Urinalysis is one of the most common ways that an employer may test for drug use, which immediately begs the question: how long after ingesting a substance will it remain detectable in urine? While there is no one simple answer to this question, certain factors often affect the detectability of substances within a urine test.

Employers may also order employees to submit to blood or hair follicle testing, which will yield varying results depending on the type of drug implicated and the subject’s metabolism.

Moreover, problems with the testing procedures can yield unreliable or tainted results, which could in turn result in unlawful termination or unfair adverse treatment. If you are facing this type of situation, be sure to call a Denver criminal defense lawyer from the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara right away at 720-379-8262.

Detection Timeframes

urine test

The following list highlights the most commonly tested drugs, along with the average detection timeframe depending on whether the test involves urine or blood.

  • Alcohol: three to five days for urine, one to 12 hours for blood
  • Amphetamines (speed): one to three days for urine, 12 hours for blood
  • Barbiturates: two to four days for urine, 24 to 48 hours for blood
  • Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax): three to six weeks for urine, 24 to 48 hours for blood
  • Cocaine: three to four days for urine, 24 to 48 hours for blood
  • Opiates (heroin, prescription painkillers): three to four days for urine, 12 to 24 hours for blood
  • Marijuana (single use): one to seven days for urine, 12 to 24 hours for blood
  • Marijuana (chronic use): seven to 30 days for urine, two to seven days for blood
  • Methamphetamine: three to six days for urine, 24 to 48 hours for blood
  • MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly): two to five days for urine, 24 to 48 hours for blood

Aside from the single usage of marijuana, a hair follicle test can detect all of the above for up to 90 days.

Factors Affecting Detectability

A number of factors can affect whether a drug is detectable using the above methods. First, the test subject’s personal physical makeup could have a strong impact on detectability, namely the subject’s weight, metabolism, and age.

Secondly, the test results will vary depending upon whether the test subject is a chronic drug user or used the drug one or two times; the latter will likely be more difficult to detect.

Lastly, the integrity of the testing materials, laboratory, and technicians can have a dramatic impact on test results, with many tests resulting in false positives due to defective equipment or improper protocol.

Contact a Denver Drug Test Attorney Today

If you are facing a difficult situation involving the results of a drug test or would like to discuss your legal options before your next test, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara today at 720-379-8262.