How Long Will Traces of Substance Use Stay in Your System?

Becoming sober is a big task, but every second of hard work that goes into it is well worth it. As a result of sobering up, you have the opportunity to achieve a healthier mind and body. Not to mention, obtaining a sober state may be able to heal broken relationships, allow you to find a new job, and generally get on the right track in life.

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As you go through sobriety, however, you may wonder: how long will the substance(s) stay in your system? You have the question, and we have the answer!

It Depends on the Substance

Every substance has a different half-life. Therefore, some substances will remain in your body longer than others.

What is a half-life, you might wonder? It’s the time it takes for half the amount of a substance you take to filter through your kidneys and liver. How well your kidneys and liver are functioning may have an affect on how long the filtering process takes.

Other Factors that Play a Role

Apart from the type of substance, there are many other factors that play a role in how long it will take for your body to fully expel a substance used.

Factors include your body weight, how much substance was in your system, and how long you’ve been using the substance. Your level of physical activity, how tolerant your body is to the substance, any pre-existing medical conditions, and how much water or food is in your system also matter. Additional substances in your system will also come into account.

Due to all the factors involved, it’s best to learn the art of patience as your body does the work in filtering out the substance(s) rather than trying to calculate how long until your body will be able to get rid of it. Every person is different.

Traces of Substance Stay Longer in Certain Parts of the Body

What’s interesting is that substances will show no traces in one part of your body but may still show traces in other parts of your body.

For example, a urine test for marijuana/THC will only show positive for 1-7 days once the substance is stopped. However, when conducting a saliva test, the substance can only be traced within 24 hours from the last time it was used. On the other hand, a hair strand test may show positive for up to 90 days.

Whether you’re detoxing from alcohol or in the early stages of opioid withdrawal, know that the process of achieving sobriety is soon to come. Once you get over that hump, and the substance is gone from your system, you will be a new person. New opportunities will open up, and your life will be transformed for the better, slowly but surely.


Getting sober involves more than just quitting substance or alcohol use. It also involves patiently playing the waiting game for your body to go through the detox process. While time goes at its own pace and playing the waiting game can be hard, the good news is, 100% sobriety will be right around the corner before you know it.

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