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Drug Testing in the Workplace

Drug Detection Times

Drug detection times indicate the period after you last took a drug, that drug testing can reveal its presence or resulting metabolites in your specimen. Drug detection times are affected by frequency of use, type of specimen, test method, cutoff levels, metabolism, and other factors.

The table below was published in September, 1999, by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). It includes commonly-abused drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, hash, methamphetamine and other amphetamines. The type of specimen (blood, hair or urine) to which the table refers is not clear. But the drug detection times are within the ranges reported by other sources for urine analysis, and it's the most commonly-used drug testing method by Federal government.

Commonly Abused Drugs
Substance Proprietary or Street Names Medical Uses Route of Administration DEA Schedule* Drug Detection Times
Stimulants
Amphet-
amine
Biphetamine, Dexedrine; Black Beauties, Crosses, Hearts Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, narcolepsy Injected, oral, smoked, sniffed II 1-2 days
Cocaine Coke, Crack, Flake, Rocks, Snow Local anesthetic, vasoconstrictor Injected, smoked, sniffed II 1-4 days
Metham-
phetamine
Desoxyn; Crank, Crystal, Glass, Ice, Speed ADHD, obesity, narcolepsy Injected, oral, smoked, sniffed II 1-2 days
Methyl-
phenidate
Ritalin ADHD, narcolepsy Injected, oral II 1-2 days
Nicotine Habitrol patch, Nicorette gum, Nicotrol spray, Prostep patch; Cigars, Cigarettes, Smokeless tobacco, Snuff, Spit tobacco Treatment for nicotine dependence Smoked, sniffed, oral, transdermal Not Scheduled 1-2 days
Hallucinogens and Other Compounds
LSD Acid, Microdot None Oral I 8 hours
Mescaline Buttons, Cactus, Mesc, Peyote None Oral I 2-3 days
Phencyclidine & Analogs PCP; Angel Dust, Boat, Hog, Love Boat Anesthetic (veterinary) Injected, oral, smoked I, II 2-8 days
Psilocybin Magic Mushroom, Purple Passion, Shrooms None Oral I 8 hours
Amphet-
amine variants
DOB, DOM, MDA, MDMA; Adam, Ecstasy, STP, XTC None Oral I 1-2 days
Marijuana Blunt, Grass, Herb, Pot, Reefer, Sinsemilla, Smoke, Weed None Oral, smoked I 1 day - 5 weeks
Hashish Hash None Oral, smoked I 1 day - 5 weeks
Tetrahydro-
cannabinol
Marinol, THC Antiemetic Oral, smoked I, II 1 day - 5 weeks
Anabolic Steroids Testosterone (T/E ratio), Stanazolol, Nandrolene Hormone Replacement Therapy Oral, injected III Oral: up to 3 weeks (for testosterone and others); Injected: up to 3 months (Nandrolene up to 9 months)
Opioids and Morphine Derivatives
Codeine Tylenol w/codeine, Robitussin A-C, Empirin w/codeine, Fiorinal w/codeine Analgesic, antitussive Injected, oral II, III, IV 1-2 days
Heroin Diacetylmorphine; Horse, Smack None Injected, smoked, sniffed I 1-2 days
Methadone Amidone, Dolophine, Methadose Analgesic, treatment for opiate dependence Injected, oral II 1 day - 1 week
Morphine Roxanol, Duramorph Analgesic Injected, oral, smoked II, III 1-2 days
Opium Laudanum, Paregoric; Dover's Powder Analgesic, antidiarrheal Oral, smoked II, III, V 1-2 days
Depressants
Alcohol Beer, Wine, Liquor Antidote for methanol poisoning Oral Not Scheduled 6-10 hours
Barbiturates Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, Phenobarbital; Barbs Anesthetic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative Injected, oral II, III, IV 2-10 days
Benzo-
diazepines
Ativan, Halcion, Librium, Rohypnol, Valium; Roofies, Tranks, Xanax Antianxiety, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative Injected, oral IV 1-6 weeks
Meth-
aqualone
Quaalude, Ludes None Oral I 2 weeks

* Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Schedule I and II drugs have a high potential for abuse. They require greater storage security and have a quota on manufacture among other restrictions. Schedule I drugs are available for research only and have no approved medical use. Schedule II drugs are available only through prescription, cannot have refills and require a form for ordering. Schedule III and IV drugs are available with prescription, may have 5 refills in 6 months and may be ordered orally. Most Schedule V drugs are available over the counter.


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