How Long Do the Top 10 Most Addictive Substances Stay in Your System?

Addiction Help

How Long Do the Top 10 Most Addictive Substances Stay in Your System?

This article includes a list of the top 10 most addictive drugs and explains how long it takes for them to get out of your system. We also provide some important information about withdrawal.

As the Drugs Leave Your Body, Expect to Go Through Withdrawal

Withdrawal or “detox” is the process your body goes through as addictive substances leave your body. You should be informed about the process of withdrawal if you want to know how long it will take for a drug to leave your body. As the drug leaves your body, you are sure to be uncomfortable. If you’re about to go through the next few days without using your drug of choice, you need to be educated.

What You Should Know About How Long It Takes Drugs to Get Out of Your System

Answering questions about how long it takes certain drugs out of your system is not easy. Understandably, people want definitive answers when asking about how long they can expect it to take for addictive substances to leave the body. However; this is a rather complicated matter.

Everybody is different. And, every drug is different.

There are two types of drugs – water soluble and fat soluble. Most drugs are water soluble, meaning they dissolve in water and are processed and removed from the body with water. Fat soluble drugs (marijuana) dissolve in your fat cells. This has a great deal to do with how long drugs stay in your system.

A person’s overall health and ability to process toxins, their diet, their genetics, and the health of their liver and kidneys have everything else to do with how quickly the body will get drugs out of the system. As a rule, most drugs (except marijuana) will get out of your system within one week’s time.

Here’s a list of the 10 most addictive substances and how long it takes them to get out of your system.

#1 When You Smoke Marijuana, You’re Making a Commitment


When it comes to smoking marijuana, the answer to how long it stays in your system is not quite as simple as it is when discussing other drugs.

As explained, marijuana is fat soluble. This means marijuana is not dissolved in water, but instead stores in your fat cells. Your weight has everything to do with how long marijuana will stay in your system. The more fat you carry on your body, the longer marijuana is going to stay in your system.

Another very important factor when figuring how long marijuana is going to stay in your system is how much you have been smoking. The more you smoke, the longer marijuana is going to stay in your system. If you just take a few puffs, marijuana can get out of your body in a few days. If you smoke a joint, it could take two weeks. Beyond that, let’s refer back to the weight issue.

Fact: for people who are severely overweight, it can take up to three months for marijuana to get out of your system. So, a chronic user should expect marijuana to stay in your body no less than a month and as long as three months.

Yes, bummer.

#2 You Will Withdrawal from Opiates in About Five Days  


Whether it’s street heroin or prescription opiates like Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, or Percocet, it takes about 3-7 days for opiates to get out of your system completely. But, you want to know a little more before you stop taking opiates.

People who have kicked opiates without medical supervision say it was the most excruciating experience of their lives – even worse than childbirth. For someone who has been abusing prescription opiates, the withdrawal process is among the most painful on the planet. Make no mistake. For opiates to get out of your system, you have to withdrawal.

Most people need to detox from opiates in a medical facility or in-patient treatment center. This is the right way to get off prescription opiates. With the help of an addiction treatment staff, you can “step down” off opiates, meaning you slowly remove them from your body. Plus, you can be given sedatives to help ease the suffering of the withdrawal from opiates.

If you choose not to safely withdraw from opiates with the assistance of addiction specialists, here’s what you can expect –about a week of sheer terror and absolute misery. You will suffer. A lot.

Yes. A professional detox is the way to go on this one.

#3 How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?


Cocaine comes in two forms – powered cocaine and rock cocaine. Powered cocaine (also called “white” or “powder”) is either snorted or injected. Rock cocaine (also called “dope” or “hard”) is smoked. It’s easy to get hooked on this powerful stimulant.

It usually takes 3-5 days for cocaine to get out of your system whether you smoke, sniff, or stick it. However; it can take as long as two weeks for cocaine to get completely out of your system. Again, as is the case with all drugs, it depends on the person. How well your body metabolizes cocaine determines how long it takes the junk to get out of your body.

The general rule is that cocaine will be out of most people’s system within seven days.

#4 Want Know More About Benzos?


Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin, are popular sedatives that are prescribed for anxiety and mood disorders. Also known as “benzos,” these highly addictive substances cause withdrawal symptoms very similar to those of opiates.

Like most water-soluble drugs, benzodiazepines typically leave your system within seven days. However; you will likely feel withdrawal symptoms for up to three weeks. Depending on how many benzos you have been taking and for how long, you may need a professional detox to get off this prescription drug. Quitting benzodiazepines can be very painful and cause seizures or even death.

The first 90 days is vital to your recovery. Think about getting treatment.

