How Long Drugs Stay in Your System (Urine, Blood, Saliva, Hair and More)

Different substances can be detected in the system for varying amounts of time, depending on the drug and what part of the body is being tested.

If you have an upcoming drug test, the pressure of passing it can feel overwhelming — especially if you have a history of substance use. Knowing how drugs are detected in the body can help you determine how likely it is that a drug test will be positive. However, it’s important to understand that feeling stressed about a drug test can be a sign that you are struggling with substance use and may need help to stop.

How Are Drugs Detected in the Body?

Drugs can be detected in the body through drug tests. Most commonly, a doctor orders a drug test; however, they can also be ordered by employers and other organizations. Not all drug tests are the same, though. Some drug tests look for specific substances, while others scan for a broad array of substances. Some drug tests will look for drugs in your blood, while others will detect blood in your urine, saliva and even your hair.

Different Drugs Take Different Amounts of Time to Process

Each drug acts differently in your system, and your body can take varying amounts of time to process different drugs. This is not only true of different categories of drugs — such as alcohol and benzos — but also of different agents within each category. For example, certain benzos may take longer for your body to process than other benzos. The time it takes for the body to process substances depends on the specific drug, as well as individual factors like liver and kidney function and overall health.

How Long Drugs Are in Your System