ClickCease How Long Do Prescription Drugs Stay In Your System? - Granite Recovery Centers

How Long Do Prescription Drugs Stay In Your System?

Each year, misuse of prescription drugs for non-medical uses increases, influencing the rise in drug addiction. Any usage contrary to the doctor’s prescription to treat an illness by relieving pain or reducing depression levels can count as misuse. Opiates, which are sometimes used in behavioral health treatment, are often abused to relieve pain and or act as sedatives.

Taking a drug other than prescribed can lead to addiction over time and cause you to have health risks related to its misuse. Quitting drug addiction takes more than good intention and strong will; it requires treatment to recover and lead a productive life. Granite Recovery Centers can provide you with quality addiction treatment to help you achieve long-term sobriety free from prescription drug misuse.

Factors Influencing Processing of Drugs in the System

The processing of drugs in the body is unique in everyone depending on certain factors listed below. It is also the form of administration that partly determines how fast drugs take effect in the body. Those injected enter and go out of the system sooner compared to those taken as tablets.

Usage Frequency

The frequency of use of prescription drugs largely determines the rate of clearance from the body. Taking too much of them over long periods causes the substances to accumulate, leading to an increase in clearance time. Ensure that you stick to the doctor’s prescription to reduce the risks of drug accumulation inside your body.

Body Mass and Weight

Body mass and weight affect the dosage you receive of a drug. Weight gain sometimes interferes with the rate of metabolism in the body, leading to slower processing of prescription drugs. A higher body mass slows the movement of the intestines, often leading to decreased absorption and excretion time.


Your drug dose is typically a relative proportion to how tall or short you are. It can influence the rate of drug processing in the body as well. Tall people have a more extensive digestive system that increases the surface area of absorption and excretion of the drug. It is why short people take longer to excrete drugs from their systems.


Diversity in gene variations influences the intake of drugs, their absorption in the body and how predisposed you are to addiction. Your genetics affect your preference for specific drugs to others because of how they make you feel, either high or happy. If you’re predisposed to long-term addiction and find yourself misusing prescription drugs, it’s important to get immediate medical attention.

Rate of Metabolism

After administration of a drug, it gets absorbed in the bloodstream to all parts of the body. The rate of metabolism determines how long the prescribed medicine stays in the body. A higher rate of metabolism leads to faster excretion while a lower rate leads to slower excretion.

Functioning of the Liver and Kidney

The liver and kidney are the second major excretion organs of the body after the skin. They determine the rate of excretion of prescribed drugs from the system depending on their health. Poor liver and kidney health lead to reduced excretion, causing the prescribed medicine to stay in the body for a longer time.


Younger people have faster metabolism rates due to higher kidney and liver functioning. This ensures an increase in the intake, processing and excretion of prescribed drugs compared to the metabolism of an older person. In addition, older people are more likely to take many prescribed medicines due to health-related issues that affect the processing of prescribed medication.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Abuse of legal medicine happens when people use drugs other than as prescribed by a physician, or they may even use drugs prescribed for someone else. Taking excess doses of medication is detrimental to your health. Here are some commonly abused drugs that are addictive and dangerous to your health when taken other than as prescribed.


Opioids are the most abused prescription drugs due to their pain-relieving properties. Taking them in large doses may be euphoric, but it causes dangerous side effects that may be life-threatening. They cause drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and mental fog when used in larger quantities.

Commonly abused opioids include fentanyl, hydromorphone, meperidine and oxycodone. Doctors might prescribe codeine for mild pain and morphine for severe pain, but these can cause serious drug addiction when abused. If you find yourself craving higher doses of opioids than your doctor prescribed, seek immediate medical attention before it gets out of hand.

CNS Depressants

CNS depressants and benzodiazepines are sedatives that help reduce anxiety, sleep disorders and panic attacks. They include alprazolam, diazepam and pentobarbital sodium, which act to tranquilize, sedate and slow brain activity. Taking too much of these drugs or not using them as prescribed can quickly lead to dependence.

Once physical dependence arises, you will find it harder to quit the drug. However, you can achieve sobriety by talking to a doctor about treatment or visiting a rehabilitation facility like Granite Recovery Centers. During rehab, professionals will guide you through a 12-step recovery program to ensure that you can recover from addiction and remain sober throughout your life.


Stimulants increase dopamine levels in the brain leading to more focused attention, pleasure and motivation. Taking amphetamine, dextroamphetamine salts and methylphenidate in excess to achieve euphoric highness or alertness may be detrimental to your health. Misuse of these medications leads to anxiety, jitteriness, nervousness and restlessness that may be life-threatening in the future.

Accessing excess doses typically requires that you go out your way to engage in doctor shopping, develop deceptive behaviors and go through periods of hyperactivity. To avoid this, you need to visit a recovery center to access professional care, help and guidance. You will likely go through drug detox for a couple of days and experience withdrawal symptoms in the process, but Granite Recovery Centers offers around-the-clock medical monitoring to help you be comfortable during detox. Then, addiction treatment can begin. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.

