Drug and Alcohol
Detox Center
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How long can a drug stay in your body?

The truth is that many people do not know the answer to this question. They only have a rough idea from the contradicting information available. In your quest for answers, you may fail to gauge the accuracy of the information you come across accurately. This guide on drug test detection times has been thoroughly researched and seeks to dispel false notions and misinformation available through various means. It is crucial to find the right answer to this question to be prepared for a drug test before employment, as per your doctor’s instructions, as a condition for your continued work or the desire to build up knowledge on drug tests.

What is Drug Screening?

Drug screening is a method used to test for the presence of drugs in one’s system. Drug screening is an ideal way to check one’s drug usage even long after the drug’s visible side effects have worn off. The period a drug is detectable in your system usually varies for several reasons. These include:
The drug’s elimination half-life. A drug’s elimination half-life is the duration it takes for a drug’s concentration in your system to reduce by 50%.
Your fluid balance and state of hydration.
The cut-off concentration that testing labs use to detect the drug.
The route of the drug’s administration.
The number of times you use the drug before the test.
These variables may interfere with the reliability if your drug test. However, here are the general drug test detection times for various types of biological samples.


Urine Drug Test Detection Times: What Your Urine Can Say About Your Drug Use

Close to 90% of all drug screenings in recent years have been through urine testing. It is the favored drug screening as it easy, painless, cost-effective, and quick way to test for prescription drugs and illegal substances in one’s system. You usually provide a sample of your urine to the lab for analysis.
There are two types of urine drug test.
These are: immunoassay test and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry or GC-MS
Immunoassay test (IA) is more common than GC-MS since it is not only quicker but also more affordable. However, it is not more accurate than GC-MS. It often gives a false positive. It, at times, indicates the presence of a drug even when you have not used the drug during the detectable period.
GC-MS is often used to verify that the results you get after undergoing IA test are accurate. It is used for confirmation as it is the more reliable test and can detect a broader range of illegal or prescription drugs. It is more expensive than the IA test, and you have to wait for its results for a more extended period.

Drug Test Detection Times While Using Urinalysis

1. Alcohol: 7-12 hours.
2. Heroin: 2 days.
3. PCP: 8 days.
4. Morphine: 2-3 days.
5. Cocaine: 2-4 days.
6. Methadone: 3 days.
7. Amphetamines: 2 days.
8. Short-acting benzodiazepines: 3 days
9. Short-acting barbiturates: 1 day.
10. Long-acting benzodiazepines: 30 days.
11. Long-acting barbiturates: up to 3 weeks.
To carry out the test, you issued a container by the lab technician or doctor. You then retreat to a private section where you open the lid of the container and urinate into it. You close the container and return it to the person who issued it to you. The lab technician or doctor will then measure the urine sample’s temperature, and once they know it is suitable for testing, they will place the sample in a plastic bag and seal it.
Certain supplements and medicines may cause a false-positive. It is vital that you divulge if you are using any of these to the lab technician or doctor before the test.
• Supplements.
• Herbal remedies.
• Prescription medications.
• Over-the-counter medicines.
Blood Drug Test Detection Times: What Your Blood Can Say About Your Drug Use
Blood screening is the most accurate screening method. It usually indicates the presence of the parent drug in your system and not the drug’s inactive metabolites. Metabolites are the residual substance of your body metabolizing the parent drug. Blood screening is also challenging to beat and very accurate. However, blood screening is not common due to its cost, invasiveness, long waiting time before obtaining results, and its requirement for sophisticated equipment. Blood screening can also show any adulterants you may take to try and avoid the detection of drug usage.

Drug Detection Window While Using Blood Screening
Alcohol: 10-12 hours.
Cocaine: 1-2 days.
Barbiturates: 1-2 days.
Heroin: up to 12 hours.
Cannabis: up to 2 weeks.
Benzodiazepines: 2-3 days.
Amphetamines: around 12 hours.
Ecstasy (MDMA): 1-2 days.
Crystal meth (Methamphetamine): 24 – 72 hours.
LSD: up to 2-3 hours.
PCP: up to 24 hours.
Cotinine (a metabolite of nicotine): 12-48 hours.
Methadone: 24-36 hours.
Codeine: 6-12 hours.
Morphine: 6-8 hours.

