Adderall can be identified in the blood up to 46 hours after use. It has a half-life of around 9-14 hours, meaning that after this time, only about half of the dose of the drug will remain in a person’s system. Adderall should be cleared entirely from a person’s system in 72 hours.
Drug screens can also be performed using urine, saliva, and hair samples. Detection windows for these tests are estimated to be as follows:
- Urine – 4 to 7 days
- Saliva – 20 minutes to 48 hours
- Hair – 7 days to 3 months
If you have a legitimate prescription for Adderall for a medical condition, you should not need to be concerned about “failing” a drug test. If you do not, however, we encourage you to seek professional help for substance abuse.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a nervous system stimulant often prescribed to treat the symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These are disorders in which a person finds it difficult to focus on a single task. Patients with ADD/ADHD generally use the medication daily on an established therapeutic regimen, and rather than getting the person “high,” it produces a calming effect, allowing them to better concentrate on the tasks at hand.
Because it is a stimulant, Adderall boosts dopamine in the brain, a chemical messenger closely associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. When stimulants are ingested, they increase the amount of dopamine that is available, but they can also undermine the body’s capacity to produce its own dopamine after long-term use.
How Is Adderall Misused or Abused?
Like many psychoactive substances, Adderall can be misused or abused and has the potential to lead to both dependence and addiction. When administered in a way other than as prescribed, such as by crushing it and snorting the powder, Adderall can induce feelings of euphoria. To continue achieving this effect, an individual may need to increase the amount of the drug that he or she uses over time as the brain becomes accustomed to the drug’s presence and diminishes its response in accordance (also known as tolerance). This effect can perpetuate a cycle of abusing Adderall that results in dependence, full-blown addiction, and overdose.
Dependence is also a condition that develops over time with repeated use of a substance. As the brain has now adapted to the drug’s presence, it has become unable to function correctly without it. Moreover, if a person stops using Adderall suddenly or “cold turkey,” he or she will begin to encounter many adverse side effects as a result. In an effort to avoid these unpleasant symptoms, people who are dependent on Adderall may be compelled to relapse and find themselves unable to quit without professional treatment.
Factors That Affect How Long Adderall Stays in Your System
Body Composition and pH Levels – Individual body composition can influence the length of time it takes for a person’s body to clear Adderall. Height, weight, body fat, and muscle mass can all play a key role in this timeline. Moreover, a person with relatively low muscle mass and high body fat will be able to eliminate Adderall more rapidly than an individual with high muscle mass and less body fat. Having more muscle equates to having more water in the body, and more water means that Adderall is allowed to circulate throughout the system for a longer amount of time.
Levels of pH in the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts may also affect how long Adderall stays in a person’s system. If an individual has a relatively high pH level, the kidneys will take a longer amount of time to process Adderall.
Food intake can influence how quickly the body eliminates Adderall. When food is present in a person’s system, the body will be working to metabolize the food in addition to the drug, meaning it may take more time to process both.
Organs, including the kidneys and liver, can play a vital role in cleansing the body of potentially toxic substances, including Adderall. When an organ does not function as well as it should, metabolic processes can be slower. If kidney or liver function is not normal, the drug may remain in the system for longer than it otherwise would, or it may even be recirculated.
Dosage Amount and Frequency of Use
The dosage will directly affect how long it takes for the drug to be eliminated from the system. The more Adderall an individual has used, the longer it will take for the system to clear it because there is more of the drug collected in the body to metabolize. People who have been taking Adderall regularly for an extended period will probably find their body takes longer to eliminate it, in comparison to those individuals who use the drug only occasionally.
Treatment for Adderall Abuse
The longer someone has been abusing Adderall, the more intense their addiction will become. As noted, withdrawal symptoms that manifest shortly after stopping use can make it very difficult for users to quit on their own.
Fortunately, Adderall abuse is very treatable, and there are many options available. Just Believe offers an integrated approach to drug and alcohol abuse that includes medical detox, behavioral therapy, individual and family counseling, peer group support, aftercare planning, and much more.