Prescription Drugs in Your System

Prescription drugs stay in the body for a certain average period, varying based on your physical measurements, rate of metabolism, age and genetics. Tests can assess how long prescription drugs stay in the body through analyzing the urine, sweat or hair to check for the presence of prescription drugs.


The kidney filters unwanted substances from the blood as urine, including prescribed drugs over time. Urine tests are the easiest and most efficient tests to detect drug levels in the body. Further testing can determine the exact amount of a drug in the body.

Urine tests detect opioids like heroin and benzodiazepines for up to seven days and detect stimulants for up to five days after usage. Urinalysis testing begins with its collection in a specimen cup. It goes through analysis in a medical lab or clinic.


The skin excretes sweat from sweat glands to release excess water, ammonia, salts, sugars and urea. The latter contains traces of drugs after a specific window period of use depending on the amount of usage. Abuse of prescription drugs may cause you to test positive on a sweat patch test.

The test detects opiates like heroin and stimulants like amphetamines within 14 days after intake. The process requires you to have a sweat patch on respiring parts of the skin to allow fast absorption by an absorbent pad. It is an efficient test if you do not prefer having your urine tested.


Toxins, heavy metals and drugs often accumulate on the hair follicles in high concentrations through excretory processes. The drugs leave the skin surface on the head and attach to the growing shaft and hair extrusion due to their high elasticity and durability. The hair test often tests the presence of illegal drug use and misuse of prescribed drugs, making it efficient and effective.

A study shows that a hair test for opioids, benzodiazepines and stimulants has a window period of 90 days. Removal of hair follicles by cutting them with scissors from your head occurs during the test. The hair sample then goes through lab testing to detect drug usage after the window period.

Dealing With Detox from Prescription Drugs

Detox requires that you stop using a drug to ensure it gets cleared from your body. The process is not easy as you will likely experience the withdrawal symptoms below, which may drain you both mentally and physically. You might fall victim to relapse if you do not seek professional help during drug detoxification, so it’s recommended that you go through detox at a rehab or medical facility.

Visit a doctor to receive treatment or enroll at Granite Recovery Centers. We offer an effective detox program to help you stick with the recovery process.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea or vomiting is a common drug withdrawal symptom associated with prescription drug abuse. It makes you feel sick in the stomach and may lead to frequent vomiting, even if your stomach is empty. The symptoms may be mild at the beginning and get severe when the detox process takes full effect.

To cope with these symptoms, you can undergo acupuncture or massage the area associated with relieving nausea. Support this by constant hydration and a nutritious diet plan.


Withdrawal from the abuse of prescription drugs may cause drowsiness where you feel tired even after resting. It limits you from being productive by hindering your mental capacity to deal with cognitive reasoning. In some cases, drowsiness exacerbates the underlying health condition that you were taking prescription drugs for.


Dizziness causes you to feel lightheaded, unbalanced and disoriented. It occurs during detox due to the body trying to release toxins from the systems. In some situations, it may be extreme, especially when a person also has disorders of the inner ear or the vestibular system.

Cope with dizziness by staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep and possibly practicing acupuncture. Massage your body before going to bed to reduce the levels of being dizzy.

Mood Swings

Mood changes often affect you when suffering from substance use disorder, causing you to react differently than before you were misusing prescription drugs. It may indicate that you suffer from bipolar disorder or ADHD apart from the influence of drug deficit in the body during detox.

Treatment of mood swings requires that professionals closely supervise you in a rehab center. Taking up therapy sessions can help by determining the root cause of triggering events.

Impaired Functions

Excessive intake of prescription drugs damages brain cells, leading to impaired judgment. Detoxification intensifies this state because the abused drugs do not activate the brain cells. You end up having reduced attention span and problems with short-term memory.

Take some time to rest and avoid doing tedious work during detox to heal the damaged brain cells. Hydrate often and eat nutritious meals to help you gain energy and stay motivated to maintain your sobriety.

Ways of Managing Withdrawal Symptoms of Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse causes physical and emotional damage, especially during the detox period. In extreme situations, it requires you to take up a partial hospitalization program to achieve sobriety. We have an intensive detox program geared to meet your physical and emotional needs and help you recover from drug addiction.

At Granite Recovery Centers, we encourage individuals in recovery to exercise to help them rebuild their strength and improve their mood. Take up aerobic classes, go for morning and evening runs, or take frequent walks. It helps relieve you from stress and tension, which ensures that you sleep and work better and increases your resistance to relapse.

We also emphasize having a balanced and nutritious diet as it helps heal the mind and the body from drug toxins. Accompany healthy meals with water to stay hydrated. As your body heals from drug use, it’s important to take good care of it.

Understanding the Effects of Prescription Drugs on Your Body

Prescription drugs stay in the body anywhere from hours to days depending on the drug. It also depends on your physical height, age, and liver and kidney functioning.

Abusing prescription drugs easily leads to addiction and causes detrimental effects on your health. Ensure that you follow your doctor’s prescription to avoid falling victim to drug addiction. If you find yourself struggling with drug dependence, reach out to a rehab center to receive the care, treatment and support you deserve during recovery.