It is vital to note that passing a blood test tends to be easy for many drug users due to its short detection. You can stop using drugs for a short period close to your blood screening. However, this is not advisable as the road to recovery may involve you coming out to accept you have a problem and seeking help. Similarly, using adulterants is not advisable as it not only tries to deceive the doctor or lab technician but also caught easily during blood screening.
Saliva Drug Test Detection Times: What a Mouth Swab Can Say About Your Drug Use
Oral testing or saliva testing is gaining traction as it is not only cost-effective but also convenient. It is easy to administer, and it can be administered anywhere at any time. Unlike urinalysis, which may typically take a few hours, mouth swab can be used to test for drug use immediately after ingestion. It is ideal for detecting recent drug use but not long term usage of drugs. A mouth swab is increasingly becoming popular as saliva samples are easy to obtain, and it is difficult to tamper with the reliability of the results.
A mouth swab can detect drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana, alcohol, and amphetamines. The drug test detection times with oral testing varies due to age, metabolic rate, tolerance level, weight, and health.

Drug Detection Window While Using a Mouth Swab

1. Alcohol: noticeable almost immediately and disappears in around 12 hours.
2. Amphetamine: noticeable in about five to 10 minutes and disappears in approximately 72 hours.
3. Methamphetamine: noticeable in approximately five to 10 minutes and disappears in around 72 hours.
4. Cocaine: noticeable in about five to 10 minutes and disappears in about 24 hours.
5. Opiates: noticeable in approximately one hour and fades in around 7-21 hours.
6. Marijuana: detectable in approximately one hour and goes in about 12 hours.

It is easy to administer an oral test. First, you place the sponge or swab applicator between your lower gum and cheek for up to 3 minutes. The swab applicator has to be completely saturated before you remove it from your mouth. Most oral test kits come with an indicator that indicates when you can remove the swab applicator from your mouth. They may change color at the handle to indicate total saturation. Once you have eliminated the swab applicator, you can get your results in a matter of minutes. Testing kits like Saliva Confirm Premium can avail the results of the test in around 7-10 minutes.
What a Hair Follicle Can Say About Your Drug Use?
Hair drug test screens for drugs or their metabolites. On average, hair grows 1 cm in a month; hence, it can be a good sample to test for drug use in the previous few months. For this test, a small amount of the hair on your head is removed using scissors. The hair sample is then taken for analysis, and it can show any drug use for the three months that precede the test.
Analysis of the hair sample takes place in a hospital or a lab. You may also opt to order an at-home hair test online. Cleaning your hair, dying it, or even using styling products on it before the extraction of the sample will not affect the reliability of the results. The sample usually consists of between 50 to 120 hairs. Each half an inch represents a month; hence, the newest one, and a half inch of hair can show your drug usage for up to 90 days. The person collecting the hair sample may opt to receive the hair sample from different spots to avoid leaving a bald spot on your head. For those with no hair on the head, body hair may suffice.

Drug Detection Window While Using the Hair Follicle Test

Once you have ingested the drug, a hair follicle test can detect it in your hair after about five days. A detectable amount remains in your hair for a minimum period of three months, unless you shed it off from your body. A hair test can not only show the type of drug is taken but also the frequency in which it was used. The drugs that can be detected using a hair follicle test include:
1. Marijuana: detectable after five days and remains for about 90 days.
2. Methamphetamine: detectable after five days and continues for about 90 days.
3. Ecstasy (MDMA): detectable after five days and remains for about 90 days.
4. Cocaine: detectable after five days and persists for about 90 days.
5. Heroin: detectable after five days and remains for about 90 days.
6. Codeine: detectable after five days and stays for about 90 days.
7. Morphine: detectable after five days and remains for about 90 days.
8. PCP (phencyclidine): detectable after five days and stays for about 90 days.

How Ascendant New York Can Help?

