Drug and Alcohol Facts and Info

Frequently Asked Questions. From Parents, Walk-ins, and Color Program Donors

Drug Description How long is it in the system?
Marijuana (THC) THC is the principal psychoactive cannabinoid of the cannabis plant. THC must be smoked/ingested to be metabolised in the body. THC can NOT be metabolized by ‘just being in the room’. Depending on the individuals’ metabolism and usage THC can be detected 1-90 days via urine tests, maybe longer in hair tests.
Opiates The major psychoactive opiates are morphine, codeine, and thebaine. Semi-synthetic opioids such as hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone, while derived from opiates, are not opiates themselves. Opiate panel covers Vicodine, Morphine, and Heroin. Exdended panels cover Oxy family and Hydrocodone family. 6AM is a positive indicator for heroin. 1-3 days

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs primarily used for treating anxiety, but they also are effective in treating several other conditions such as insomnia, seizures, and aid in general anesthesia. Examples of these include: Xanax, Valium, and Librium. 1-14 days. Barbiturates are a class of drugs derived from barbituric acid that act as depressants to the central nervous system. These drugs are frequently used for medical reasons as sedatives or anesthetics. They produce effects similar to ethanol during intoxication. The most commonly abused are Amytal, Nembutal, and Seconal. 1-3 days. Amphetamine is a stimulant and an appetite suppressant. It stimulates the central nervous system. This increases heart rate and blood pressure and decreases appetite, among other effects. Amphetamine is used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD).

1-2 days. Methamphetamine, or meth, is a powerfully addictive stimulant . Its chemistry is similar to amphetamine, but meth has far more dangerous effects on the body’s central nervous system. Meth has a high potential for abuse and may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. 1-2 days. Bath Salts are a synthetic, stimulant powder product that contains amphetamine-like chemicals, including mephedrone, which may have a high risk for overdose. Right now, bath salts are illegal in a growing number of U.S. states. Unknown Spice (K2) is a synthetic drug derived from its natural form then sprayed with synthetic chemicals that, when consumed, allegedly mimic the effects of cannabis. Spice is now considered illegal.1-3 days one use Chronic use similar to THC.

**** Barbiturates have historically played an important role in the treatment of a variety of disorders, including anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, seizure disorders. Although their use in clinical practice has mostly been replaced by the safer benzodiazepines, they are still used in certain clinical situations.

Better educate yourself on drug and alcohol regulations

Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs

Details on Drug Testing

Urine is the specimen of choice for drug testing for the following reasons:

  • Drug levels are higher in urine than in blood and therefore more readily detectable.
  • Drugs in urine are detectable for longer periods of time (days) than they are in blood (hours).
  • A larger specimen volume is usually available for urine than blood.
  • Urine is a non-invasive collection procedure.
  • Testing for drugs of abuse on urine is more cost effective than on blood.

Drug Appearance Times in Urine

  • Amphetamines – 6-12 hours
  • Cannabinoid Metabolites (Marijuana, THC) – 4-6 hours
  • Cocaine Metabolite (Benzoylecognine) – 2-4 hours
  • Opiates (Heroin, Morphine, Codeine) – 6-12 hours
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) – 6-12 hours

Drug Detection Times

Each drug is treated differently in the body and each person can differ in how his/her body handles a particular drug. Generally, the more often a person uses a drug, the longer it can be detected in the urine. For that reason, a frequent user of a drug (used three or more times each week) will have detectable amounts of a drug in the urine longer than an infrequent user (one time each week or less). Chronic users, those who have used a drug every day for an extended period of time, will have detectable amounts of a drug in the urine even longer. The following table is intended as a guide, not absolute truth. Individual differences in metabolism and excretion of drugs and their metabolites make anything more than general guidance impossible.

Type Infrequent User Frequent/Chronic User
Alcohol 3-10 hours 3-10 hours
Amphetamines 1-2 days 7-10 days
Cocaine 5 hours 24 hours
Metabolite Benzolecgonine 1-2 days 1-2 days
Heroin (Morphine) 1-2 days 1-2 days
Morphine 1-2 days 1-2 days
Phencyclidine (PCP) 2-8 days 2-4 weeks
THC (Marijuana metabolite) 1-5 days 2 weeks

Testing Cut-off Levels

Type Screening Test Confirmation Test
Amphetamines 500 ng/ml 250 ng/ml
Cocaine 150 ng/ml 100 ng/ml
Opiates 2000 ng/ml+6 AM test 2000 ng/ml+6 AM test
Phencyclidine (PCP) 25 ng/ml 25 ng/ml
THC (Marijuana metabolite) 50 ng/ml 15 ng/ml
Alcohol greater than 0.02% BrAC 0.04% BrAC

So What if I Got Drunk Last Night — I’m OK Now

TIME ACTION BLOOD/ALCOHOL
2:00 a.m. Goes to bed . . . . . . . . . .250
3:00 a.m. Sleeping . . . . . . . . . . . .235
4:00 a.m. Sleeping . . . . . . . . . . . .220
5:00 a.m. Sleeping . . . . . . . . . . . .205
6:00 a.m. Gets up for work . . . . . .190
7:00 a.m. Wonders why keys don’t fit the car . .175
8:00 a.m. At work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160
9:00 a.m. Spills coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145
10:00 a.m. Still legally intoxicated . . . . . . . . . . . .130
11:00 a.m. Trips and stumbles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115
12 noon Still legally intoxicated. . . . . . . . . . . . .100

Know your Limit – Number of Drinks in One (1) Hour

Approximate Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Drinks       Body Weight in Pounds          
  100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 Influenced
1 .04 .03 .02 .02 .02 .02 .02 .02 Rarely
2 .08 .05 .05 .05 .04 .04 .03 .03  
3 .11 .09 .08 .07 .06 .06 .05 .05  
4 .15 .12 .11 .09 .08 .08 .07 .06 Possibly
5 .19 .16 .13 .12 .11 .09 .09 .08  
6 .23 .19 .16 .14 .13 .11 .10 .09  
7 .26 .22 .19 .16 .15 .13 .12 .11  
8 .30 .25 .21 .19 .17 .15 .14 .13 Definitely
9 .34 .28 .24 .21 .19 .17 .15 .14  
10 .38 .31 .27 .23 .21 .19 .17 .16  

What is a drink? – Subtract 0.015 for each hour of drinking

  • 1 drink 1 oz. 86 proof whisky, gin, vodka, etc.
  • 1 beer (12 oz.) @ 4-6% alcohol
  • 3 oz. Wine (20%) or 6 oz wine (12%)