How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?
By: Zinnia Healing Editorial Staff | Edited By: Rebecca Hill
Adderall’s effects will start within 30 minutes of taking it and normally last up to 1 hour. If you take Adderall XR the effects can last up to 12 hours. Adderall is detectable up to 72 hours on a urine test, but up to several months on a hair analysis test.
Adderall is the brand name for a drug that is primarily used to treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as narcolepsy.
Today, the only use of amphetamine in ADHD medication is mixed formulations. These formulations are available in both immediate-release and extended-release.
Since Adderall offers positive medicinal effects, but also considerable abuse potential, it is classified as a Schedule II drug.
How Quickly Will You Feel The Effects of Adderall?
The onset of effects from taking Adderall and Aderall XR is quick and occurs within 30 minutes of taking the dose orally (by mouth).
How Long Does an Adderall High Last?
The peak concentration effect of Adderall immediate release (IR) is 3 hours post initial dose.
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your Urine, Blood and Saliva?
1. Urine Test
Urine drug testing is the most common sample tested and can be used to detect Adderall between 48 and 72 hours after use.
Since Adderall is excreted through urine, this test usually shows higher concentrations compared to other methods.
Urine testing is also the most common monitoring technique in substance use programs.
2. Blood Test
Blood drug testing can detect Adderall most quickly after use and can be successful up to an average of 46 hours.
3. Saliva Test
Saliva drug testing can be used to detect Adderall 20 to 50 hours after last use, whereas a hair sample test may detect Adderall up to three months after last use. Both of these tests are fairly uncommon.
Why Would I Get an Adderall Amphetamine Screen?
Those who are wondering, “How long does Adderall stay in your body?” are often facing an upcoming drug test.
Adderall has a high potential for misuse. Drug tests are administered under several circumstances, particularly if someone is suspected of taking Adderall without a prescription.
These drug screening tests may be administered at a school, workplace, doctor’s office, or drug treatment center.
When taking Adderall capsules orally, this stimulant is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. It is then broken down by the liver and excreted through urine. But, it can be detected throughout the body.
Adderall drug tests are normally collected due to the following reasons:
- As part of the process when an individual first enters the treatment center. This provides a baseline of the client’s recent substance use history and will determine whether Adderall was used.
- As a routine part of therapy to ensure the individual is clean following the detoxification process.
- To confirm abstinence, not only to ensure the individual is following the associated treatment program rules, but that they are not potentially sabotaging others struggling with similar addictions.
One of the greatest variables to consider is the frequency of scheduling. Test frequency should match the usual detection window for the drug in question — in this case, Adderall.
What is The Half-Life of Adderall?
The half-life is the time it takes your body to eliminate half of the initial dose from your system.
The half-life elimination of Adderall will vary depending on the age group. The body needs to eliminate both d- and l-enantiomers of amphetamine salts.
In the case of Adderall, two drugs need to be examined: dextroamphetamine (d-amphetamine) and levoamphetamine (l-amphetamine).
- The half-life of dextroamphetamine (d-amphetamine) in adults is approximately 10 hours.
- The half-life of levoamphetamine (l-amphetamine) in adults is approximately 13 hours.
But, the above values are just averages, and your rate of clearance may vary by up to a couple of hours.
The other main considerations are the dose and history of use.
For example, if you have been taking Adderall for a long time, it may take longer for it to fully leave your system.
How Is Adderall Metabolized in the Body?
To discover how long Adderall will stay in your body, you must dive deeper into how this drug affects the body and how it’s metabolized.
Once taken, Adderall is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. It is then broken down by the liver so that it can leave the body through urine.
The rate at which Adderall is metabolized depends on each user because of varying factors.
Some of the variables to consider include:
- Body composition: Weight and body fat can affect how long Adderall stays in your system. This is generally because larger individuals often take larger doses. But some evidence suggests that the more someone weighs, the faster drugs like Adderall are metabolized.
- Dosage: As discussed, Adderall is available in varying strengths, with capsules ranging from 5 mg to 30 mg. The higher the dose, the longer it will take for your body to fully metabolize it. It also matters if you take immediate- or extended-release capsules.
- Metabolism: Everyone has enzymes in the liver that metabolize drugs, including Adderall. Your rate of metabolism will vary depending on your gender or activity level. Medications can also interfere with your ability to metabolize Adderall.
- Age: As you age, it takes longer for medications to leave your body. This is because your liver size decreases with age, the output of urine decreases, and your body composition changes.
Although the prescribed use of Adderall as a cause of acute liver injury is extremely rare, there have been select cases of acute liver failure during the treatment of ADHD with Adderall.
