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3 minutes
19 Jan 2023

Urine drug testing detection

Many factors affect the length of time that the urine drug test can detect a certain drug in the body.

Drug testing detection time

What are the factors that affect drug detection in urine testing?

Common factors include:

  • body mass
  • hydration levels
  • the acidity of the urine
  • how long ago the person took the drug

Also, other factors include gender, age and even genetics. If a person uses a drug often or in large quantities, a urine test could detect the drug for a longer period. For example, the detection times for cannabis can depend on how often a person uses it:

Frequency of cannabis use

Detection times after use

Single use

3 day

Moderate use or 4 times per week

5 – 7 day

Daily use

10 – 15 days

Heavy use

More than 30 days

How long can different drugs stay in your system?

The table below shows how long drugs can stay in the system for. As mentioned above, there are lots of factors that can affect these figures, so they should be taken as a guide only.

Drug group

Detection time after use


7 – 12 hours

Short-acting barbiturates

24 hours


48 hours


48 hours


48 – 72 hours

Cocaine metabolites

2 – 4 days


3 days

Short-acting benzodiazepines

3 days


8 days

Long-acting barbiturates

3 weeks

Long-acting benzodiazepines

30 days

Other options are also available for certain circumstances such as drug spiking incidents. Call and speak to one of our Clinical Advisors for details,