#5 Highly Addictive Methamphetamines Get Out of Your Body in a Few Days


Typically, Meth gets out of your system in 3-5 days. You should know that meth messes with your mind. As the drug leaves your body, you can expect to have a very unpleasant and mentally confusing few days. Today’s street meth is mixed together with all sorts of weird junk – like pesticides, for example. You truly are poisoning your brain with you sniff, smoke, or shoot this stuff.

Once you remove these chemicals from your brain, it takes awhile for your own natural biochemistry to reorient itself to a state of wellness. This process can be very confusing. You might experience hallucinations, delusions, loss of motor skills, paranoia, and extreme depression.

It’s a good idea to withdrawal from meth with someone you trust. If you can’t do this from the comfort of a rehab facility, think about calling a friend and staying at their place for a week or so.

#6 You Can Be Alcohol-Free in 24 Little Hours – What a Difference a Day Makes

Most people don’t classify alcohol as a drug. This is mostly because alcohol is legal in the United States and it’s sold at ball games, so it must be safe, right? Not! Alcohol is one of the most dangerous and highly addictive drugs in the world.

After a hardcore night of drinking, you can expect all the alcohol to be out of your system within 12- 24 hours. You might still feel drunk or hungover for as many as four days.

There are different stages of alcoholism.  If you’re a chronic drinker, keep in mind that quitting drinking isn’t as easy as just putting down the bottle. You may need professional help to withdrawal from alcohol. You can have seizures or even die from alcohol detox. If you have a problem with alcohol, help is available.

#7 GHB – After the Club Shuts Down, You’ll be Detoxing for Weeks


Known as “the club drug,” GHB gets out of your system relatively quickly. Sold in a liquid form and taken for its euphoric effect, GHB has become very popular on college campuses in the United States in recent years. Usually, the stuff is out of your system within 24-48 hours.

GHB has become known as the date rape drug. Unsuspecting victims are slipped the drug and rendered unconscious. They are subsequently sexually assaulted and have no recollection of the event. This is a popular date rape drug because it is undetectable the next day when a medical professional conducts a rape kit after the trauma.

While GHB may get out of your body in a hurry, the lingering effects of withdrawal last for weeks. People who kick GHB after using the stuff heavily say they have body aches, fatigue, depression, and insomnia for as long as a month after they stop the stuff.

#8 MDMA Will Have You Rolling for Days


MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, or “Mollys” is powerful stuff. Originally designed to facilitate a therapeutic environment that would encourage couple’s therapy, MDMA is now used on the streets by millions of people around the world. It is highly addictive and very expensive. One Molly usually goes on the black market for about $25.

MDMA gets out of your system in about 72 hours. However; it can take some people a week to fully process MDMA from their bodies. Like every other substance on this list, MDMA is highly addictive. If you are abusing this drug on a regular basis, you are playing with fire. You may already be addicted.

To be sure, getting off Mollys or ecstasy isn’t easy. Just like every other drug, you will have withdrawal symptoms and feel pretty bad for a week or so.

#9 Methadone – How Long Does It Hang Around When You Quit Using


Methadone presents quite an irony. People begin taking the prescription methadone because they want to stop abusing heroin or prescription opiates. The problem is, Methadone is a highly addictive substance as well. Quitting heroin with Methadone treatments is a step in the right direction. But, eventually, you have to recover from addiction to Methadone.

Medical professionals report that Methadone stays in your system for approximately five days. That means for the average person, Methadone leaves your body within a week. Keep in mind, though, that quitting the use of Methadone will bring the onset of heroin withdrawal symptoms.

You should never attempt to withdrawal from Methadone without being under the supervision of a doctor. Talk to your addiction treatment services counselor where you get your methadone to put a treatment plan into effect.

#10 Nicotine – Yes, It’s a Drug People, and A Highly Addictive One


Most people are surprised to see nicotine on a list of drugs. But, like alcohol, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it isn’t a drug. By definition, nicotine is a drug. If you happen to be a smoker, and you have ever tried to quit, you know what a powerful habit nicotine can be.

Smoking cigarettes is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. This is because nicotine makes the pain of withdrawal almost completely unbearable. Nicotine can stay in your system up to a week. Getting this drug out of your body during that week, quite simply, feels like hell on earth. The cravings are unbearable.

If you’re ready to quit smoking, you might want to talk to your doctor and get some kind of assistance. There are products and medication available to ease the process of quitting nicotine.

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Get Those Drugs Out of Your System and Find Recovery

If you’re reading this article, you may be wondering, how do I really know if I am an addict? Chances are, if you have to ask yourself this question, you already know the answer. If you need to know how long certain drugs will take to get out of your system, you might have a problem. If you do, help is available.

