If you’re getting drug tested, you may be wondering just how long those substances can stay in your system. This is especially true if you’re worried about facing legal charges based on the results of the test.

Now, the answers are different for different types of drugs. Just like alcohol leaves your system relatively quickly, things like marijuana, cocaine or heroin can stay far longer. The reality, though, is that it’s not exactly the same for everyone. We all have a variety of different factors that contribute, and it’s important to know what they are. Here are a few examples:

  • Whether or not you are actually addicted to the substance
  • The frequency of use and whether or not you’re a chronic user
  • Your age
  • Your weight
  • The percentage of body fat that makes up that weight
  • How long you have been using the drug in question
  • Your height
  • How fast your metabolism works
  • Your physiological makeup

Many of these factors change over time. You know that people tend to gain weight and body fat as they grow older, but did you know that your metabolism also starts to slow down? If you’re past your 20s, you’re probably never going to hit those optimal levels again, and that can make drugs stay in your system for a very different amount of time.

Understanding what impacts the drug tests is helpful, but it does not change the outcome of those tests. If you do wind up facing some serious legal charges and you want to protect your future, make sure you know all of the defense options you have.