How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

adderall half-life

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Table of Contents

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription stimulant drug made of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine that comes in either capsule or tablet form.1 The drug is used primarily for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.2

It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that works by increasing the availability of dopamine and norepinephrine (both “feel-good” neurotransmitters) in the brain’s CNS connections, which speeds up brain activity. It also binds to the epinephrine receptors in the adrenal gland. For people with ADHD, it is designed to improve impulse behavior, hyperactivity, and attention span. Some things discussed will be the addictiveness of Adderall, side effects, Adderall half-life, tests, symptoms and more.

Is Adderall Addictive?

People of many ages abuse Adderall, but most people who misused it are age 12 and older. Nearly 2.6 million American young adults between the age of 18 and 25 misused prescription stimulants, including Adderall.3 Furthermore, the number of people over age 12 who misused Adderall from 2016 to 2017 increased from 5.1 million to 5.2 million.4 Some people who abuse the drug are prescribed it, but Adderall addiction is also common among people not prescribed.

Adderall can be misused in several ways, including snorting, crushing, or injecting the drug. Some students take it to improve their academic performance, and adults may take it to improve memory or to perform better at work.

In people who don’t have ADHD, Adderall produces an excess amount of dopamine that leads to increased energy levels and feelings of euphoria. It is also appealing to those who abuse it because of how long Adderall lasts in a person’s system. People who abuse Adderall often take medication that is prescribed to someone else, or they buy it illegally. Only a psychiatrist, neurologist, or family doctor can prescribe it.

Adderall Side Effects

People with ADHD need to be aware of the side effects of Adderall, although they can be positive when taken as intended. Adderall side effects include:5
Other more serious side effects may include:5

Signs of Adderall Addiction

If you are concerned a loved one is battling Adderall addiction, learning to identify the telltale signs of addiction is vital. Symptoms of Adderall addiction include:

  • Taking more Adderall than prescribed
  • Craving Adderall
  • Inability to cut back on Adderall
  • Using Adderall in dangerous situations
  • Not participating in previously enjoyed activities
  • Spending a considerable amount of time obtaining or using Adderall
  • Withdrawal symptoms when Adderall use is cut down or stopped
  • Having trouble taking care of responsibilities at home, work, or school

Adderall Half-life: How Long Does Adderall Last?

Adderall has a half-life of approximately 9 to 14 hours, meaning that only half of the drug remains in the body after this period. It usually clears a person’s system within 72 hours, but Adderall half-life may vary based on multiple factors.

Many factors contribute to how long Adderall last in a person’s system, including:6

Body Makeup: People with higher body weight metabolize Adderall more quickly as a smaller amount of the drug is available in their bloodstream. A person’s age, height, and health can also play into how long Adderall lasts.

Dosage: The dosage a person takes can also significantly affect how long Adderall lasts in the system.

Frequency of Use: A person who uses Adderall regularly will take longer to clear the drug from their system than a person who uses it infrequently. It can accumulate in the body, which means it will take longer to leave the body.

Metabolism: Metabolic function also plays into how long Adderall lasts in the body. If a person’s metabolism is not functioning as it is supposed to, it can cause the drug to remain in the body longer than average. Adderall can even be recirculated in the body, prolonging the process of how long Adderall lasts.

Adderall Tests

Several different tests can be administered to screen for Adderall abuse.7

  • Blood: Although not common, blood testing can detect Adderall misuse but only within about 24 hours of use.
  • Urine: A urinalysis tests for metabolites that are produced by Adderall, which remain in the body longer than the drug itself. Adderall can remain in the urine and the urine could test positive for as long as four days.
  • Saliva: Saliva testing is another option to detect metabolites produced by Adderall. This test is the quickest method to identify any form of Adderall abuse as it can produce results as soon as 20 minutes after use. Adderall metabolites can be detected in the saliva for up to 48 hours after use.
  • Hair: Hair testing takes the longest to produce a result as it can take up to 3 months. It usually takes a minimum of 1 week for metabolites to become present in hair.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

Adderall withdrawal symptoms include:8

It is important to know that the presence of Adderall withdrawal symptoms does not necessarily indicate addiction.

Adderall Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one battles Adderall addiction, you are not alone. Arrow Passage Recovery is a leading-edge addiction treatment facility, offering a unique approach with a high completion rate among patients.

Our treatment program uses an integrative therapy model that utilizes several therapeutic approaches, including motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. We employ individual treatment and family education to ensure you or your loved one receives the support needed to achieve lasting sobriety. Take the first step today toward sobriety and contact our caring and trained counselors for Adderall addiction treatment.



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