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Adderall Detection Time – How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your System?

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 11, 2019

Adderall can stay in the system for around three days. However, exact detection times will vary from person to person.

How long Adderall can be detected in the system will vary depending on the person. How the drug is taken also plays a role in detection time. Some drug tests can detect Adderall in the system up to three days after the last dose is taken.

Adderall is an amphetamine that is often prescribed for mental health conditions like attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). People who take Adderall for ADD and ADHD experience a calming effect. This makes it easier to focus on the task at hand.

Since Adderall is a stimulant, it often produces a hyperactive effect in people who do not have ADD or ADHD. Many people, especially those in college, use Adderall to cram for tests. It is also misused to drink alcohol longer, as Adderall can minimize feelings of intoxication.

Adderall Detection Time: Blood, Urine, Saliva, And Hair Tests

The type of test will also play a role in how long Adderall can be detected in the body. The most common method of testing for substances in the system is a urine test. However, Adderall can also be detected through saliva, hair, and blood.

The following are the detection times based on the type of drug test:

  • Urine — three hours after taking and up to three days after the last dose
  • Saliva — roughly an hour after taking and up to two days after the last dose
  • Blood — up to a day after Adderall was last taken depending on the frequency of use
  • Hair — hair follicles can be tested up to a month after the last dose is taken

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Factors That Can Affect How Long Adderall Stays In Your System

Adderall, which is primarily made up of the active ingredient dextroamphetamine, has a half-life of around 10 hours. This means that after 10 hours, half of the drug is eliminated from the body. All of the medication will leave the system around three days after the last dose is taken.

Factors that may influence how long Adderall stays in the system include:

Age And Health

People who are younger tend to be in better health. Younger people also tend to have faster metabolisms, which allow them to eliminate Adderall quicker. The healthier the person is, the faster he or she can metabolize toxins and substances in the body.

However, it’s important to know that abusing amphetamines can cause damage to the kidneys and liver. These are the two organs responsible for breaking down the drug. As a result, abusing Adderall can mean that the body metabolizes the drug more slowly over time.

Frequency And Amount Taken

Taking Adderall frequently or taking more than prescribed can result in more of the drug in the system. If someone is abusing Adderall, they are likely taking high doses on a regular basis. This means that there is more of the drug in their system for longer.

Type Of Adderall

There are two different types of Adderall – immediate release (IR) and extended release (XR). Adderall IR is typically taken two to three times throughout the day and lasts four to six hours. Adderall XR is taken once a day and tends to last eight to twelve hours.

Taking Adderall XR can mean that the drug is detectable in the body longer than Adderall IR.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Someone’s body mass index (BMI) can influence how quickly they breakdown Adderall. People with a higher BMI tend to have slower metabolisms, which slows down the elimination process.

However, it depends on the dose. If someone with a high BMI and a low BMI both take the same dose of Adderall, the person with the high BMI will likely eliminate it faster. This is because the dose is smaller for the person with a high BMI in proportion to their body mass.

Why Someone May Be Tested For Adderall

While legal, Adderall is a Schedule II stimulant. This means it has a high potential for abuse and is monitored more closely than other drugs. When prescribing Adderall, physicians may have patients take a drug test to make sure the patient is not abusing the drug.

Also, employers may require potential hires to take a drug test before hiring them. Adderall could show up on the drug test as an amphetamine. If this happens, proof of the prescription for Adderall will be required.

A drug test may also be required as part of a routine test for judicial court purposes or if a person is attending a rehab program.

Adderall Abuse And Addiction

Adderall is a stimulant that works by elevating levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This increases how good a person feels while also providing stimulation and focus.

Many people who abuse Adderall do so to experience enhanced concentration and motivation. For example, a college student may take Adderall to be able to study all night for an exam.

Adderall can also diminish the effects of alcohol. This allows someone to drink more and for a longer period of time without feeling intoxicated.

No matter the reason for abusing the drug, it’s still dangerous and can lead to addiction. People can also build up a tolerance to Adderall, so they have to take more of the drug to feel the desired effect. Taking more of Adderall only increases the level of physical dependence on the drug.

Steps To Take After A Positive Adderall Detection Test

If you are prescribed Adderall and are using the medication as instructed by your doctor, showing proof of prescription should be sufficient to clear you for the drug test.

However, if you are not prescribed Adderall and test positive on your drug test, a second screening may be necessary to confirm the drug in your system. This can be frustrating and can stand in the way of you and a job.

Quitting Adderall can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. There are a number of treatment options available, including inpatient drug addiction programs. Inpatient treatment is an intensive and proven form of addiction treatment that provides individualized plans of recovery.

To learn more about Adderall detection times or treatment options available for Adderall addiction, contact our dedicated treatment specialists today.

Drug Enforcement Administration - Drugs of Abuse

Mental Health Daily - How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your System?

National Institute of Health: PubChem - Amphetamine

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