as a guide as opposed to a definitive answer for any specific individual.
Presence in the Body of Commonly Used Drugs
- Alcohol - Alcohol can remain in your urine for 6–24 hours although some alcohol tests measure ethyl glucuronide, which can stay in you urine for up to 80 hours. Alcohol can remain in your hair for up to 2 days and in your blood for up to 24 hours.
- Amphetamines - Amphetamines can remain into your urine for up to 3 days, in your hair for up to 90 days and can be found in one’s blood or the fluids for up to 12 hours.
- Barbiturates - Barbiturates, with the exception of phenobarbital, can be found in urine for 24 hours, in hair for 90 days and in blood for as long as 2 days.
- Benzodiazepines - Benzodiazepines can be found in urine for as little as 7 days to as many as 6 weeks depending upon the usage. The can be detected in hair samples for up to 90 days, and in the bloodstream for 6 to 48 hours.
- Cannabis - Cannabis (Marijuana) remains in one’s system for varying time lengths depending upon the amount and length of use. For infrequent users, 7-10 days is a good rule of thumb whereas heavier users retain traces for up to a month. It can be found in hair samples for up to 90 days and as little as a few days to as many as 2 weeks depending upon usage habits. The presence of THC is generally only detectable for less than a day.
- Cocaine - Cocaine can be found in your system for 2-5 days, but up to 10 days for heavy users. Blood testing is similar, and can reveal cocaine use up to 10 days. Your body holds onto cocaine in your hair for much longer, and hair analysis can indicate cocaine use up to 3 months.
- Codeine - Codeine remains detectable in urine for up to 24 hours, 3 months in hair, and 12 hours in one's blood.
- Heroin - Heroin's presence can be found in the body for various lengths of time. Heroin can be found in urine for up to 4 days, in hair for up to 90 days and in blood samples for up to 12 hours.
- LSD - LSD is detectable in urine and hair for up to 3 days while only detectable in the bloodstream for a few hours.
- MDMA - MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy, can be found in urine for up to 4 days up, in hair for up to 3 months, and in blood for 3 to 4 days.
- Methamphetamine - Methamphetamine can be detected in urine for 3 to 5 days, in hair for 90 days and in blood for 1 to 3 days.
- Methadone - Methadone traces can be found in urine for 3 or 4 days. It can be found in hair samples for up to 90 days and in blood for a day or day-and-a-half.
- Phenobarbital - Phenobarbital can be detected in urine for 2 to 3 weeks, in hair for up to 90 days, and in blood for up to a week.
Many factors determine how long heroin, alcohol, cannabis or any of the drugs listed above remain in an individual's body. Factors include body chemistry, metabolism, usage frequency, body mass, hydration and the method being used to measure for a drug's presence.
A more exhaustive list of drugs in the human body. Sources: Wikipedia with Heroin specific information added from the NTHSA.
Getting Help with Drug Addiction
If you or a loved one is currently struggling with drug addiction the best course of action is to break the addiction. The Recovery Village provides drug detox
in order to remove the substance from your system as well as ongoing drug treatment programs
for various addictions, and their root causes.