To aid your body in the process of getting drugs out of your system, drink a lot of water. Get some good rest and stay away from fatty, greasy foods. Remember, the only way to get drugs out of your body is to stop using them. The only way to recover from addiction is abstinence from all drugs.

Do you have any experience with how long drugs stay in your system? Share your story here.

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How Long Do the Top 10 Most Addictive Substances Stay in Your System

October 7th, 2017|6 Comments


  1. Peyton Centanni September 14, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    I was put on methadone for chronic pain following 3 hip surgeries and a lung cancer diagnosis. When I got to a point that I didn’t feel I needed continual pain management, I tried to stop taking it on my own. Huge mistake. Then I went to an inpatient detox center (paid cash because they didn’t take my insurance…$7000 for 7 days) and they “accidentally” sent me into precipitative withdrawal by giving me Suboxone way too soon (21 hours after last dose of methadone). Once that was over I was fine…until the day after I got home. They had stopped the Suboxone and I went right back into severe wds and ended up in the ER with orthostatic hypotension, ulcerative colitis, totally dehydrated and actually stopped breathing for a minute. It was horrendous and their solution was to put me back on methadone. I spent the last month weaning down to just 5mgs a day (from 40mgs) and went to an addiction specialist yesterday. He set up a plan for me (at home) and I took my first dose of subutex this morning. Hallelujah! No precipitative withdrawal and I feel just fine. I’ll do that again tomorrow and then start a low dose of Suboxone. After 26 days I will taper off the Suboxone as well. A competent detox/rehab facility would have sent me home with Suboxone to continue the process of I wasn’t staying for rehab. I don’t feel the need for rehab because I’ve proven that my dependence was due to over prescribing by my physician and not “abuse” by me. I proved I could do it on my own (after a safe doctor monitored detox) because I was able to taper down from 49mgs to 5 in a short period of time and never once took more than I was supposed to for that day. I urge anyone dealing with a methadone dependence to contact THIS or any other reputable recovery facility so that you have a safe detox and a better chance of not returning to the drug later on. Precipitative withdrawal from methadone was pure torture like nothing I could imagine. I was literally praying for death. If you can avoid methadone I sugges doing so. I also think doctors should be required to earn a patient about the addictive nature of this drug before prescribing it. My doctor has since lost his ability to write controlled substances due to numerous patient complaints regarding his over prescribing. I wish you all good health.

    • Ashwood Recovery September 16, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      Thank you for sharing your personal experience! Wishing you the best as you continue your journey!

  2. Charlene September 17, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Methadone is controversial since it’s basically just a transfer from being addicted to whatever said narcotic to methadone. Yet cuz methadone has a longer shelf life and there’s no high, per se, when taken as prescribed in a clinic setting. It can help someone by making an unmanageable life be functional again: allowing for employment and responsibilities. If it’s impossible for you to remain abstinent, I encourage you to try methadone, even just detox. I know my life improved almost immediately when I started taking it. Living as a heroin addict, being a slave to that needle, is no life, although you may think so in the midst of the euphoric high, but when you come down and your dope sick again? Life is f***ing miserable

    • Ashwood Recovery September 23, 2018 at 8:17 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story! Wishing you the best as you continue your journey!

  3. Christopher V November 18, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    I’ve been taking Methadone for 4.5 years and let me tell you it has saved my life. It depends on your situation, Methadone isn’t for everyone it works for some and for some it doesn’t. My dependence started from legit prescription use and my doctor moved out of state so I was on my own to find a doctor to continue writing my medications and unfortunately every doctor that I tried refused to continue me on narcotics. That’s when my withdrawals starting to kick in and it’s one of the worst feelings a person can experience in life. You will do anything to feel better again even if it means breaking the law that’s how bad it is. My therapist suggested I get on Methadone but I had heard a lot of negative things about the drug I thought it was just for heroin addicts but I was wrong. Since I started taking it it has helped with my chronic pain and it has stabilized me enough that I can get out and enjoy life more. I do know that coming off Methadone is very difficult unless you do it under medical supervision with a slow taper process. If I had to do it over again I would have never started taking painkillers because even if you don’t abuse them your body and mind gets dependent on them and you will have to go through the horrible withdrawals. I just wanted to share my story to let others know that you are not alone there are thousands of people struggling with Addiction/dependence issues. God bless.

    • Ashwood Recovery November 23, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you for sharing, Christopher. Your experience is detailed and will help others. Much appreciated! Best wishes.

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