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We present the information on this as a generalized, educational overview. Specific details below regarding treatment protocols may not reflect the protocols utilized by Compass Recovery.


Just like each type of drug has its own effects, each type also takes a different amount of time to metabolize and exacts a different toll on the body. Even drugs of the same type, such as opiates like Percocet and Vicodin, can clear the body at very different speeds. For most medical purposes, a drug is considered to have cleared your system after five half-lives, when only about three percent of the drug is left.

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Each drug has its own half-life, ranging anywhere from seconds to days. If a drug is consumed orally, such as when drinking alcohol, swallowing a pill, or eating a marijuana edible, then it will pass through the liver. Enzymes such as cytochrome P and monoamine oxidase help break down drugs into harmless compounds for the kidneys to cleanse from the bloodstream. The liver also removes some drugs directly from the bloodstream instead of metabolizing them, and excretes them in bile that exits the body through the digestive tract.

Factors that determine how long drugs stay in your system

Most drugs, however, exit the body through the kidneys, which remove toxins from the blood as urine. Other factors that can affect how you metabolize drugs include: [5]. Be careful with mixed drinks. It also disrupts sleep, so sleeping while drunk in lower-quality rest and more sleep deprivation the following day.

Sleep deprivation causes impaired mental functioning, including slower reflexes and the risk of falling asleep while driving. Hangovers are dangerous in and of themselves. This can impair driving and other tasks.

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Since many benzodiazepines take more than a day to clear the body, using them daily can cause concentrations of the drug to build up in the fat and blood. Because of this, benzodiazepines should not be used for more than two to four consecutive weeks.

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Compared to many drugs, cocaine is quite quick to enter and exit the bloodstream. From there, it has a half-life of about 50 minutes.

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After using cocaine, the user might experience a crash that can last from nine hours to four days. The crash can include irritability, depressed mood, fatigue, sleepiness or insomnia, and craving for more cocaine.

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According to the NHTSA, heroin has a very short half-life of only two to six minutes, after which it is metabolized into morphine. Half-lives of these drugs include:. When combined with the tolerance and dependence that often occur with regular opiate use, this paves the pathway to addiction. The main active chemical in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol THC. When smoked, THC levels in the blood peak within eight minutes, and when consumed orally, they peak within one to two hours.

This means that regular users of marijuana can experience a half-life of five to 13 days. Long-term use of marijuana may cause impairments in memory, attention and information processing which can last for months or years after the user stops using.

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Those who smoke their cannabis will also experience the same damage to their lungs as smokers of other substances, as smoke contains tar, ash and carcinogens. Although amphetamine-based drugs can improve some types of performance, according to NHTSA, they can also cause inattention and promote high-risk-taking behaviors, such as speeding and rapid lane-changing, making them dangerous to consume while driving.

This can cause schizophrenia-like psychosis, characterized by paranoid delusions, erratic or violent behavior, and visual and auditory hallucinations. Accessed August 6, July National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. November 29, April Accessed August 7, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Drug detection factors

National Library of Medicine. June Amdipharm Mercury Company Limited. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U. December Search Go. Breath Breath tests can detect if someone has alcohol active in his or her system. The average person can metabolize about one drink per hour.

Saliva tests range depending on the drug, but most can detect drugs used in the last 12 hours to three days. Hair tests generally reveal drug use between one week and 90 days after use. Other factors that can affect how you metabolize drugs include: [5] Size: The larger you are, the less a given dosage of a drug is likely to affect you.


Percentage body fat : The more body fat you have, the less sensitive you may be to the effects of certain drugs. Gender: Women and men have different profiles of liver enzymes, affecting how they metabolize some drugs, especially alcohol. Age: Infants and elderly tend to have poorer-functioning liver and kidneys, making them take longer to process drugs from their systems.

Genetics: People of different ethnic groups may have genetic resistances or vulnerabilities to how they metabolize certain drugs, especially alcohol.

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Diet: Many foods, such as grapefruit juice, and many dietary supplements can change levels of enzymes in the liver, affecting drug metabolism. Tolerance: If you use a drug repeatedly, you may require more of it to achieve the desired effect.

Effect of intake method on metabolism

Disease: Certain diseases that affect the liver, kidneys, heart or brain can affect how your body metabolizes drugs. Half-lives of some common benzodiazepines include: [9] Alprazolam Xanax : 6 to 12 hours Clonazepam Klonopin : 18 to 50 hours Diazepam Valium : 20 to hours Flunitrazepam Rohypnol : 18 to 26 hours Lorazepam Ativan : 10 to 20 hours.

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Marijuana The main active chemical in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol THC. Related To This. The Dangers of Alcohol Use on College Spring Break The gift of attending university is one of the most rewarding and challenging life adventures a person can experience. For many families, the college years are a rite of passage, and families that celebrate the first family member to ever attend college experience incredible pride.

Length of time that specific drugs process out

University life and young adulthood are also times of new ยป. Alcohol Abuse on College Campuses College life in America is often synonymous with weekend parties and alcohol. Many college students find it difficult to abstain from alcohol during social events when friends are also drinking. The college years can be even more challenging for those who have grown dependent on alcohol. On average, Family Therapy and Involvement During Rehab Family therapy is a type of mental health counseling that helps families gain communication skills, heal old arguments and traumas, and find recovery together.

Family therapists understand how each person in the family unit is affected by other members in the family group, and have special education and experience in helping each individual heal and

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How long it takes a drug to process out of your body will depend on the type of drug used and the way you used it.


Written By: Sprout Editorial Team.


Drug testing is a regular part of the hiring process and a person may also be drug tested for various other reasons.