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Appendix 1922.1: Detection Periods for Abused Substances

CPS June 2010

The following chart, from a national testing lab, gives approximate detection periods for each substance by test type. The ranges depend on the amount and frequency of use, metabolic rate, body mass, age, overall health, and urine pH.

For ease of use, the detection times of metabolites have been incorporated into each parent drug. For example, heroin and cocaine can be detected only for a few hours after use, but their metabolites can be detected for several days in urine. In this type of situation, the lab reports the (longer) detection times of the metabolites.

Note 1: Oral fluid or saliva testing results for the most part mimic that of blood. The only exception is THC. Oral fluid will likely detect THC from ingestion up to a maximum period of 18 to 24 hours.

Note 2: Urine cannot detect current drug use. It takes approximately six to eight hours, or more after consumption for a drug to be metabolized and excreted in urine. Similarly, hair requires two weeks and sweat requires seven days.

Substance

Urine

Hair

Saliva

Alcohol

10 to 12 hours

 

Up to 24 hours

Amphetamines
(except meth)

1 to 5  days

up to 90 days (for body hair, 1 year)

1 to 48 hours

Methamphetamine

1 to 5 days

up to 90 days (for body hair, 1 year)

1 to 48 hours

Barbiturates
(except phenobarbital)

2 to 12 days

 

 

Phenobarbital

7 to 14 days

 

 

Benzodiazepines

Therapeutic use: 3 days. Chronic use (over one year): 1 to 12 weeks

 

 

Cannabis (Marijuana)

Single Use: 14 days
Chronic Use: Up to 60 days, sometimes longer

up to 90 days (for body hair, 1 year)

1 to 48 hours

Cocaine

1 to 3 days

up to 90 days (for body hair, 1 year)

1 to 48 hours

Codeine

2 to 4 days

up to 90 days (for body hair, 1 year)

1 to 48 hours

Morphine

1 to 4 s

up to 90 days (for body hair, 1 year)

1 to 48 hours

Heroin

8 hours

up to 90 days (for body hair, 1 year)

0.5 to 8 hours

LSD

2 to 24 hours

 

 

Methadone

1 to 10 days

 

 

PCP

2 to 10 days; up to 30 days in chronic users

up to 90 days (for body hair, 1 year)

1 to 48 hours

 

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