How Long Do Barbiturates Stay in Your System?

Barbiturates are central nervous system depressants that have varying timelines depending on the drug test taken. How long do barbiturates last in your body? Do barbiturates show up in a drug test? Understand the several factors that influence barbiturates drug test detection time, as well as how to get help for substance abuse.

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Unlike benzodiazepines, barbiturates are depressant drugs that have a higher potential of addiction and overdose. Thus, they are mostly used under medical supervision and have long been replaced by safer alternatives. However, some variants of barbiturates are still used for treating epilepsy and chronic headaches.

If you are someone routinely taking the drug but have an upcoming detection test, you may be wondering about barbiturates’ half-life. Exactly how long do barbiturates stay in your system? The following sections below will give you a clearer picture of how the substance interacts with the body and the typical timeline if you were to take barbiturates drug tests.

Do Barbiturates Show Up In A Drug Test?

The comprehensive 10-Panel Drug Test will have an indicator for barbiturates. If you are taking the 10-Panel Test, it is likely that barbiturates will be detected in your system if you have recently taken the drug.

There are also drug detection tests that can be ordered to specifically look for barbiturates. If you have a history of barbiturates use, some authority or formal organizations may order these tests for various purposes as well.

How Long Do Barbiturates Stay In System?

The length of time it takes for the body to process the barbiturate until excretion is quite different from the time its effects begin to wane. Essentially, you may still have the drug in your body even if you don’t experience any of its effects.

Aside from that, there are also various factors that affect how long barbiturates stay in the body. These include:

  • Body mass: Your height and weight determine your body mass. People who have higher body masses often take higher doses, which could take longer to process. This leads to lengthier detection times.
  • Metabolism: Regardless of body mass, people also have varying metabolic rates. People who have slower metabolism systems will have barbiturates longer in their system compared to those who have faster metabolic rates.
  • Other health conditions: Kidney or liver problems, blood circulation disorders, and other health conditions that impede the processing of the drug can also impact average timelines.
  • Contraindicating substances: There are also drugs that slow down or speed up the processing of barbiturates. Alternatively, eating some food before the drug can also slow down the metabolic process.
  • Frequency and amount of dosage: Higher dosages call for longer processing times. Those who also exhibit signs of barbiturate abuse may have long-term traces of the drug in their system.

Being aware of these factors can help you understand that your own barbiturate detection time may not align with the typical timelines. However, if you do not present differentiating factors, you can refer to the typical barbiturate detection timelines below.

Usual Drug Tests and Average Detection Timelines for Barbiturates

How long do barbiturates stay in your urine?

The length of time barbiturates stay in urine depends on the variant used. For short and intermediate-acting barbiturates, the drug can be detected for up to 24-72 hours. Long-acting barbiturates can still be detected in the urine for a week.

To determine how long are barbiturates detectable in urine, you must first know the type of drug you are using (whether short, intermediate, or long-acting), and go past the average timelines for each variant to avoid its detection.

How long do barbiturates stay in your blood?

The circulation system processes the drug faster than the excretory system. Thus, the barbiturates will only be detectable for an average of 72 hours in the blood.

How long do barbiturates stay in your saliva?

Saliva tests are not as common are urinalysis, but they still can be given. On average, the barbiturates can stay in the saliva for about 3 up to 7 days depending on the type of variant used.

How long do barbiturates stay in your hair?

Traces of the barbiturates can last the longest in the hair, at an average of 3 months. If you will be taking a drug test that requires presenting a hair sample, this may require you to go past the average timelines in a hair test to avoid detection.

Barbiturate Abuse and Drug Tests

It is also important to note that barbiturate abuse may disrupt these averages. The amount and frequency of use when it comes to addiction leaves traces of drugs in the body, which can go past the timelines where they cannot be detected for average users.

Here are some signs to look out for when you suspect barbiturate abuse:

  • Frequently taking more than the recommended dosage
  • Depending on the drug to improve one’s mood and daily function
  • Isolation and secretive behavior
  • Cravings of the drug
  • Loss of interest in daily activities and former pursuits
  • Health and behavior changes associated with drug use

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these signs, it can be an indicator of barbiturate abuse. It is best to get help right away as barbiturates can easily be a cause of a life-threatening drug overdose.

How To Get Help For Barbiturate Abuse

Reach out to a trusted healthcare facility

The first step in getting help for barbiturate abuse is reaching out to a trusted healthcare facility. Barbiturate rehab centers will help provide assessments, recommend a treatment program, and provide aftercare options to ensure a safe detox and recovery.

Since barbiturates have a high potential for overdose, it is best not to risk drug detox by yourself. The cycle of withdrawal, cravings, and relapse may cause the body to be overwhelmed by the barbiturate dose, leading to deadly effects–professional help and monitoring are recommended for barbiturate detox.

Gather support from loved ones and others

Recovering from barbiturate abuse is more than just passing a drug test. People who value your life should be able to give you moral, emotional, and financial support if needed. Share your journey towards addiction recovery with trusted loved ones so they can provide you with the support you need.

Decide to commit

Addiction recovery can be a challenging journey, but it is possible when you decide to commit to treatment and relapse prevention. By having this decision once and for all, you are stepping into your new self, ready to change old ways.

Barbiturates Drug Detection: Timelines and Recovery

Perhaps you have arrived at this post only to discover the drug detection timeline for barbiturates. As you understand the average detection times, hopefully, the solid advice towards barbiturate abuse will help you to not only pass a drug test but also find treatment for potential addiction.


  1. – “Barbiturate – an overview”.
  2. – “The truth about metabolism”.
  3. – “Examples of a Barbiturate”.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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