How Long Do Drugs Stay Detectable in Your System For?

Drug testing is a crucial aspect of ensuring a safe and productive workplace. Whether you’re an employer concerned about employee safety or an individual curious about the detectability of drugs in your system, understanding drug detection windows is essential.

At Medical, Health, and Education Ltd, the UK’s fastest workplace drug testing laboratory, we offer same day workplace drug testing results. With our LC-MS/MS technology, we provide accurate and timely drug testing results. In this article, we will explore the duration drugs can be detected in your system, shedding light on various factors that affect detectability.

Detectability Factors

The duration drugs stay detectable in someone’s system depends on several factors. These factors include the type of drug consumed, frequency and quantity of drug use, individual metabolism, and the type of drug test employed. Additionally, factors such as age, weight, overall health, and hydration levels can also influence drug detectability.

Common Drugs and Their Detection Windows


THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, can be detected in urine for up to 30 days in chronic users. However, occasional users might test positive for THC for up to 10 days. Hair tests have a longer detection window, typically up to as long as 5 months after the last use.


Benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, is detectable in urine for 2-3 days following use. However, chronic use may extend this window to up to 5 days. Cocaine can be detected in hair for several months.


Amphetamines, including related drugs like MDMA and methamphetamine, are typically detectable in urine for 2-5 days. However, prolonged use can lead to a detection window of just under a week. Hair tests can detect amphetamines for several months.

Opiates and Opioids

Opiates like Heroin, Codeine, and Morphine can be detected in urine for 2-4 days after use. However, certain opioids, such as methadone, may be detectable for up to a week. Hair tests can reveal opiate / opioid use for several months after the last dose.

Drug Test Methods and Their Detection Windows

Urine Drug Tests (UDT)

Urine drug tests are the most common method of drug testing. They are affordable and can detect recent drug use within a specific detection window. UDT can detect drugs within a range of hours to several days, depending on the substance.

Hair Drug Tests

Hair drug tests offer a longer detection window and can reveal historic drug use. They can detect drug use within the past few months, providing a comprehensive overview of an individual’s drug history.

Oral Fluid/Saliva Drug Tests

Oral fluid or saliva tests are non-invasive and can detect recent drug use within a few hours to around a day. These tests are commonly used in roadside drug testing or in situations where immediate detection is necessary. Laboratory testing may have a slightly longer detection window.

Individual Variations

It is important to note that drug detectability can vary among individuals due to factors such as metabolism, overall health, and hydration levels. Additionally, the duration of drug detectability can be influenced by the frequency and quantity of drug use.

Importance of Workplace Drug Testing

Employers have a responsibility to maintain a safe work environment. Implementing a drug testing policy helps create a deterrent within the workplace, but also offers individuals an avenue to seek help if they feel they have a problem. By promptly detecting drug use, employers can take necessary measures to protect the well-being of their workforce.

Choose Medical, Health, and Education Ltd for Reliable Drug Testing

At Medical, Health, and Education Ltd, we understand the importance of accurate and timely drug testing. With our same day turnaround workplace drug testing laboratory, we offer the fastest workplace drug testing turnaround time in the UK. No other UK lab provides LC-MS/MS results the same day the sample arrives.

In addition to drug testing services, we offer drug and alcohol policy development, drug awareness training, onsite sample collection services, and onsite test kits for immediate results. Choose our comprehensive services to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace.

To learn more about our services, Contact Us for more information.

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