How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?
By The Recovery Village Ridgefield
Editor Abby Doty | Medically Reviewed By Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Last Updated: May 26, 2023
Editorial Policy | Research Policy
Adderall is a prescription stimulant commonly used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is composed of two drugs, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, and works by stimulating the central nervous system. Adderall misuse is common and can lead to dependence and addiction. It is essential for Adderall users to understand how long the drug stays in your system and the numerous factors that impact this timeframe.
Adderall can be detected in:
- Urine for one to three days
- Blood for 46 hours
- Saliva for 24 to 48 hours
- Hair for 90 days
The liver metabolizes amphetamines such as Adderall using an enzyme known as CYP2D6. Once broken down in the liver, amphetamines are mainly eliminated from the body via urine. About 90% of the drug is eliminated three days after taking it. How fast an amphetamine is removed depends on the pH of the urine. An acidic pH increases excretion of amphetamine.
A drug’s half-life is the time it takes for half the dose of the drug to be eliminated from the body. The average half-life of Adderall depends on the specific drug form used, as well as the age and weight of the person. It typically varies from 9 to 14 hours, and children generally have a shorter Adderall half-life than adolescents or adults.
Does Adderall Show up on a Drug Test?
Adderall can show up on a drug test. Drug tests for stimulants rely on the detection of amphetamines. How long Adderall stays in your urine, blood, saliva or hair depends on the dose, the duration of use, individual biological factors and the specific lab test used. Additionally, more specialized testing may be needed to identify the specific substances that trigger a positive drug test.
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your Urine?
Adderall urine detection times can vary depending on the pH of the urine. A urine drug test for Adderall can detect the presence of amphetamine for up to five days.
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your Blood?
On average, Adderall blood tests can detect the presence of amphetamine for up to 34 hours.
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your Saliva?
Saliva drug tests for Adderall can detect amphetamines in oral fluid for up to two days.
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your Hair?
Adderall hair tests depend on the length of hair. On average, amphetamines such as Adderall can be detected within the hair for one to two months but potentially up to 90 days.
Can Adderall Cause a False Positive Drug Test?
In some cases, a false positive for Adderall may occur during drug testing. False positives occur when the antibody used in drug tests binds to compounds that are similar to amphetamine.
Test results may come out positive if an individual has taken certain other drugs, including antihistamines, nasal inhalers, cold medicines or antidepressants. It is important to discuss the possibility of false-positive results with a healthcare provider.
Factors Affecting How Long Adderall Stays in Your System
Several factors impact how long Adderall stays in your system, including:
- Amount used: The dose of Adderall impacts how long the drug can be detected. The higher the dose, the longer it takes for the body to metabolize and eliminate the drug.
- Frequency of use: When Adderall is taken regularly over an extended period, it takes longer for the body to metabolize and fully clear the drug.
- Body composition: Factors like height, weight and body fat percentage impact the metabolism and clearance of Adderall. Smaller individuals, such as children, clear the drug faster than larger individuals.
- Liver and kidney function: Variations in liver and kidney function affect how long Adderall stays in the body because these organs play essential roles in processing and excreting amphetamines.
- Forms of drug used: The formulation of Adderall impacts how long the drug stays in the body. Standard immediate-release (IR) Adderall formulations are cleared from the body faster than Adderall XR, an extended-release formulation.
How Long Does it Take for Adderall to Kick in?
Standard immediate-release (IR) Adderall takes effect 30–45 minutes after ingestion.
How Long Does Adderall XR Take to Work?
Adderall XR, an extended-release formulation, also begins to work within 30–45 minutes.
How Long Does Adderall Last?
Standard immediate-release (IR) Adderall remains effective for three to four hours.
How Long Does Adderall XR Last?
Adderall XR remains effective for 10–12 hours before another dose is needed.
How To Get Adderall Out of Your System?
There is no way to flush Adderall from your system once you’ve taken the drug. Adderall needs to be broken down by your liver enzymes, including CYP2D6, and there is no way to speed up the process.
How Long Does Adderall Withdrawal Last?
Adderall withdrawal lasts for three to five days after stopping the drug. Withdrawal occurs because prolonged Adderall use can lead to physical dependence on the drug. When an individual who has developed a dependence stops using Adderall, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms can occur. These can include:
- Increased sleeping
- Increased appetite
- Muscle aches
Adderall Addiction and Abuse
As a Schedule II controlled substance, Adderall carries a high risk of abuse, addiction and dependence. Long-term Adderall abuse can cause complications like:
- Severe skin lesions
- Severe insomnia
- Personality changes
An Adderall overdose is possible and can be deadly. For this reason, you should call 911 immediately if you suspect someone is overdosing on Adderall. Symptoms include:
- Rapid breathing
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- High or low blood pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
When quitting Adderall, medical professionals recommend tapering off Adderall rather than quitting cold turkey. Tapering, which slowly reduces the dosage over time, minimizes potential withdrawal symptoms and side effects. A medical professional can work with you to set up a tapering schedule and closely monitor and treat any potential withdrawal symptoms experienced.
However, for those who are physically or psychologically addicted to Adderall, maintaining control during an outpatient taper may be difficult. In these cases, a medical detox may be necessary, where recieve 24-hour care while undergoing Adderall withdrawal. In either case, it is essential to seek help from a trained medical professional when attempting an Adderall detox.
Adderall Addiction Treatment
Treating an Adderall addiction begins with weaning yourself off the drug while under a doctor’s care. A medically supervised detox center like The Recovery Village Ridgefield can help you end Adderall use while under 24/7 care from doctors and nurses so that any withdrawal symptoms are treated promptly.
Following detox, the hard work of rehab begins so you can remain off Adderall over the long term. In Adderall rehab, you undergo therapy to explore why you began relying on the drug and learn coping skills for living a healthy Adderall-free life. Inpatient and outpatient rehab options are available.
The Recovery Village Ridgefield offers coordinated detox and rehab options. Our facilities have amenities including:
- Nutritious meals and snacks
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Exercise gyms
- Basketball court
If you or a loved one live with Adderall addiction, contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield to speak with a representative who can answer your questions and help guide you through the initial steps of getting treatment. You deserve a healthier future. Call today.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.
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