Adderall can be a rather commonly known drug given to children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). You may also see people with narcolepsy taking Adderall.
However, suppose you are taking Adderall to address some of your medical issues. You may want to know how long Adderall stays in your system since the drug can appear in medical tests.
Generally, Adderall can be traced in your hair for up to 90 days. Adderall may stay in the urine for up to 4 to 7 days. It stays in saliva for up to 48 hours and in blood for 24 hours. Some factors may determine how long Adderall stays in your system, such as dosage, liver and kidney function, and age.
In this post, we explore how long Adderall stays in your system. We also look at Adderall as a drug and how it works.
Aside from that, we will also discuss if Adderall is addictive and how to know if you are addicted to it. Finally, we discuss the withdrawal symptoms and how you can stop taking the drug to wean yourself off it.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a stimulant drug, usually taken to address medical issues such as ADHD and narcolepsy. It helps to increase alertness, reaction time, and cognitive and physical performance. However, it is also abused by athletes, university students, and recreational users looking for a high.
Adderall is a stimulant-type medication called ‘uppers’ in casual English. It is usually used to address attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
ADHD is a medical condition where people with it may have trouble paying attention and act impulsively. People with ADHD also may be overly active. Narcolepsy is when the patient becomes very lethargic during the day and may have sudden sleep attacks.
When looking into the chemical properties of Adderall, you can see a mixture of both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Branded pharmaceutical products for this formulation include:
- Adderall (immediate release, tablet)
- Adderall XR (extended-release, capsule)
- Mydayis (extended-release, capsule)
Adderall helps to address ADHD or narcolepsy by increasing wakefulness, improving cognitive control and inducing a small experience of euphoria. As a result, patients experience faster reaction time, fatigue resistance, and general sharpness in thinking.
However, overdosing may result in muscle breakdowns, panic attacks, and hallucinations. Side effects of Adderall include insomnia, dry mouth, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Aside from its medical properties, Adderall is also abused and used illicitly for other purposes. Athletes are known to take Adderall to boost their performance, and university students to help them study extra hours. Adderall may also function as an appetite suppressant, meaning those looking to lose weight may take it.
However, Adderall, in larger doses, can become euphoric, meaning it can produce ‘highs’ that may attract recreational users.
Adderall is one of the most common medications in the US, with over 26 million prescriptions made in 2020 alone. That places it at the 22nd position for the most prescribed medication in the county that year.
How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your Body?
Adderall can be detected in your body for over 90 days. Adderall may stay in the urine for up to 4 to 7 days. It stays in saliva for up to 48 hours and in blood for 24 hours. Adderall stays the longest in your hair, detectable from 7 days after use, for up to 90 days.
|Parts of Body||Detection Period|
|Hair||Up to 90 days|
|Blood||Up to 24 hours|
|Urine||Up to 7 days|
|Saliva||Up to 48 hours|
Once taken, Adderall is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and then remains in your system until it is deactivated by the liver. Your kidney may also eliminate it from your blood through urination.
When you ingest Adderall, not all will end up in your blood, as about 20-25 percent is converted into metabolites, such as hippuric and benzoic acids.
However, it takes some time for Adderall to completely leave your body, as even if you physically use it up, traces of it may remain in your body, such as hair, saliva, blood, and urine.
Adderall stays in your hair the longest because hairs are grown and may remain with you for a foreseeable time. Once you start taking Adderall, it may show up in your hair from 7 days after ingestion to 90 days.
In saliva, Adderall may be detectable within a short time after ingestion and remain so for up to 48 hours. Some have even recorded traces of Adderall in their saliva samples even after 50 hours of taking it.
Adderall stays the shortest in your blood. Adderall may appear as soon as several minutes after ingesting the drug and remain detectable for up to 24 hours.
Adderall is also detectable in urine since your kidney eliminates some of it from your body as urine. Adderall may be detectable in your urine for up to 7 days.
What Effects How Long Adderall Stays In Your System?
Many factors may affect how long Adderall may remain in your body. This includes age, sex, body weight, organ health, food in the digestion system, dosage, and frequency of use.
People often process, absorb, and remove drugs from their systems at different speeds. The speed may depend on many factors, such as:
Generally, younger people tend to absorb and remove Adderall from their system faster than older people.
If you take Adderall frequently, you are likely to take much longer to remove all traces of Adderall from your system. This is because you may have a much higher amount of it in your system.
The higher the dosage of Adderall, the longer it takes for your organs to process, absorb and remove it. As such, the higher the dose, the longer it stays in your system.