This case study followed a 55-year-old female who experienced Adderall-induced acute liver injury. Her pre-existing conditions created the perfect storm.
How Long Does It Take for the Effects of Adderall To Wear Off?
Being a stimulant, Adderall is similar to cocaine. But, the onset is slower and the duration is longer.
Since Adderall is a stimulant, when it wears off, it’s not uncommon for users to feel the opposite effects of the medication. This is because of the resulting imbalance of brain chemicals.
For example, a user may feel sluggish and tired, which is commonly known as an Adderall crash.
Several studies have looked at the relationship between early amphetamine withdrawal and hypersomnia.
Unfortunately, the use of Adderall and other stimulants used to treat ADHD has dramatically increased over recent years. There are misconceptions, as well as a lack of knowledge about associated risks.
For example, in recent years, student athletes without ADHD have been taking stimulants, even though serious consequences can emerge, including psychosis and sudden death.
These misconceptions are reinforced by the media.
Research shows that 95% of articles about brain enhancement mentioned a possible benefit of using a prescription stimulant for neuroenhancement, yet only 58% list the possible risks and side effects.
Adderall is made using a combination of drugs that enter the brain to increase activity. This leads to users being more alert, awake, and able to focus, which is why it’s the go-to treatment for ADHD. Although it is FDA-approved for children, adolescents, and adults, it should only be taken as part of a doctor-approved treatment plan.
How long before the effects of Adderall wear off depends on several factors, including each user’s chemistry.
The type of Adderall influences how many doses are taken, including extended-release capsules and immediate-release capsules.
These capsules come in a range of increments, including:
- 5 mg
- 7.5 mg
- 10 mg
- 12.5 mg
- 15 mg
- 20 mg
- 30 mg
Your body may become dependent on Adderall if you take too much, too often. This can lead to Adderall withdrawal.
There are also serious concerns when taking Adderall without a prescription. The risks can be extreme. Having a risk versus benefit discussion with a doctor is imperative, as stroke and sudden death can occur in select circumstances.
For example, pre-existing conditions, including high blood pressure or even glaucoma, can make this drug dangerous. For those prone to seizures, this stimulant increases the likelihood that you could have one. This is because Adderall lowers the convulsion threshold in your brain.
Even when taken at established therapeutic doses, Adderall can exaggerate conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Results can be unpredictable, which is why patients are monitored. Users taking Adderall without this safety net risk side effects.
If you are taking Adderall and are experiencing feelings of euphoria, you are taking doses higher than those prescribed by a doctor. This is what leads to a cycle of misuse, as users continue to chase that high. The misuse potential is high, and before many users know it, they’re reliant on the drug to get through their work or school day.
How Common is Adderall Use and Addiction Prevalence?
This medication is commonly misused among those without ADHD, particularly college students.
Data shows that in college students that 14.6% of college men and 8.8% of college women misuse Adderall.
The nonmedical use of prescription stimulants, like Adderall, represents the second most common form of illicit drug use in college, second only to marijuana.
This drug is also becoming increasingly popular among young professionals who are looking for an edge. This is causing some people to normalize Adderall use, even though the effects on the body and mind can be profound.
How to Get Help for an Adderall Addiction
Whether you are someone struggling with co-occurring ADHD and substance use disorder, are a professional or student who has lost control over their Adderall use, or are simply in need of addiction treatment, regardless of your drug of choice, Zinnia Healing can help you safely detox and achieve sobriety.
Once Adderall is completely out of your system, it’s important to address any underlying concerns.
Understanding why you began using Adderall or why it became an issue, can ensure that you maintain sobriety.
This medication has a high potential for misuse, so you want to avoid falling back into the cycle of using and misusing Adderall.
Depending on the severity of your addiction, and whether co-occurring conditions are present, you may be an ideal candidate for outpatient treatment. This means you will be able to continue going to school or work.
Unlike inpatient treatment, you will not need to stay on site. You will live at home so that you can continue your current commitments, attending treatment on a pre-scheduled, part-time basis. You may take part in group therapy sessions only, or individualized therapy may be suggested depending on your history and current goals.
Zinnia Healing understands you are a unique individual, which is why your treatment plan will reflect that. If you are battling addiction, whether it be to Adderall only, or a combination of substances, we will work with you to develop a comprehensive, customized plan.
Regardless of your unique situation, Zinnia Healing can help you begin your journey toward a healthy, sober future. Contact us or call (855) 430-9439 to discuss your needs. Our counselors are standing by 24/7.