Drug Detection Tests

Drug detection times in the body

Here at The Cabin Chiang Mai, we often get calls or emails from concerned family members and friends wanting to know how long drugs can be detected in a person’s body.

The detection of drugs found in the human body, whether illegal, prescribed, or off the shelf products, will vary from drug to drug. The time of detection will depend on the person’s physiological makeup; such as, height, weight, the amount of body fat, age, current state of health, and whether the person is mildly aggressive, aggressive, or none at all. A person’s level of stress and even their state of mind can play a part in drug detection time in the body.

Four Drug Detection Tests

There are four tests to detect drugs in the body. Urine, saliva, and hair tests are the most common ones performed. The fourth is the blood test; this is usually reserved for critical situations, and is less likely used.

Urine

The most common drugs can be tested through a urine drug detection test. The urine detection test looks for small concentrations of chemicals known as metabolites. These can be used to determine which drugs a person has used. It cannot tell when or exactly how much they used.

Saliva

The saliva detection test works the same way as the urine test, but can be done anywhere at any time. Saliva test are rarely used but can be in certain circumstances.

Hair

The hair detection test is very accurate at showing any amount of illegal or prescription drugs. Most laboratories use the first 2-4 cm of hair closest to the scalp. They then test the hairs cortex layer for metabolites. Drugs can be detected in the human hair for at least 90 days, but can last the person’s entire lifetime.

Blood

The blood detection test works like the urine and saliva drug detection test. However, a blood test measures the actual amount of drugs in the person’s blood at the time of the test. Factors in Drug Detection Times

There are various factors that must be considered for drug detection times. These include the person’s frequency of use, the strength of the drug, and the length of time the person has been using. Drugs and metabolites remain detectable in the body depending on the following factors below.

Metabolic Rate

People who have a slow body metabolism are more prone to longer drug detection periods.

Amount and Frequency of Use

Single or small doses are detectable, but at lower levels. Chronic and long term use are normally detectable in very high levels.

Body Mass

When a person has a high body mass index, or increases their body mass index, they will have a slower metabolism. Therefore, drugs can be detected for a longer period of time. Chronic drug users, physically inactive users, or people with a high percentage of body fat are at risk for longer drug detection times.

Age

As people age, their metabolism normally slows down, again this means that drugs are able to be detected for a longer time in the body.

Overall Health

If a person has health problems, their metabolism may slow, resulting in longer drug detection times.

Drug Tolerance

People who have developed a tolerance to the drug normally can metabolise drugs more quickly.

Urine pH Level

Highly acidic urine normally results in shorter drug detection times.

Drug Detection Times

Detection Times for Opioids and Morphine Derivatives

Heroin can be detected in the urine for up to 5 days, in the saliva for up to 2 days and in the blood for 6 hours. Methadone can be detected in the urine for up to 7 days, in the saliva for up to 1 day and in the blood is not known. Morphine can be detected in the urine for up to 4 days, in the saliva for up to 1 day and in the blood for 6 hours.

Detection Times for Depressants

Alcohol can be detected in the urine for up to 24 hours, in the saliva for up to 1 day and in the blood is not known. Barbiturates can be detected in the urine for up to 21 days, in the saliva for up to 3 days and in the blood for 1-2 days. Benzodiazepines can be detected in the urine for up to 6 weeks, in the saliva for up to 3 days and in the blood for 1-2 days.

Detection Times for Stimulants

Amphetamines can be detected in the urine for up to 5 days, in the saliva for up to 3 days and in the blood for 12 hours.

Cocaine can be detected in the urine for up to 7 days, in the saliva for up to 1 day and in the blood for 24 hours. Methamphetamines can be detected in the urine for up to 5 days, in the saliva for up to 3 days and in the blood for 24 hours.

Detection Times for Other Drugs

Ecstasy and MDMA can be detected in the urine for up to 5 days, in the saliva for up to 1 day and in the blood for 12 hours.