Those with higher body weight tend to metabolize Adderall faster than those with less body weight. As a result, those with higher body weight tend to clear their Adderall from their system faster.
Kidney And Liver Health
Adderall is metabolized in the body and processed mostly by the liver and kidney. This means people with good kidney and liver health may be able to remove Adderall faster from their system.
Food In System
Adderall does not do well when taken into an acidic stomach. In many cases, that means taking it together with food. This is because when food is in the stomach, a large amount of acid is produced to digest them.
This means if you take Adderall with a full stomach, you are likely to absorb less Adderall, meaning you may remove it faster.
Do People Abuse Adderall?
Adderall is a commonly abused drug. Athletes may take Adderall to boost physical performance. Some students and employees take it for better mental clarity and focus at work or studies. Bodybuilders and models may abuse Adderall to suppress their appetite and lose weight. Adderall is also a popular recreational drug.
Adderall is a stimulant drug. In casual English, it means that Adderall is an ‘upper.’ Stimulant drugs tend to increase mental and physical performance.
As a result, some people whose work or lifestyle requires peak mental or physical performance may be attracted to Adderall. These people may abuse Adderall:
Athletes tend to like how Adderall helps them to perform better physically. They get better mental alertness, faster reaction time, increased physical strength, and longer endurance. Drug testing for Adderall is common in many sports.
University students are known to abuse Adderall to help them to stay up, so they can study longer hours. Students are also known to abuse Adderall so they stay mentally sharp. They can study or work on their coursework more efficiently. Adderall use could be as high as 35% in some universities.
Executives or white-collar workers may abuse Adderall to have a mental and physical edge. They may focus and think faster, which helps them to work on complicated mental tasks such as reading account statements. Adderall also helps them to stay up longer, log in more work hours and get more done.
Blue Collar Workers
Adderall helps blue-collar workers battle physical fatigue and strain. As a result, they can log longer work hours. Blue-collar workers may include people who engage in physical labor, such as truck drivers, oil rig workers, electricians, welders, and many more.
Bodybuilders And Models
Bodybuilders and models may abuse Adderall for several reasons. One is that they can work out longer since their physical performance may improve. Secondly is the appetite-suppressing nature of the drug. It helps them to lose weight and keep their current weight.
Recreational Drug Users
At higher doses, Adderall can produce euphoria, or in casual English, a mental high. This means some people may be abusing Adderall for recreational highs.
Is Adderall Addictive?
If abused, Adderall can cause addiction. This is because it may create psychological and neurological dependence. However, addiction is unlikely when taken at therapeutic doses, which means under the supervision of a medical professional. People who self-administer Adderall are likely to develop an addiction later.
Adderall is a stimulant, amphetamine-based drug. This means it may relate to popular hard drugs such as methamphetamine. Most of us know how strong and addictive methamphetamine is.
The good news is Adderall is much milder than methamphetamine. However, it doesn’t mean Adderall does not have the potential to be addictive.
This is why Adderall is not available over the counter. Still, only available as a prescription drug to be given under the supervision of a medical professional.
According to WebMD, Adderall usually does not cause addiction at therapeutic doses. They merely address symptoms of medical issues such as ADHD or narcolepsy. Patients generally report feeling more alert and are capable of functioning as normal human beings.
However, when abused, Adderall can generate addiction. This is because it enhances the physical and mental performance of the abuser, which may likely trigger a psychological reliance to maintain that consistency.
Besides that, as the body gets used to regular doses of Adderall, it stops producing the natural drugs and hormones to help with mental and physical alertness and performance.
Adderall also increases the feel-good hormone Dopamine and Norepinephrine, which may result in you continuing to want that good feeling.
For example, a truck driver could drive a 10-hour trip without taking a break with Adderall. Without it, he may need a rest every 4 hours. He may want to perform at his best again, meaning he will be more likely to take Adderall again.
Eventually, the body relied on the drug to the point that the driver could not perform at his usual level without it. Previously he was able to drive 4 hours before resting. Without the drug, he could barely manage 2 hours before feeling tired.
The same addiction cycle can happen to any person who abuses Adderall, be it athletes, workers, models, or students.
When self-administered, Adderall was found to be more likely to cause addiction. This is because many do not take the drugs at a therapeutic level but at a higher dose.
How To Know If You Are Addicted To Adderall?
Generally, suppose you are addicted to Adderall. In that case, you may take the drug at a higher dose and exhibit stronger side effects. You may also express less interest in your work, family, and friends. You may also resort to snorting or injecting the drug and display stronger withdrawal symptoms without it.
