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While occasional use of drugs may not seem like a problem, it tends to quickly spiral into a serious addiction if left unchecked. According to statistics, 7% of the adults in the UK take class A drugs, and over 18,000 hospitalisations have been recorded so far due to drug misuse. The brief high that these drugs provide can, over time, lead to tolerance and a consequent dependency.

If you have recently consumed a drug or know someone who uses it every now and then, you might be wondering how long do drugs stay in your system in general and the factors that affect this timeframe, and how to recognise and treat potential drug addiction. This article discusses answers to all these queries in detail.

How long do drugs stay in the blood and urine varies, primarily depending on the type of drug you are using. Durations of some of the common drugs are listed below: 

  • Alcohol stays in the blood for 10-12 hours and 3-5 days in urine
  • Amphetamines stay in the blood for 12 hours and 1-3 days in urine
  • Barbiturates stay in the blood for 1-2 days and 2-4 days in urine
  • Amphetamines stay in the blood for 12 hours and 1-3 days in urine
  • Cannabis stays in the blood for 2 weeks and 7-30 days in urine
  • Cocaine stays in the blood for 1-2 days and 3-4 days in urine

It is important to remember that in addition to urine and blood tests, you can also detect drugs in hair strands. Once a drug enters the bloodstream, some of it makes its way to your hair through hair cells and may persist for up to 90 days post-consumption.

The table mentioned above is only a general guide describing the duration of time each drug may spend in the body. In reality, multiple factors can impact this timeframe, and these factors include:

The Amount and Frequency of Drug Use

How heavily you consume a drug majorly determines how long it stays in your body. For one-time use, it may remain for a relatively shorter period of time and flush out quickly. On the other hand, extensive use, either in one go or over a long period, leads to larger drug buildups in the body, which prolongs the time it stays inside the blood and urine.

General Tolerance

If you develop tolerance due to regular drug consumption, it increases your rate of metabolism. Consequently, the drug can clear from the blood in a shorter period of time.

Alcohol Consumption

Combining a drug with alcohol can prolong the time it spends in your body.

Metabolism and Body Weight

A higher body fat level slows down the clearance of drugs, making them detectable in blood and urine for a longer duration.

Depending on the type of drug you are using, the symptoms that your occasional drug use has tipped into a dangerous addiction and dependency can differ. In addition to the daily consumption of drugs, mentioned below are some key signs and symptoms suggesting a drug addiction and a consequent need for seeking professional help.

Psychological Symptoms

  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling nervous
  • Increased irritability
  • Frequent angry outbursts

Social and Behavioural Symptoms

  • Continued use of drugs even after facing negative repercussions
  • Prioritising drugs over every other activity
  • Spending time with other drug users more frequently
  • Withdrawing from social interactions with family, friends, and everyone else
  • Investing a lot of time in acquiring and using drugs and trying to recover from their effects

Physical Symptoms

  • Headaches due to dehydration
  • Weight fluctuations due to altered appetite
  • Profuse sweating and a clammy feeling even in the absence of physical exertion
  • Experiencing scars, bruises, infections, and scabs as a result of injecting drugs
  • A need to take progressively increasing quantities of a drug to feel the desired effects

While there is no guaranteed quick fox for flushing out all drug residue from the body, following the tips mentioned below can help to a certain extent.

Cut it off at the source

The first and the most important step to clearing your body from a drug is to stop doing it in the first place, and this will allow you to shed all extra toxins that have been accumulating for a long. Quitting a drug suddenly can be uncomfortable for many; in such cases, joining an addiction rehab for a safe and effective detox programme is highly recommended.

Hydrate the Body

Some drugs can dehydrate the body, leading to unpleasant effects like fatigue, muscle pain, and headache. Eliminate these symptoms and promote a natural detox process by drinking lots of water. Aim for 64 oz of water daily as a general rule.

Take in Good Nutrients

Try replacing the toxins in your body with healthier alternatives. The best way to accomplish this is by changing your diet plan. Cut down on your consumption of bad fats and processed sugar and focus on a higher intake of fruits and vegetables for a starter.

Take out the Toxins

One way to eliminate drugs from your system is exercise. Accelerate your heartbeat and force your body to sweat to throw out all dangerous drug residues. Choose yoga, biking, cycling, or whatever works for you.

Drug use can have serious consequences for your health and overall wellbeing. If you feel like your life is getting affected by frequent drug use and you wish to stop, professional help is available. With the right kind of help and support, you can easily move past your struggles with drug use and lead a healthier and much more rewarding life.

At a drug addiction centre in the UK, many highly-trained experts are readily available to offer people the help they need to overcome the challenges associated with drug addiction. With this help, you can easily manage your drug dependence and get your life back on track.

To help you and others fighting with drug addictions, a 28-day-long addiction treatment programme is usually offered in a residential setup. Longer treatment plans are also available depending on individual needs and requirements. These programmes incorporate therapeutic techniques for addiction and other associated problems, such as anxiety, depression, stress, and trauma. Both individual and group counselling sessions are available, along with family support programmes that enable your loved ones to support your recovery process.

The treatment in an addiction rehab is provided in comfortable on-campus accommodation with 24-hour support from trained and experienced professionals. The care plan often includes a detoxification process to help you safely come off the drug while managing withdrawal symptoms. Once you are physically stable and strong enough to practice abstinence, the rehabs slowly transition you back to life with aftercare programmes to make a recovery a lifelong achievement for you.

So if you feel the need to frequently flush out drugs from your body, get yourself checked for an addiction today. Get in touch with an addiction rehab and book an assessment so that an expert can recommend the next steps and the best possible outcome for you, depending on your unique needs.



The Balance RehabClinic is a leading provider of luxury addiction and mental health treatment for affluent individuals and their families, offering a blend of innovative science and holistic methods with unparalleled individualised care.


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