How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your Body?
Determining how long a particular drug stays in your system and could be detected by a urine test depends on several factors. These factors include your age, weight, activity level, what drug you’ve used, how much you’ve used and for how long. Most drugs will stay in your system and will be detectible for at least a few days after use. Drug testing, when carefully collected and interpreted, provides information that can help doctors create an addiction treatment plan. At Landmark Recovery, we utilize drug tests to see what substances a patient has used and to monitor their progress while in treatment.
The most common drug test used is the SAMHSA-5, which includes amphetamines, marijuana (THC) cocaine, opiates and phencyclidine (PCP). Many substances much undergo metabolism in the liver before they can be eliminated in urine. Blood and breath tests reflect moment-to-moment serum levels of a drug, offering the earliest and shortest detection window. Urine offers a longer detection window, which drugs can be detected in hair much longer. The detection windows for alcohol and drugs varies largely due to their degree of fat solubility. THC, a highly fat-soluble compound, can be detected in urine for weeks after last usage in people who use it daily. Here’s a look at detection windows according to drug and test method.
Depending on the patient, the staff at Landmark Recovery’s detox center may recommend the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for the withdrawal process. Typically, these detox medications help to mitigate the negative side effects of drug and alcohol withdrawal and along with clinical health monitoring eliminates the possibility of death or relapse during this period. Some examples of commonly used detox medicines include:
Anticonvulsants and Anti-Nausea Medications
Withdrawal from drugs can induce serious physical side effects including seizures, nausea, and diarrhea. Clinicians at our detox center will administer appropriate levels of anticonvulsant and anti-nausea medications to ease the patient’s transition during one of the most difficult parts of recovery. These include Gabapentin, Tegretol, Zofran, and Dramamine to name a few.
Campral has been on the market since it was initially approved by the FDA in 2004 and is generally used during alcohol detox to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Campral has been shown in clinical studies to be an effective tool for patients to achieve long-term sobriety from alcohol. It works by stimulating the GABA receptors in the brain, like benzodiazepines, while also subduing the NMDA receptors. This makes withdrawal from alcohol easier to cope with, restoring the brain to a stable state.
Suboxone, most often used in treatment for opioid addiction, is a combination of two different drugs: buprenorphine (an opioid activator) and naloxone (an opioid antagonist). This combination of opposing forces provides a way for addicts to gradually wean themselves off of their pre-existing addiction while minimizing the effects that full-on withdrawal would otherwise trigger. Suboxone is administered with a light film or pill and is intended for the treatment of opioid dependence.
Buprenorphine, while used as a part of Suboxone, can also be administered by itself. Buprenorphine works with the same opioid receptors that heroin affects, but it is limited and not nearly as potent. Buprenorphine is effective during medical detoxification for withdrawal and cravings.
Is Detox Dangerous?
Detox can be a dangerous and potentially life-threatening process without the proper help and support. Withdrawal from alcohol can produce complications such as convulsions, where the body goes into epileptic seizures, and cardiac arrhythmia, where the heart goes into spasms, two possibly fatal outcomes for heavy drinkers who go cold turkey. This is why hospital and treatment center staff will sometimes advise individuals to continue drinking before checking in for treatment.
At Landmark Recovery’s detox center, patient withdrawal is medically managed in a supportive residential environment with 24/7 care providers available to monitor for possibly life-threatening withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and DT’s.
What is Medical Detox Like?
Upon admission to our detox facility and programs, Landmark staff will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your health history and addiction. This will include a physical exam and psychiatric exam. A discharge plan including intensive outpatient services and alumni support will also be crafted to ensure that appropriate care continues after detoxification. Within 24 hours of admittance to our detox center, the intake clinician or primary addiction counselor will complete a biopsychosocial evaluation and compile a master treatment plan for you. We’ll ask that your family members discuss the appropriate ongoing treatment options. It’s important that you have a strong and caring support network.
Patients can be discharged from the medical detox center when the following criteria are met:
- Patient no longer meets all elements of medical necessity as defined by the ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) criteria for addictive, substance-related, and co-occurring conditions.
- The individual and family are not involved to the best of their ability in the treatment and discharge planning process and there is no reasonable chance of improving this condition
- The patient is actively suicidal, demonstrates violent behavior, has an acute, life-threatening illness or condition that requires transfer, or the patient is pregnant.
How Can I Get More Information about Drug and Alcohol Detox?
If you or a loved one needs help, please call our confidential admissions line now at 888-448-0302. We can often arrange for you to begin treatment at one of our rehab facilities near you within a few days. Addiction is a disease and seeking help is not weakness. The detox centers at Landmark Recovery provide the tools and environment you need to help you reclaim your life from drug or alcohol addiction but not until you take that all important first step and contact us today.