Adderall can be addictive, especially when taken without proper supervision from a medical professional. Adderall addiction is more likely in those that self-administer the drug.
Addiction can creep in without you realizing, and if you find yourself exhibiting these symptoms, you may want to consult a medical professional for help:
You Take Higher Than Recommended Dose
According to Michael Sore, MD, Medical Director at Riverside Recovery, if you consistently take higher than recommended doses to get the effect you want, you may be addicted to Adderall.
This is because Adderall increases dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which will help you feel ‘better and more energetic. Without it, you will experience a ‘low’ or ‘crash’ that may push you to reach out for more Adderall.
You Need More Adderall To Achieve The Same Effect
Suppose you have been taking Adderall and enjoy the effects it brings to you. You also realize that you must take higher doses to achieve the same results.
This is common, as our body eventually develops drug tolerance over time. If you find yourself taking higher and higher doses to chase the same effect, you are likely addicted to Adderall.
You Exhibit Stronger Side Effects
As you take higher and higher doses of Adderall, you start to show stronger and stronger side effects from the drug. These may include hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, insomnia, weight loss, dry mouth, and higher blood pressure.
When the symptoms are too severe, they may threaten your life and result in premature death. For example, an irregular heart rhythm may trigger a heart attack, resulting in death.
You Lose Interest In Family, Work and Friends
As your addiction becomes stronger, you put more and more attention into sourcing and looking for your next dose, which means it may become harder and harder to fulfill your obligations to your friends, family, and work.
It is common to see Adderall addiction resulting in loss of jobs and university placement. Family and friendship ties may also be strained and broken.
You Try To Snort Or Inject The Drug
At a later stage of addiction to Adderall, you may stop consuming it orally as directed by your doctor, but you try to crush, snort or inject the drug into your body.
This is commonly done to increase the speed at which the drug is ingested into the body. This means a higher dose can be delivered to the brain. This produces the high addicts’ chase for.
You Display Withdrawal Symptoms
When you stop taking Adderall, you may display withdrawal symptoms that may trigger you to seek out the drug. This is your body’s natural response to losing the drug as it tries to rebalance itself.
These symptoms include insomnia, a sense of doom and gloom, muscle aches, runny nose, tremors, loss of appetite, and many other physical and mental discomforts.
You Continue Taking The Drug Despite Signs Of Addiction
One clear sign of addiction to Adderall is you choose to continue taking the drug; continuing the habit despite being aware that you may have a problem with it.
You may ignore that you may be taking more Adderall than you should. You may become defensive when someone talks to you about it. Some may also let go of their obligations and relationships and continue their Adderall habit.
How To Take Adderall Safely?
To take Adderall safely, never take the drug unless a medical professional sees that you need it. If you are prescribed the drug, take the drug as prescribed and in the right doses. Always discuss with your doctor if you can skip doses if you do not think you need them. Stop taking it if you think you are developing an addiction.
Adderall is a prescribed drug with the potential to develop an addiction. This means you want to approach the drug cautiously and take it only when necessary.
Take Only When Required
There is a reason why Adderall is not available over the counter. It is a powerful drug. This means you should not see Adderall as a performance-enhancing substance but as a medication.
If no medical professionals see the need for you to take Adderall, you should not take it. People who self-administer Adderall are much more likely to become addicted, so you want to avoid this.
Take As Directed
If a medical professional decides to prescribe you Adderall, the doctor sees you are more likely to benefit from the drug, despite the risks.
The doctor may also have weighed in on the dosage, ensuring it is therapeutic to you only. As a therapeutic dose, Adderall is less likely to cause addiction.
This means you should always take the drug as prescribed. Do not take higher doses than required, as the drug may no longer become therapeutic and is likely to cause addiction.
Discuss If Skipping Doses Is Possible
Understand that drugs such as Adderall can be strong. Despite its positive effects, you should always try to live your life without it as much as possible.
This means you may want to consult with your doctor if you can skip taking the drug on the days you may not need it. For example, if you do not work on the weekends, you may be able to manage the symptoms without Adderall since you are at home.
Your doctor may allow, disallow, or suggest a lower dose, depending on their professional judgment.
Stop When Something Feels Wrong
Suppose you ever feel tempted to take a higher dose or you exhibit signs of addiction. In that case, you should stop and immediately talk to your doctor.
This is because if you have developed an addiction to the drug without knowing it, it may be best to address the problem early on before the addiction has become severe. Your doctor may help you wean off the drug slowly by tapering the dose or help you manage the problem differently.