Are Drugs Still in Your Body When They’re No Longer Effective?

With prescription drugs, doctors are well aware of how long certain drugs are going to be active within the human body. The main reason for this focus is they use this information to determine how they are going to write prescriptions. In the world of illicit drug use, concerns about how long drugs stay in the human body are a bit more nefarious. People who are using illicit drugs gauge their abuse based on how long the drug will provide them with the desired effect.

In the case of people who are under the control of law enforcement, there are always concerns about how long a particular drug will stay in a person’s system, the fear being that of drug testing. As a drug abuser, you need to understand how your body metabolizes the drug you are using. Failure to get a grasp on this information could lead you right into an accidental drug overdose. Yes, you might have to figure out this information by trial and error with hopes the errors don’t cause serious harm to your health. As an alternative, you can always do a little research to help you understand how your body will likely dispense of the drug you are using.

Are Drugs Still in Your Body When They’re No Longer Effective?

Here is a look at the science behind how the body metabolized drugs. Almost all drugs are metabolized in segments called “half-lives.” What does that mean? According to the drugs.com website, the term half-life is defined as follows: “the period of time that it takes for the concentration or amount in the body of that drug to be reduced by exactly one half (50%). The symbol for the half-life is T½.” This is how science determines how long a drug is going to be effective.

The Math

Here is how the math works. We will start with a drug X that has a known half life of two hours. That means 50% of the remaining drug in the system will metabolize (be used) every two hours. Here is the applicable matrix if 200mg are taken per dose:

  • During hours 0 to 2, 100mg will be dispensed
  • During hours 3 to 4, 50mg will be dispensed
  • During hours 5 to 6, 25mg will be dispensed
  • During hours 7 to 8, 12.5mg will be dispensed
  • During hours 9 to 10, 6.25mg will be dispensed
  • During hours 11 to 12, 3.125mg will be dispensed

Technically, this continues until the amount is so small, it becomes undetectable. What the example indicates is drug X is expected to be active in the human body for about 12 hours. If a doctor wants a patient’s body to have at least 25mg of active drug at all times, they would likely prescribe the drug in such a way that the patient would be required to take the desired dose every 6 hours. Now that we have provided you with information about how your body is using the drugs you are abusing, we can answer the titled question.

How This Applies to You

To properly answer the titled question, we will define the term effective as how long you are getting the desired effect. The answer to the question is yes, a drug is still detectable in your system long after the drug has lost its effectiveness. How long that is will certainly vary from one substance to the next. Your task is to figure out how all of this applies to the drug or drugs you are using.

If you are subject to drug testing for any reason, you would be well served to understand how long the drug you are taking is detectable. Drug testing kits can pick up very small portions. In many cases, even the smallest of detections could land you right back in trouble. Warning: Some drugs are detectable for up to a month. If you are living in the cycle of addiction, there is a very good chance your drug of choice is always detectable in your system.

The best way to avoid putting your life in harm’s way is to stop using and reach out for help with your addiction issues. That’s is something with which we can assist you. To get our help, it is incumbent on you to make the first move. What we want you to do is pick up the phone and speak to one of our representatives. You can reach us at 772-934-6580.