Many occupations now require drug testing and the following is a rough guide only to how long drugs can be detected in the system. For testing purity of illegal drugs that you may have purchased we suggest you emigrate.

Alcohol: 6 hours to 1 day

Amphetamines: 1 to 4 days

Benzodiazephines: Short-term Therapeutic Use: 3 days.
Long term Chronic Use: 4 to 6 weeks

Cocaine: 2 to 5 days

LSD: 1 to 4 days

Marijuana: Casual Use: Up to 7 days
Chronic Use: up to 30 days or longer
Note: THC, Marijuana’s primary psychoactive ingredient, is stored by the body in fatty lipid tissue. From there, it is slowly released into the bloodstream and urine for up to several weeks. Chronic users and individuals with high body fat count are at greatest risk of long-term detection.

MDMA: 1 to 4 days

Mescaline: 1 to 4 days

Methadone: 1 to 7 days

Methamphetamines: 1 to 4 days

Nicotine: 1 to 2 days

Opiates: 1 to 4 days

Propoxyphene: 1 to 7 days

Psilocybin: (Mushrooms): 1 to 3 days

Steroids (Anabolic) Oral: 2 to 3 weeks.
Injected: 1 to 3 months.

Nandrolone: up to 9 months

Tricyclic Antidepressants: 1 to 9 days

Types of Testing


Testing time: See above for specific drugs

Reliability: Most researched. Has been around for 20 years. Best test for cannabis use. Sample needs to be stored and preserved properly. More open to fraud (substitution of samples). On site positive result needs lab confirmation


Testing time: 24 Hours

Reliability: Good for recent drug use. (cannabis and opiates in particular) but a mouth wash would adulterate on-site test. Samples need refrigeration. Dip sticks can be used for on site results. (e.g can test saliva at the road side) positives need lab confirmation.


Testing time: 24 hours to 2 / 3 days

Reliability: Drug patches mainly used for monitoring. Detect up to a week while worn. Drug swipes up to 24 hours but not very reliable. Police have tried but doesn’t work efficiently


Testing time: Up to 31 hours

Reliability: Open to fraud, sample needs careful storage and preservation, needs lab analysis. Not done for on-site results.


Testing time: 1 week to 18 months

Reliability: Cannot detect alcohol. Not appropriate to detect recent use, needs lab analysis.