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How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Adderall can stay in the system for 2-4 days. Its detection period varies: urine (1-5 days), saliva (20-50 hours), blood (46 hours), and hair (up to 90 days). Treatment is available for Adderall misuse or addiction.

Struggling with Stimulant Addiction? Get Help Now

Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) is a prescription stimulant used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, although some people misuse it to stay awake or to get high. 

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Immediate-release Adderall stays in your system for up to two days. Meanwhile, extended-release Adderall stays in your system for up to four days.[1]

However, Adderall can be detected on various drug tests for longer than it stays in your system. Here are the detection timelines by test:[2],[3],[4],[5]

  • Urine: 1-5 days
  • Saliva: 20-50 hours
  • Blood: 46 hours
  • Hair: Up to 90 days

If you are wondering how long Adderall stays in your system, there’s a chance you may be misusing it and attempting to pass a drug test. If you struggle with amphetamine misuse or addiction, professional treatment can help.

Short-acting Adderall stays in your system for up to two days, while extended-release Adderall stays in your system for about three or four days.

How Adderall’s Half-Life Affects How Long It Stays In Your System

The half-life of a drug refers to how long it takes for the substance to be reduced by 50% in the body. Consequently, a drug with a short half-life is excreted more quickly than a drug with a long half-life. 

Adderall comes in immediate-release tablets and extended-release capsules. The immediate-release tablets have a half-life of between 4 and 6 hours, which means they stay in your system for up to two days but probably fewer.[1]

Meanwhile, the extended-release capsules have a half-life of between 8 and 12 hours, meaning they stay in your system for up to four days.[1]

Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine’s half-life is also related to the onset and duration of effects. The immediate-release tablets have a more rapid onset of effects but a short duration—whether someone is taking it medically or misusing it to get high. And the extended-release capsules have a slower onset of effects and they last much longer.

Adderall Drug Test Detection Timeline

Adderall can be detected for the following lengths of time since last use, depending on the test type:[2],[3],[4],[5]

Type of Drug TestDetection Window
Urine1-5 days
Blood46 hours
Saliva20-50 hours
HairUp to 90 days

These are just general timelines and may vary depending on many individual factors. If you are getting a drug test, you likely will not receive a hair follicle test because it’s expensive and somewhat invasive. Urine is the most common type of drug test you may undergo.

Does Adderall Show Up on a Drug Test?

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

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says common tests detect five drugs:[6]

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Opioids
  • Phencyclidine

Since Adderall is comprised of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, it will likely show up on a 5-panel drug test. However, if you are prescribed Adderall for a medical reason, then testing positive should not matter—you’ll just need to produce evidence of the prescription.

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.

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 such as by snorting it or injecting it. Your body needs time to process the drug. If you must pass the drug test, you’ll need to stop using this amphetamine. If you are unable to, you may need professional treatment.

Factors Affect How Long Adderall Stays in Your System

The length of time Adderall stays in your system depends on many factors, such as:

  • How much Adderall you use
  • What formulation you use
  • Frequency of use
  • Age
  • Liver and kidney functioning
  • Hydration
  • Body fat content
  • Genetics
  • Weight and height
  • Metabolism

Additionally, the detection window for amphetamines is affected by:

  • The type of drug test administered
  • How heavy your Adderall use is
  • Patient health
  • Patient nutrition
  • Whether other medications are taken

Typically, the heavier your Adderall use, the longer this stimulant can be detected on drug tests like urine tests.

8 Signs of Adderall Abuse You Should Know

About 5.1 million people abuse prescription stimulant medications like Adderall.[10] 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 March 21, 2024
  1. Dextroamphetamine-Amphetamine. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-.
  2. Amphetamines & Methamphetamine. Redwood Toxicology Laboratory.
  3. Detection Times of Drugs of Abuse in Blood, Urine, and Oral Fluid. Verstraete, A. (2004). Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, 26(2).
  4. Toxicology Screen. MedlinePlus.
  5. Drug Plasma Half-Life and Urine Detection Window. (2022). ARUP Laboratories.
  6. Drug Testing Resources. (April 2022). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  7. Drug Testing (July 2020). National Library of Medicine.
  8. Urine Drug Tests: Ordering and Interpretation. (January 2019). American Family Physician.
  9. Clinical Drug Testing in Primary Care (2012). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  10. What Is the Scope of Prescription Drug Misuse in the United States? (June 2020). National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  11. Generation Adderall. (October 2016). The New York Times.
  12. Prescription Stimulant Medication Misuse: Where Are We and Where Do We Go From Here? (October 2017). Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology.
  13. 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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