How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System?

Depending on the drug, a controlled substance may stay in a person’s system for only several hours or up to a month or more. The metabolite of the drug can last for even longer.

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A Positive Test Doesn’t Always Mean Recent Use

You are required to drug test and wonder, “How long do drugs stay in your system?” Some employers require employees to participate in a drug test before and after being hired. At the same time, some individuals undergo drug testing as part of a DUI arrest, probation, or even as terms in a child custody arrangement.

Considering the high stakes, it is no wonder that a commonly searched question online happens to be, “How long do drugs stay in your system?” The answer is: it depends on the drug. Marijuana, oxycodone, Vicodin, heroin, opium, and LSD metabolize at differing rates. In the process of eliminating drugs from the body, kidneys play a crucial role in filtering out soluble drug metabolites from the urine.

If you are trying to predict whether you will pass a forthcoming drug test, you must also consider what type of drug testing you will undergo. For example, if you have ingested marijuana and are trying to predict whether you can pass a drug test, be aware that traces of the drug can stay in your urine anywhere from 7 to 30 days, remain 90 days in the hair, and 14 days in the blood.

This chart may be helpful to you:

Why Might Someone Have a False Positive for Drugs in their System

Did you know a drug test result could be positive even if someone hasn’t taken drugs? There are several reasons someone might have a false positive test. One of the most common causes is consuming foods, drinks, or over-the-counter medications that contain substances that the drug test might mistake for illegal drugs. For example, poppy seeds can result in a positive test for opiates, while certain cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine could potentially yield a false positive for amphetamines. Even some dietary supplements and herbs can trigger false positives.

Additionally, the test itself might not be completely accurate due to factors like the quality of the testing kit, how it was handled, or the methodology used. Lastly, some medical conditions can cause the body to produce substances similar to certain drugs, leading to a false positive. To help interpret drug test results accurately, providing a complete health and dietary history is essential.

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Your Metabolism Impacts How Long Drugs Stay in Your System

Additionally, your metabolism affects how quickly traces of a drug will be flushed from your system. An individual with a high metabolic rate will expel elements of drugs in the system much faster than an individual with a slower metabolism. Drug testing can be anxiety-provoking for many reasons. If you worry you cannot pass a drug test and ask yourself, “How long do drugs stay in your system?” this question should be part of a more extensive discussion with your legal counsel. Whatever you do, do not be intimidated by a strict judge. If you have the best representation, your attorney will know how to help you.

How to Get Drugs Out of Your System

If you’ve used a controlled substance and want to avoid a positive test, there are steps you can take that might be helpful. First, it is always best not to use drugs without medical advice or a prescription. If you’ve used an illegal or legal, nonprescribed controlled substance, you might want to get medical help if your health is in jeopardy. Finally, if you have an attorney, it is vital that you ask for their advice and counsel. Some ideas for clearing your system of substances are as follows:

  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of water can help your body flush out toxins. It helps your kidneys to function more effectively in eliminating waste from your body.
  • Healthy diet: Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can assist your body in getting rid of toxins. These foods can provide the nutrients your body needs to process and eliminate waste effectively.
  • Regular exercise: Physical activity increases blood circulation and helps stimulate processes in your body that can aid in detoxification.
  • Avoid re-exposure: The most effective way to remove a substance from your system is to stop taking it. Continuing to take a substance will only add to what your body needs to process and eliminate.
  • Adequate sleep: Rest is important for your body’s recovery and the detoxification processes.
  • Medical detoxification: In some cases, particularly with addictive substances, medically supervised detoxification may be necessary. This should always be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
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Criminal Defense Attorneys with a Track Record of Success

No matter your legal situation, we cannot sufficiently stress the importance of enlisting reputable, experienced, and competent legal counsel. The lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are experienced and have represented countless clients facing charges of probation violation, drug possession, charged with an OWI or DUI, intent to deliver marijuana crimes, and other charges where drug testing may be required.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
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