Ascendant New York is an outpatient addiction and detox treatment center in Midtown Manhattan. The center is committed to helping its patients beat drug addiction safely and confidentially. Our team of experts is capable and skilled to help you once that positive drug test results come in. We carefully craft a treatment regimen as we identify that each case is unique, and the road to a drug-free life varies from one person to another. If you wonder if you need help with your addiction, you most probably do. You ask yourself this question because there is evidence of the negative effect of the addiction in your life. Ascendant New York is well geared to facilitate a healthy and safe recovery process.
We Keep You Safe
One of the most important aspects of a Detox Centre is the environment it provides. At Ascendant New York, we offer a stable environment for those in addiction recovery. You are free of the temptations and ordeals that induce your urge to do drugs. Ascendant New York has a zero-tolerance policy on having alcohol and drugs in the facility. Moreover, our patients follow a daily routine inclusive of therapy, fitness, and healthy nutrition.
We Counsel You on Addiction
At a detox center, you need counselors to guide and monitor your recovery process. Ascendant New York provides experienced and well-oriented counselors to help you beat various drug and alcohol addiction. These are counselors that will keep your confidence and trustworthy in delivering you from addiction’s grasp.
We Help You Learn
We consider learning to cope with addiction to be as important as recovering. We will help you learn to deal with the recovery and withdrawal symptoms. We intend to help you learn to prevent a relapse from drugs once after your Detox program. Furthermore, we use practical learning tools which will guide you through the learning process of picking an alternate lifestyle.
We Facilitate Peer Support
When you work with your peers to conquer your addiction, they will be a source of motivation and influence into recovery. At Ascendant New York, we link you to your peers going through similar challenges. We intend to let the patients have someone to talk to, to give and receive advice and support. If you want to go further, join a team.
We Offer Discretion
Most patients prefer private detox centers. Ascendant New York offers this privacy, which in turn will let the patients focus on their recovery. You choose who to tell about your detox enrollment. {company title} will not release your information unless you request it.
We Follow Up
Aftercare programs rolled out by Detox Centers will reduce chances of relapses occurring. Ascendant New York starts its aftercare while you are still in our treatment center. We will help you ease your transition back into your life and avoid drugs and alcohol. We recommend that you get treatment at the slightest indication of addiction. It is a progressive case that will get worse if left unattended. You should also try and ask any of your friends and family suffering from addiction to get the appropriate help at a facility that offers effective care like Ascendant New York. It is never too late to Detox.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recover and the programs we have specifically meant for you.


Drug usage is still a big problem in the US. The abuse and addiction are not helped by the fact that there is a lot of misinformation out there. Drug tests exist to detect drug usage, misuse, or even keep a drug free environment, especially for those doing sensitive work. The biological drug tests vary, and often each has a different drug test detection times window and means of administration. It is crucial to distinguish facts about the various drug tests and their windows from the available misinformation, do not be duped.
Drug screening uses your blood, saliva, hair follicles or urine to test for drugs provided they do the test within the drug detection times. The drug detection times vary with each biological sample and the drug used. Besides, other factors such as the method used to administer the drug, your body fluid balance, the cut-off concentration used by labs during drug screening and the frequency of use of the drug before drug screening may also affect drugs’ detection times. Urine has been the preferred sample for a long time now, but there is a shift towards the use of saliva. Mouth swabs are becoming more ideal as saliva is not only easy to retrieve, but it also shows the results even immediately after drug use.
Testing positive after a drug test is not the end of the road. You can easily overcome your craving for drugs or get through detoxification with the help of Ascendant New York. In our inpatient detoxification program, we’ll admit you for the detoxification program. All our detox programs are medically supervised and our professional medical and support staff work collaboratively to ensure you get back to a healthy lifestyle free of drugs. We also offer an outpatient service that helps our patients with continued care after the initial stay.
Drug detoxification centers can be of huge help once you test positive after a drug test. Ascendant New York can help you detox in a supportive environment with the best care from qualified staff ready to serve you around the clock. Ascendant New York staff are fully licensed and will monitor you to check on your progress and also any other complications that may arise from your detoxification. Our professional counselors will help equip you with skills on how to deal with triggers that cause the urge to drink and walk you through the detoxification to avoid the likelihood of a relapse. At Ascendant New York we are here to help you cope with a positive drug test and usher you into a new life of sobriety.
If you have a drug test any moment from now (probably at work), no need to worry or study for it the whole night, we suppose you’ve learned a thing or two about drugs and drug testing.

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