Let’s Talk Truth: Exactly How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System?

When do drugs really make their way out of your system?

If you throw back a beer on Friday night, it’s out of your system by Monday morning. But, what about other drugs?

Most drugs linger a bit longer than alcohol. In fact, some of them stick around for a long time. This slower processing can surprise many people – especially if a drug test is looming in the near future.

Benzo Boost

Kate had a stressful weekend. She took a few Valium to get through the family reunion (and a house full of screaming kids). She felt more relaxed, but it came at a price. Monday morning, her employer sprang a surprise mandatory drug screening.

In cases of sporadic use, Valium can be detected in urine up to seven days (or up to 6 weeks with chronic use). Without a legal prescription, Kate knew she was in deep trouble and possibly out of a job.

No Cleats Needed With Meth

After the football game, Joe and his friends celebrated their hard-earned victory. They went to one of their favorite clubs, where they smoked meth to “really get the party going.” What they didn’t realize was that their coach would be giving them a drug test after practice on Saturday. Will their Friday night use be detected?

Meth stays in your blood for 1 to 3 days after use and can be detected in your urine for up to 5 days post-use. It’s likely Joe and his friends just played their last game.

Coke-Laiden Pink Slip

After six months of searching, Kevin finally landed a great job. He uses cocaine frequently, but managed to pass his employer’s drug test. After all, he knew it was coming. He simply planned his partying around it. Kevin now assumes he’s in the clear, as long as he doesn’t use cocaine at work.

Cocaine stays in your system for 48 hours. After a late night of Wednesday debauchery, a Friday morning drug screen lands Kevin right back in the unemployment line.

Less-than-Ecstatic Boss

Jackie has worked for a private construction firm for years. She knows she will lose her job if she fails a drug screen. One night, her cousin offers her some ecstasy. She has never tried it before and asks how long it will affect her. With the next day off work, she’s assured it will be long gone by the time she starts her next shift. Wrong.

Ecstasy, or MDMA, (a.k.a. Molly) stays with you for up to 72 hours.

Drug Spike

Julia had a full college scholarship, thanks to her star volleyball skills. Julia knew she would be kicked off the team if drugs showed up in her system, but she thought she was playing it safe. She only smoked pot on the days she didn’t have practice or a game. Julia greatly underestimated the potency of cannabis.

THC can be detected in your system (using a urine test) for up to 12 weeks, depending on the quantity and frequency of use. For regular users, blood tests can come up positive for 7 days or more. Unfortunately, Julia’s dream of collegiate stardom didn’t come true. She was tested a week after hitting the bong and ultimately violated the athletic department’s zero tolerance drug policy.

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