How Long Do Illegal Drugs Stay in Your System?

There are many drugs, both legal and illegal, that people indulge in on a regular basis. Some of them are designed to bring users up — these drugs stimulate the reward center of the brain, but they can also be very addicting. Downers do the opposite — they relax and slow the bodily processes so that the person taking them feels less anxious. While these are the two major drug categories, there are a few other categories to be aware of: opiates, sedative-hypnotics, alcohol, all-arounders, and prescription meds. If you have ever taken any of these, it’s important to be aware of how long they’ll stick around in your system.

Marijuana

The active ingredient that is detected when screening for marijuana usage is THC. It can be detected in blood, urine, hair, spit, and sweat.

The length of time it takes to fade out of a person’s system depends on how much they smoked, and how long they’ve been smoking for. For occasional pot smokers, the THC lasts in their system for about 4 days, but that length of time can go up exponentially if they already have a build-up of THC in their system from regular usage of marijuana. In one case, THC stayed in the system of a long-time smoker for 67 days!

Claudio A.Neves / Shutterstock.com
Claudio A.Neves / Shutterstock.com

Alcohol

The level of alcohol present in your system after a night of drinking is directly related to the amount that you consumed. The digestion of alcohol is a pretty straightforward process, and once it enters the blood, it heads straight for the liver to be metabolized. Generally, it takes the liver an hour to metabolize one ounce of alcohol, meaning if you take a roadside breathalyser test 5 hours after drinking 6 ounces of alcohol, you’ll be in trouble.

Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com
Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

Amphetamines

Amphetamines are typically prescribed to treat conditions like depression and ADHD, but can also be abused for recreational purposes. Generally, they are still able to be detected in urine up to 2 days after ingestion. Blood tests are used to confirm the level of amphetamines present in the system, which can tell officials whether or not a person has been using them according to their prescription, or using them illegally.

amphaiwan / Shutterstock.com
amphaiwan / Shutterstock.com
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