How Long Does a Drug Test Take – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 48 hours

Ideally, we can define drug tests as a test conducted on human fluids such as blood, urine, sweat, or saliva. Hair and breath can be used to detect the presence or absence of drugs.

The common drug test is urine testing, which commonly screens for illegal drugs. This test is also done on athletes to detect if they are using drugs such as steroids to enhance their performance.

It’s also used by traffic police officers to detect if drivers are driving vehicles under the influence of alcohol in the blood, which is referred to as Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

How Long Does a Drug Test Take?

Grapes StorageLifespan
Blood test48 hours
Urine Test1-3 days
Hair Test2-10 days

The table below shows the type of drug test and its duration when the results are out for use.

  1. For starters, drug tests done through blood tests last for around 48 hours, which is two days. The results are normally accurate. The blood test takes quite a long time; therefore, it is not the most preferred.
  2. In addition, the urine test takes the shortest time to get results compared to the rest. It takes approximately 1-3 days before getting the results for the drug test.
  3. Hence urine test is mostly recommended due to its nature of being fast as well least expensive.
  4. Lastly, we have a hair test for testing drug tests. This test takes approximately 2-10 days. It takes longer compared to urine tests and blood tests, but it is highly recommended.
  5. The reason why it’s the most recommended is that it can be able to detect any type of drugs compared to a urine test and blood test. Hence, it is the best option for its accuracy.
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Why Does It Last That Long?

  1. To begin with, the urine test takes the shortest period of approximately 1-3 days. However, the results highly depend on when the test will be conducted.
  2. If the test is positive, the results will be ready after 4-5 days. If the test is negative, the results are usually ready on the third day. That is why it’s mostly preferred.
  3. For the blood test, the negative results will take approximately 48 hours, while for the positive test, it will take an addition of 2 days or more.
  4. This type of test is not recommended because the duration of time before the results are out is considered too slow.
  5. Usually, drugs cannot be detected in the blood after a period of 48 hours; that is why it takes longer if the results are positive.
  6. Lastly, the hair test takes approximately 2-10 days. This takes longer than the urine test. This test is commonly recommended because it can detect the presence of drugs 90 days before the day of testing.
  7. If the test happens to be positive, that means the individual has been using the drug multiple times.

References

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0021-9010.75.6.629
  2. https://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/168/2/251.short
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