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How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Adderall is a stimulant medication, so at first glance, it seems like your drug use won't show up in a screening.

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If you’re hoping to pass a drug test and hide Adderall abuse, you would need to start preparing at least a week before the test. Your body needs time to process the drug and remove its metabolites. Start prep too late, and you will fail your test.

Adderall or metabolites can appear in different bodily fluids for different periods of time:

  • Blood for up to one day
  • Saliva for up to two days
  • Urine for up to four days

If you must pass a hair exam, you’ll need to quit using Adderall for about three months. This type of testing is relatively rare, but it’s one of the hardest to pass if you abuse drugs.

Does Adderall Show Up on a Drug Test?

Several exam types exist, including versions that are sensitive to only alcohol or opioids. But many drug tests can detect Adderall.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says common tests detect five drugs:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Opioids
  • Phencyclidine

But remember that your organization can order a specialized test for your Adderall. Don’t assume you’re safe from testing positive just because Adderall is the only drug you take.

You might need a drug test for the following things:

  • Jobs: Your employer could use a pre-employment screening. Or, your employer could order a test to check for on-the-job Adderall abuse.
  • Performance: If you’re a professional or college athlete, tests could ensure you’re not enhancing your skills with drugs.
  • Law enforcement: Police officers might check you for drugs as part of a criminal or civil case.

If you have an Adderall prescription, your doctor might also use tests to ensure you’re not abusing the drugs. Since Adderall can spark substance abuse and cause addictions, doctors use regular screenings to ensure that patients comply. If you fail, your doctor can look for other solutions for you.

How Long Can a Test Detect Adderall in the Body?

In general, you need at least a week for your body to process Adderall molecules and metabolites so you can pass common tests. But you might need more or less time depending on various factors.

Drug detection depends on the following:

  • The substance: Some Adderall formulations clear your system more quickly than others.
  • Your habits: How often you use Adderall, the size of each dose, and how you use it (such as swallowing, chewing, or snorting it) can all impact testing times.
  • The test: The sensitivity of the panel and cutoff rates that determine whether you pass or fail also play a role. The types of samples you provide (blood, hair, or urine) also impact your results.
  • Your body: Your height, sex, weight, fluid intake, and organ health can all influence how quickly you process Adderall.

The best and only way to ensure that you pass a drug test is to avoid abusing Adderall. Follow these guidelines for Adderall use:

  • If you have a prescription, follow your doctor’s orders and bring the prescription with you to the test.
  • If you do not have a prescription, don’t use Adderall at all.

Nothing you can do at home can ensure you will pass a drug test if you’re abusing Adderall. Your body needs time to process the drug. If you must pass the drug test, stop the abuse now.

8 Signs of Adderall Abuse You Should Know

About 5.1 million people abuse prescription stimulant medications like Adderall. Is someone you love at risk?

These are common signs of abuse anyone should know:

  1. Impulsivity: Sudden career changes, reckless spending, and unexpected relationship shifts could all indicate Adderall abuse.
  2. Unusual energy: Quick, hard-to-follow speeches that start and end abruptly are common. Long hours at work (even though the person gets little done) could also occur.
  3. Strange sleeping patterns: The person stays awake for days on end, working or playing through the night. Then, the person needs to sleep for several days to recover.
  4. Changing moods: An overly calm and gentle person may seem excitable, angry, or even violent. They may swing between moods rapidly.
  5. Blackouts: The person may not remember what happened during drug binges. If abuse continues, the person may seem disoriented or unsure most of the time.
  6. Changed eating habits: People may eat large amounts of junk food very quickly while under mania. But they may not eat on a regular schedule. Weight loss is common with continued Adderall abuse.
  7. Money loss: The person may steal or sell off possessions to get money for more Adderall pills.
  8. Withdrawal symptoms: When the person tries to quit, feelings of fatigue, panic, and depression set in. The person may also be desperate for Adderall as cravings intensify. The intensity of withdrawal symptoms often prompts a return to Adderall abuse.

 If someone you love is abusing Adderall, point out the signs you’ve seen and offer to help arrange admission to a treatment program. You could be just what the person needs to start a sober life.

Updated April 25, 2023
  1. Drug Testing Resources. (April 2022). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  2. Drug Testing (July 2020). National Library of Medicine.
  3. Urine Drug Tests: Ordering and Interpretation. (January 2019). American Family Physician.
  4. Clinical Drug Testing in Primary Care (2012). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  5. What Is the Scope of Prescription Drug Misuse in the United States? (June 2020). National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  6. Generation Adderall. (October 2016). The New York Times.
  7. Prescription Stimulant Medication Misuse: Where Are We and Where Do We Go From Here? (October 2017). Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology.
  8. Prevalence and Correlates of Prescription Stimulant Use, Misuse, Use Disorders, and Motivations for Misuse Among Adults in the United States. (April 2018). The American Journal of Psychiatry.
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