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Illicit Drug Detection Times

Illicit Drug Detection Times Drug Testing

Article Contents

Illicit drugs are substances that are illegal to make, buy, or sell.  They often pose serious health risks, including addiction.

At some point, most people will need to pass an illicit drug test (also called a drug screen), usually for employment or legal reasons. If you’re wondering whether drugs will appear on your test results, you must understand drug detection times. 

How Long Do Illicit Drugs Stay In Your System?

The amount of time a drug stays in your system and can be detected on a drug test depends on various factors, particularly the type of drug and the type of test. The most common forms of drug testing are urine testing, blood testing, saliva testing, and hair testing. 

Other factors that influence how long drugs stay in your system include:

  • the dose of the drug
  • how often you used the drug
  • when your last use of the drug was
  • the drug’s half-life, which is the period of time it takes for a drug and its metabolites (byproducts) to decrease by half
  • age, as younger people tend to process drugs more quickly
  • body fat percentage, as people with higher body fat percentages tend to process drugs more slowly

Clearly, detection times vary. However, researchers have identified general detection windows for the most commonly used illicit drugs, including hallucinogens, stimulants, inhalants, and other drugs. 

Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens, also called psychedelics, change how you view reality. They often cause hallucinations, which means you see, hear, or feel things that aren’t there. Popular hallucinogens include DMT, ketamine, LSD, PCP, shrooms, and ecstasy. 

How Long Does DMT Stay In Your System?

DMT, or dimethyltryptamine, is available as a powder, solid, or liquid. Its effects usually last around 30 to 45 minutes. However, the drug can be detected for up to 1 day on a urine test, up to 1 day on a blood test, up to 1 hour on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair follicle test.

To learn more, read How Long Does DMT Stay In Your System?

How Long Does Ketamine Stay In Your System?

Ketamine is an anesthetic drug sometimes used by medical professionals. When abused, the drug causes a high that lasts about four hours. 

Ketamine can typically be detected for up to 11 days on a urine test, up to 4 days on a blood test, and up to 90 days on a hair test. It can’t be detected on a saliva test. 

How Long Does LSD Stay In Your System?

Also known as acid, LSD is available as a powder, liquid, or pill. Its effects last about 6 to 12 hours. 

It can usually be detected for up to 4 days on a urine test, up to 12 hours on a blood test, and up to 90 days on a hair test. It can’t be detected on a saliva test.

To learn more, read How Long Does LSD Stay In Your System?

How Long Does PCP Stay In Your System?

Also called phencyclidine or “angel dust,” PCP is a white powder. Its effects usually last between 6 and 24 hours.

PCP can typically be detected for up to 4 weeks on a urine test, up to 1 day on a blood test, up to 10 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test. 

How Long Do Shrooms Stay In Your System?

Shrooms are also known as psilocybin mushrooms or magic mushrooms. Their effects usually last about 4 to 6 hours. 

Shrooms can generally be detected for up to 1 day on a urine test, up to 1 day on a blood test, and up to 90 days on a hair test. They can’t be detected on saliva tests. 

To learn more, read How Long Do Shrooms Stay In Your System?

How Long Does Ecstasy Stay In Your System?

Also called molly or MDMA, ecstasy is available as a pill, tablet, or capsule. It’s often considered a hallucinogen as well as a stimulant. That’s because it can cause hallucinations. An ecstasy high usually lasts about 3 to 6 hours.

The drug can typically be detected for up to 4 days on a urine test, up to 2 days on a blood test, up to 2 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test. 

Learn more about How To Get Ecstasy Out Of Your System

Stimulants

Stimulants make you feel alert and energized. People often use them to increase stamina and productivity. Popular illicit stimulants include cocaine and methamphetamine.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System?

Cocaine is a white powder that can be snorted, injected, or cooked into smokeable rocks called crack. Its effects typically last 15 to 30 minutes.

It can generally be detected for up to 3 days on a urine test, up to 1 day on a blood test, up to 2 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test.

How Long Does Methamphetamine Stay In Your System?

Methamphetamine is a powder that can be made into smokeable rocks called crystal meth. It’s chemically similar to prescription amphetamines such as Adderall. However, it’s much more powerful. A methamphetamine high can last anywhere from four to sixteen hours. 

The drug can typically be detected for up to 1 week on a urine test, up to 3 days on a blood test, up to 4 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test. 

Inhalants

Inhalants are household items that can cause euphoria (intense joy) when breathed in through the nose. Examples include hair spray, paint thinners, gasoline, and whipped cream dispensers. 

How Long Do Inhalants Stay In Your System?

Inhalants enter and leave the body very quickly. Thus, they usually can’t be detected via drug screening. 

Other Drugs

Other illicit substances that can be detected on drug tests include heroin and marijuana. 

How Long Does Heroin Stay In Your System?

Heroin is an opioid made from the opiate (naturally occurring opioid) morphine. It causes euphoria and relaxation, which lasts around 3 to 5 hours.

Heroin can generally be detected for up to 3 days on a urine test, up to 6 hours on a blood test, up to 1 hour on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test. 

How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your System? 

Marijuana is a mix of dried leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers from the Cannabis plant. It contains an ingredient called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, that makes you feel happy and relaxed. 

It’s considered a depressant, stimulant, and hallucinogen. Some states have legalized it for medical and/or recreational use. 

Marijuana’s effects typically last about 1 to 3 hours. It can usually be detected for up to 30 days on a urine test, up to 4 hours on a blood test, up to 72 hours on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test. 

Substance Abuse Treatment

If you or a loved one struggles with illicit drug use, please contact a Recovering Champions specialist to learn about our substance abuse and addiction treatment center. 

Our compassionate healthcare team offers recovery-focused services such as medical detox, mental health counseling, and medication-assisted treatment.

Written by Recovering Champions Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

Government of Alberta - Inhalant Use
National Center for Biotechnology Information - Half Life
National Library of Medicine - Detection times of drugs of abuse in blood, urine, and oral fluid

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