Drug tests, their methods and timing

People who have anyhow faced addiction to drugs, alcohol, or other psychoactive substances, have an acute question of how to find out what a person used.
This problem is particularly acute in the environment of a person who becomes suspicious of the state of his/her child, spouse or other close people.


Alcohol, narcotic, and psychoactive substance identification methods.


Express tests: does not require additional equipment, can be done at home. The test is carried out quickly, using a test system based on the content of decay products in the urine. There are test systems for both alcohol and drugs (mono, 3, 5, or 10 main types of psychoactive substances). The most affordable and cheapest method determines the “quality” content of the test substance in the body (present or absent). Takes 10-15 minutes.

Analyzer-aided test: a machine method, performed in a clinic or laboratory (with specialized equipment and trained personnel). It is carried out by a specialist, based on the content of the substance in the saliva or blood of the test person. The test results indicate not only the presence of the substance itself but also its concentration in the body. The official opinion is issued. Usually the result of the analysis is ready in 2-12 hours from the moment of receipt of the samples in the laboratory.

Toxicological laboratory test: the most accurate but at the same time a very expensive method carried out exclusively in specialized laboratories at research institutes of toxicology. The test is based on blood, a piece of the nail, the hair of the person being tested. As a result, a detailed opinion is issued on the presence, quantity (concentration) of the substance, and the duration of its presence in the body at different time periods. Usually the result and complete opinion take from 7 to 14 days.



What can affect the accuracy of the result and the duration of the drug staying in the body?


  • Bodyweight: the reaction of the body and the severity of affect to the drug directly depends on body weight, the content of muscle and adipose tissue;
  • Dosage: not the amount of the drug taken determines its effect but its quality and dose (from 10 to 95% of pure opium can be contained in one gram of heroin);
  • Routes of administration: “nasal”, “oral”, “smoking” or “intravenous” differ significantly both in the speed of reaching affect and in its severity and duration;
  • Duration: with each subsequent intake, the severity of affect decreases, so, to get the same pleasure the dose increases, and addiction develops;
  • Individual resistance: the general condition of the body and metabolism determine a person’s ability to recover;
  • Health: the presence of concomitant and chronic diseases – against the background of an increase in the “narcotic experience”, old diseases aggravate and new conditions develop: thromboses,
  • infections…



How long do drugs, psychostimulants, and alcohol stay in the body?


Urine drug test:

  • Alcohol – 6-48 hours.
  • Amphetamines – 3-5 days.
  • Barbiturates – 5-20 days.
  • Methamphetamines – 3-6 days.
  • Opium – 2-3 days.
  • PCP – 3-7 days.
  • Benzodiazepines (acute) – 5-7 days, (chronic) – 14-45 days.
  • Heroin (acute) – 3 days, (chronic) – 7-10 days.
  • Cocaine (acute) – 3-5 days, (chronic) – 5-7 days.
  • Marijuana (acute) – 2-3 days, (chronic) – 20-25 days.
  • Methadone (acute) – 5 days, (chronic) – 14-20 days.
  • Phencyclidine (acute) – 5 days, (chronic) – 7-12 days.
  • LSD – 3 days (test positive for amphetamine).
  • MDMA – 5-6 days (test positive for methamphetamine).
  • Codeine – 1-3 days (test positive for opiates).
  • Ritalin – 3 days (test positive for amphetamine).
  • Salvia – not tested.
  • Ketamine – not tested.


Saliva drug test:

Regardless of the type of drug, the duration and consistency of its use, the test will be positive for 5 days from the date of last use.

Blood drug test:

With each day of withdrawal, the amount of active substance in the blood decreases, and directly depends on its initial concentration, decay rate, and half-life. An important role of this indicator is played by the general condition of the body, namely the condition of the liver and kidneys.

Nail, hair drug test:

This result directly depends on the length of hair and nails. It is possible to trace the period from 3 months to 3 years, while with almost 100% accuracy to determine the presence of the concentration of the substance itself in different time periods.


The above information will help you to find out whether your loved one is ok. Do not delay the problem; each subsequent dose of the drug destroys the body, forms a strong addiction, changes your close person both physically and mentally, worsens relationships in the family and society.

Best regards, the MedicoMente team!


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