Xanax (Alprazolam) Detection Time – How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your System?

With regular use, Xanax can stay in an individual’s body for an average of four days. This time frame may be longer or shorter depending on personal factors like age, health, genetics, dosage, and frequency of use.

On average, Xanax (alprazolam) stays in the body for four days with regular use. This means that it can be detected in urine during this time, as urine is the primary way that drugs leave the body.

It may take longer than four days for someone who abuses Xanax to get it out of their system, though. There are also many personal factors that play a role in how the body processes Xanax.

Xanax (Alprazolam) Detection Time

It takes about 11 hours for half of a Xanax dose to leave the body, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is known as the elimination half-life. It takes several half-lives to completely eliminate a drug from someone’s system, but it does not take as long to remove it from saliva or blood.

The following is a list of average Xanax (alprazolam) detection times based on normal use:

  • Urine: 4 days
  • Saliva: 2.5 days
  • Blood: 1 day
  • Hair: 90 days

The type of drug testing plays an important role in detection time. While urine testing can show Xanax until it completely leaves the body, a blood test may be more accurate in detecting the drug. However, the window for this type of test is much smaller, it is more expensive, and it is invasive.

Saliva testing is simple and most likely the least invasive method of drug testing, but may not be as accurate as urine testing. Oral fluid also has a smaller window of detection.

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A hair test is useful because it can detect Xanax that was taken 90 days before testing. The downside is that Xanax is not immediately detectable in hair because the hair must grow out from the scalp, leg, or underarm—wherever the sample is taken. This generally takes one to seven days.

The sensitivity of testing is also something to consider when determining Xanax detection time. Most initial tests measure for a positive or negative result based on a cutoff level, rather than searching for any amount of Xanax that is present. The cutoff level is not always the same, and can be the difference between a pass or fail.

How Is Xanax Metabolized?

Metabolism is the physical process of breaking down a drug into other substances called metabolites. Xanax (alprazolam) is processed in the liver into two main metabolites: 4-hydroxyalprazolam and α­-hydroxyalprazolam. About 20 percent of Xanax is excreted in the urine, while the rest is broken down first. Detection of metabolites indicates Xanax use.

How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your System?

The actual time it takes for Xanax to leave a person’s system can depend on their genetics. Some people have naturally quick metabolisms, and a high basal metabolic rate (BMR). This means that even when they are resting, their body is processing things faster than the average person would. The opposite applies to people with slow metabolisms and a low BMR.

There are several other factors that affect Xanax metabolism which are unique to the individual and how they use Xanax.

These factors can determine how long Xanax stays in your system:

  • age and health
  • height and weight
  • organ function
  • dosage and frequency
  • other drugs

Age And Health

All other factors aside, the younger a person is, the healthier they are likely to be. Over time, unhealthy lifestyles damage the body, and even without this, the body wears out.

But this is not always the case. Some older people who exercise and eat well are healthier than young people who abuse drugs and have a poor diet. A younger person may be more resilient and heal more quickly. But if they abuse Xanax while an older person takes it as prescribed, the young person’s body may have more trouble breaking down the drug.

Height And Weight

A person’s height and weight ratio, also called their body mass index (BMI), can affect how quickly Xanax leaves their system. Generally, people with a high BMI process drugs more slowly. This rule only applies, though, if they take a dose proportionate to their body mass.

For example, someone with a low BMI takes 2 mg of Xanax, and someone with a high BMI takes 2 mg as well. The larger person will probably metabolize the drug first because the dose is in lower proportion to their body mass. However, if each person takes a dose that is adjusted to their body mass, it will likely take the larger person longer to break it down.

Organ Function

A healthy liver is vital for the body to process Xanax normally. Optimal kidney function is important as well. Once most of the drug is changed into metabolites, it passes into the kidneys before being excreted in the urine.

Drinking alcohol with Xanax can have damaging effects on the liver, especially if alcohol is consumed in excess. The health of other organs is also important to drug metabolism, as any malfunction in the body can cause other problems as well.

Dosage And Frequency

The four-day detection time frame for Xanax applies to regular prescribed use. Many individuals who abuse Xanax take much higher doses than recommended because they have developed a tolerance. They may also take it more often in order to avoid rebound anxiety and other unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

More Xanax takes longer for the body to break down. When it is taken in frequent high doses, Xanax accumulates in the body and may be stored in fatty tissue. In that case, there is much more of the drug to process.

Other Drugs

When someone takes other drugs along with Xanax, the body has more work to do. Many drugs are processed in the liver. If the liver is working to metabolize more than one substance at a time, the whole process will be extended. Also, some drugs significantly slow metabolism by affecting the liver enzyme CYP3A4, which is a vital component in breaking down Xanax.

How To Get Xanax Out Of Your System

Detoxification from Xanax (alprazolam) is often not an easy process. Many people develop a physical dependence on the drug after only a few weeks of prescribed use. Abusing Xanax makes dependence even more likely.

Physical dependence means the body needs Xanax to help it function normally. Without the drug, severe and even fatal withdrawal symptoms occur. The safest way for someone to get Xanax out of their system is tapering off the drug under medical supervision.

A person’s doctor may create a tapering schedule that includes switching to a long-acting benzodiazepine such as Valium (diazepam). This helps to alleviate rebound anxiety symptoms and can make the withdrawal process bearable.

Medically assisted detox programs assist individuals with severe dependence in tapering off Xanax and monitor their vital signs during withdrawal. These programs are often the first step toward addiction treatment and may include counseling and various therapies to explore the issues surrounding Xanax abuse.

Treatment For Xanax Addiction

The best treatment programs for Xanax (alprazolam) addiction concentrate on healing the person as a whole, not just their substance use disorder. Addiction often stems from underlying mental issues, such as anxiety. Failing to deal with these issues during treatment leads many people to relapse.

An inpatient treatment setting is beneficial for most people because it removes the stress of everyday life that can drive them to use Xanax. During treatment, recovering individuals will likely participate in counseling, behavioral therapy, and support groups, as well as other research-backed treatment methods.

The goal of comprehensive treatment for Xanax addiction is to transform a person’s life. It provides individuals with the tools to resist substance use. It teaches them to recognize triggers, reframe negative patterns, regulate emotions, and reconnect with themselves and others.

Contact us to learn more about Xanax detection time and addiction treatment options.

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