Drug use remains a significant public health priority in the United States. The number of people struggling with addiction remains at a high level, as does the number of drug overdoses. With so many treatment facilities out there, you might wonder: How long do drugs stay in your system?
It’s not an easy question to answer. Different drugs have different properties and are eliminated at different rates. Your own physiology also plays a significant role. The key thing to focus on with drug use, as always, is what it does to your lifestyle. The more problems they cause, the more likely it is you have a use-disorder that requires treatment. At Atlanta Detox Center, we can help you understand the circumstances of drug use and how to recover, and are here especially for people struggling with drug abuse in Georgia.
What Happens During Drug Use?
Drugs are chemical compounds that impact the functioning of your brain. Many drugs will create a “surge of pleasure” feeling as they trigger the release of the body chemical called dopamine. The more you abuse drugs, the more dopamine is released, and it creates a cycle that can end up in addiction.
Sometimes you can build up a tolerance, requiring more of a drug to produce the same effect. The more you take, the more you reinforce the cycle. You also experience changes in judgment and behavior.
Unfortunately, drug use isn’t as simple as waiting for the drugs to be out of your system. They stay in your body for a long period of time.
How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System?
As soon as we first take a drug, whether an illicit one or one on a prescription, our bodies begin to digest it. And traces of the drugs remain in our systems even after we have felt the initial effects, whether from a pain reliever or the high from cocaine or heroin.
Drugs are chemicals and basic chemistry says they break down at a different rate. And even then, our bodies have different characteristics as well and some people break down drugs faster than others. According to the FDA, some rules of thumb for major drug use categories:
- Marijuana/pot: one to seven days
- Heroin: one to three days
- Ecstasy: two to four days
- Benzodiazepines: One to four days
- Speed: two to three days
Importance of Detox
Recovery typically begins with a drug and alcohol detox center, where you will learn to stop using. You cannot continue your drug use and hope to be successful in rehab, as it just allows your addiction to continue. But detox is a challenge because once you stop using, your body begins to react, and you start experiencing withdrawal symptoms. The reason for this is because your brain has come to depend on the drugs or alcohol to function.
Some withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. For instance, you may experience vomiting or diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. During detox, our detox center staff will monitor your health to keep you stable.
Once you’ve completed detox, then you begin the next stages of recovery, which include counseling and aftercare. It’s important to take advantage of aftercare resources as they help you reduce the risk of relapse.
Getting Treatment Help at Atlanta Detox Center
Drug use remains a serious problem across the United States. If you’re struggling, seek professional help from a facility such as Atlanta Detox Center. We provide substance use treatment programs for drug abuse in GA as well as alcohol treatment services in a safe, stress-free environment that allows you to focus on getting better. Our team of professionals focuses on evidence-based care, using the latest knowledge from addiction medicine. We will guide you and care for you through detox and other stages of treatment, allowing you to heal and begin a return to normalcy. Contact Atlanta Detox Center at 833.631.0534 today for an initial, confidential consultation.