How Long Will Drugs Show In A Urine Test?

How Long Will Drugs Show In A Urine Test? DATOS

How Long Will Drugs Show In A Urine Test? The duration for which drug and alcohol testing can notice in your body relies on different factors, like the specific drug and alcohol testing methods used, the quantity taken, the potency of the substances, and how often they have been used.

Different types of samples can be used for drug and alcohol testing misuse, like urine, hair, blood, and nail specimens. Each of these tests has a different detection period, with some revealing usage as recent as 10 hours and others detecting it for up to a year.

The methods used for drug and alcohol testing usage include:

Methods of Drug and Alcohol Testing

The methods used for drug and alcohol testing usage include:

Urine Test

How Long Will Drugs Show In A Urine Test? The process of drug and alcohol testing urine to identify drug and alcohol use is a fast method, often yielding immediate results.

Alcohol can be detected in urine under an hour after consumption, reaching its peak concentration about 5.5 hours later.

When using urine samples, the detection for alcohol ranges from 24-80 hours, depending on the amount consumed.

The Ethyl Glucuronide(EtG) presence in urine can be noticed for about 5 days.

The time period for which drugs can be detected in urine changes based on the specific type of drug consumed. Like, cocaine can be detected for up to 3 days after the use, ecstasy for up to 4 days, and heroin for up to 5 days. You can refer to the table below for a complete understanding of the detection for drugs in urine or contact DNA Legal for further information.

Blood Test

The detection periods for alcohol in the blood can vary greatly, as it depends on the type of blood test that has been used, ranging from just a few hours to as long as six weeks.

The most precise blood test for determining any alcohol consumption, whether it is excessive abuse, is the test for phosphatidyl ethanol(PEth). The accepted period for detecting alcohol with this test is up to 28 days. However, the duration of detection can be extended with greater exposure to alcohol.

In addition to PEth, other blood tests like Liver-Function Test(LFT), carbohydrate-deficient Transferrin(CDT), and Mean Corpuscular Volume-(MCV) Full Blood Count (specifically can be used to observe high alcohol consumption).

Just like urine, the detection periods for drugs in blood exhibit changes, ranging from a few hours to several days. The duration of detection depends on factors like as the specific drug taken, the purity of the substance used, the person’s metabolic rate, or more.


A breathalyzer test gauges the blood alcohol content (BAC) in your breath and serves as an easy method for immediate detection of recent alcohol consumption.

The duration for which alcohol can be detected through this test relies on the amount of alcohol taken and the metabolism of your body or processing of alcohol.

On average, it is estimated that the human body metabolizes alcohol at a rate of 0.0015 BAC/hour. Like, if your BAC is 0.030, it would take about 2 hours for traces of alcohol to leave your system completely.

Hair Test

Using a hair sample for testing has the most extended detection period for both drugs and alcohol.

With a hair sample, we can trace alcohol usage for up to 3 to 6 months, while drug detection can span up to one year.

The length of hair will determine the detection window. Given that hair typically grows at an average rate of 1 cm per month, a 6 cm hair sample can be examined to cover a comprehensive 6-month history of alcohol or drug use.

Fingernail Test

Fingernail testing is a less commonly known approach for alcohol and drug testing.

This method, supported by several peer-reviewed research papers (example), proves to be a dependable means of detecting drug and alcohol abuse.

A fingernail test offers a drug or alcohol abuse history spanning 3 to 6 months (6 to 12 months for toenails).

This testing method is commonly employed when a participant has no or limited hair available for analysis.

The nail testing advantage over hair lies in its robust nature, as it is less susceptible to processes that could potentially compromise the accuracy of results, such as chemical treatments used on hair like dyeing or bleaching. This attribute ensures an efficient conclusion.

Similar to hair, fingernails and toenails consist of keratin, a protein substance.

Both hair and nails offer easily collectable and transportable samples, and they also provide a longer period of detection for various substances.

Hair testing generally requires about 14 days from the time a drug is consumed for it to become detectable in the hair.

According to the guidelines provided by the Society of Hair Testing, the average growth rate of hair signifies that each 1cm of head hair corresponds to 1 month. Like, if 3 cm of hair were tested, it would represent a 3-month period in terms of drug detection.

The duration of detection can vary based on multiple factors, like the frequency of use or abuse (chronic or moderate), metabolic rate, age, body mass, and other relevant considerations.

Drug and Alcohol and DNA Legal Testing

How Long Will Drugs Show In A Urine Test? DNA Legal offers drug and alcohol testing services for Regulatory Organizations, UK Police, and Local Authorities. They conduct tests using blood, hair, and fingernail samples to detect over 2,500 drugs, with new psychoactive substances and special prescription drugs. If you need more information, feel free to contact them or visit their pages dedicated to drug and alcohol testing.

Read More: How Long Will Drugs Show In A Urine Test?