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How Long Different Substances Take to Leave Your Body

After a heavy night of partying, you’re likely to experience a hangover, but have you ever wondered how long alcohol, and other substances, take to leave your body? And will they be detectable in your blood, urine, and hair if you were to do a test?

Of course, the answer to this question is not straightforward and depends on a number of variables, for example, your body mass, physical activity, and hydration. Once drugs are absorbed into the bloodstream, they only exit the body through excretion — urine, sweat, and feces. According to IFLScience, depending on the substance you’ve ingested, the time frames can vary.

Very Well Mind reports drug detection times are longer for people who have more fatty tissues as some drugs collect there. The frequency of the substance also plays a part in the period it stays in the system, and while a one-time use may only be detectable for a short period of time, those who regularly use a substance will find it will be detectable for longer periods because they could have developed a concentration.

Other factors include the potency, the type of test, and the existence of medical conditions.
As a general rule then, Business Insider notes that drugs like alcohol, LSD, morphine, heroin, and amphetamines stay in the blood for less than 12 hours. Alcohol is 12 hours, as is heroin and amphetamines, while LSD is just three houses and morphine is eight. However, methamphetamines stay in the blood for 37 hours, and MDMA, cocaine, and barbiturates stay in the system for 48 hours.

The substance that tends to stay in your system for the longest is cannabis, which according to the publication’s drug chart remains in the blood for 337 hours. According to Metro, the reason for this is because cannabis is lipophilic, and thus dissolves in fat in the body.

Individuals who frequently use cannabis can test positive up to three months after their last use.

For urine, the window of detectability extends to 30 days for cannabis, three days for drugs like LSD and amphetamines, and ranges between four to six days for other drugs — alcohol remains in the urine for five days.

But it’s your hair follicles that are detectable for the longest. According to Drugs, your hair grows around 1 cm per month, so depending on the length of hair, it could be possible to detect drug use for the last few months. While LSD only remains in the follicles for three days, according to Business Insider, other substances can remain for up to 90 days (three months).

[Image via Shutterstock]

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