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Frequently Asked Questions

Drug Testing

Amphetamines can generally be detected 72-96 hours in a urine test and 4-8 hours in a blood test. However these figures should be used as a guide only, and are based on averages in the population.

No. This is a myth. Drinking a lot of water does not work to cheat a drug test, or get rid of the drug faster from your body.


There is no way to mask drug use in a drug test. To test negative on a drug test, other than not taking drugs, you need to make sure your body has eliminated all of the drugs you have taken by metabolising them.

Drugs affect every person differently. The drug you use (strength, dose, how and how often you use it and other drugs) can affect how long it stays in your system. It can also be affected by you as an individual depending on your tolerance, age and gender, overall health, metabolism, mood and environment you are in.

Drug testing is rarely conducted when someone presents to the hospital, as medical staff treat the symptoms a person presents to the hospital with. On the rare occasion that drug testing is done, the hospital would not send the information to the police.

The only case in which Police are able to access these results is through the court subpoena system. Ambulance, hospital and medical staff are there to help the patient and act in the patients best medical interests.

It is important to remember that Ambulance and Medical staff are there to help, not to dob. Police are only notified if there is a death or if staff feel threatened.

The only way to test negative on a drug test, other than not taking drugs, is to make sure your body has eliminated all of the drugs you have taken by metabolising it. However, with hair drug tests, whilst your body might have eliminated the drug, there may still be residues in the hair follicle that could still show up tests, therefore is different to a urine/saliva/blood test. Drugs can still show up in the hair because hair growth is fed by a blood stream, therefore anything in the blood stream could lodge in the hair follicle (information provided by ChemCentre).

Saliva testing is used in random roadside drug testing. It is used to detect the presence of THC (the active component in cannabis) and amphetamine type stimulants including methylamphetamine (‘speed’ or ‘ice’) and MDMA (‘ecstasy’), which are, after alcohol, the drugs of greatest concern in relation to road safety.

A roadside saliva screening test takes around five minutes. Where a positive result is obtained, the driver is required to undertake a second saliva test or provide a blood sample to confirm the presence of the prescribed drug. In most cases, the confirmatory saliva test takes around 30 minutes.

Ecstasy is the name given to methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). MDMA can be detected in saliva for approximately 24 hour after use, cocaine can be detected in the saliva for up to 1 day after use and Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (the active component in cannabis) can be detected in saliva for up to 4 hours after use. However this all depends on the amount and potency used, and a person’s metabolism rate.

It is important to note that the detection of drugs and their metabolites in any biological sample (blood, urine and saliva) can change depending on the individual person and their biological factors and most suggested time frames are based on scientific studies but individual results may vary.

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Looking for info about the effects of a specific drug?

Check out the Drug Types page here.

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