Many patients wonder “How long does Adderall® stay in your system?” But before we jump into that, it’s important to have a better understanding of how the drug works and how it can effect your body.
Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine salts (Adderall®) is a stimulant drug  approved by the FDA to treat the symptoms of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This drug works by stimulating the central nervous system and increasing levels of dopamine or norepinephrine in the brain, resulting in increased focus and reduced impulsivity.
Adderall® is also sometimes prescribed off label to treat depression and anxiety.
Although Adderall® has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of diagnosed mental health conditions, stimulants present high potential for abuse, especially among college students and high-level executives looking to increase focus, performance, and productivity.
Adderall® abuse often leads to substance use disorder and requires clinical assistance to detox and overcome the addiction.
Adderall® is metabolized by the body relatively quickly compared to other drugs, but how long it stays in your system depends on a myriad of factors.
What is the Half-Life of Adderall®?
The half-life of Adderall® is approximately ten hours, meaning that every ten hours, half of the substance is eliminated from the body.
For example, if you took Adderall® at 6am, the drug would be halfway out of your system by 4pm the same day.
How Long Does Adderall® Stay In Your System?
Although the effects of Adderall® wear off between approximately 20 and 24 hours, the drug is detectable in the body for much longer. There are several factors that affect how long Adderall® can be detected in the body, including frequency of use, dosage, age, and body composition.
Depending on the type of drug test, Adderall® is detectable for different durations. A urine test may not detect Adderall® after 7 days, but a hair follicle test can detect Adderall® up to three months after your last use.
Below are some common drug tests for Adderall® and the detection window for each:
|Drug Test||Adderall® Detection Times|
|Urine Test||3-7 days|
|Blood Test||1-2 days|
|Saliva Test||2-3 days|
|Hair Test||Up to 90 days|
What are the Side Effects of Too Much Adderall® in Your System?
If you’re wondering how long does Adderall® stay in your system, it really has a lot to do with how much you take.Taking more Adderall® than prescribed is Adderall® misuse and can lead to overdose.
Signs of an Adderall® overdose  include:
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Blurred vision
All types of Adderall®, including Adderall® XR (extended release) and Adderall® IR (immediate release), when taken in excess, can cause irreversible damage to the body, specifically the liver and kidney function.
If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of an Adderall® overdose, call 911.
Does Adderall® Cause Long Term Effects?
How long does Adderall® stay in your system and how can long term Adderall® use have lasting, damaging effects on the body.
Adderall® is a stimulant and can increase blood pressure and heart rate, leading to both heart attack and stroke. Taking Adderall® long term  (especially in the case of higher doses and Adderall® abuse), can cause lasting damage to the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract.
If your doctor has prescribed you Adderall®, they have decided that the benefits outweigh the risks of taking the drug. However, you should never take Adderall® without a prescription, as stimulant drugs–and any other drugs–can exacerbate symptoms of pre-existing conditions.
How Can You Get Adderall® Out of Your System Quickly?
The effects of Adderall® will wear off within 24 hours, but the only way to get Adderall® out of your system is to stop taking the drug.
It is important, however, that you do not attempt to detox from Adderall® on your own. Stopping any type of stimulant medication without the supervision of a medical professional can lead to negative consequences, including the inability to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms and return to using the drug.
If you or a loved one are suffering from Adderall® addiction, contact an addiction treatment center to discuss treatment options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Adderall®
Answers to some of the most common questions about Adderall®, Adderall® addiction, and Adderall® addiction treatment:
Does Adderall®, Concerta, or Modafinil Last Longer in Your System?
Adderall®, Concerta, and Modafinil are all prescription stimulants, but have different half lives. If you’re wondering how long does Adderall® stay in your system – Adderall® has a half life of 10 hours while Concerta has a half life of 3.5 hours and Modafinil has a half life of 15 hours. It is important to remember, however, that a shorter half life does not mean that the drug won’t be detectable on drug tests.
How Does Adderall® Extended-Release Work?
Extended release Adderall® (Adderall® XR) takes effect in the body on average 30 minutes after taking the drug and releases into the body more slowly. Because Adderall® XR is released into the body more slowly, this formulation of Adderall® will remain in the body slightly longer than regular Adderall®.
Can You Take Too Much Adderall®?
Yes. Adderall® should only be taken as prescribed. Take only what dosage you are prescribed, as well as the specific formulation. This means do not attempt to take an extended-release version that was prescribed to someone else, even if you are out of your medication. If a healthcare professional has not prescribed you Adderall®, it is not safe for you to take at all.
I’m a High-Level Executive and Depend on Adderall® to Increase My Productivity. What Happens if I Stop Taking It?
A high-stakes career requires stamina, focus, and an A-level performance at all times. It is not uncommon for professionals to turn to Adderall® or other stimulants to maximize their productivity. This approach, however, is unrealistic and leads to harmful–and even fatal–consequences. Professionally, when one becomes addicted to stimulants, the addiction becomes priority and all other obligations do not get the time and attention they deserve, resulting in reduced quality of work. Physically, abusing Adderall® can lead to irritability, aggression, restlessness, confusion, irreversible organ failure and death. You can still achieve high levels of success without stimulants. If you are an executive and require discreet, customized treatment that allows you to focus on recovery while attending to your professional obligations, contact a member of the New Waters admissions department. We are equipped to handle the unique needs of executives in recovery.
Help! I Think I’m Addicted to Adderall®. What Now?
Taking Adderall®–whether prescribed or not–can lead to substance use disorder (SUD). If you have been prescribed Adderall® and find that you are taking more than prescribed, or if you have not been prescribed Adderall® but are purchasing it off the street and you can’t stop, it is time to seek out a treatment program. An Adderall® addiction treatment program can help you detox from the substance and overcome both your physical and psychological addiction to the drug.
Do You Need to Detox Before Entering Addiction Treatment?
Most addiction treatment programs require you to be substance-free upon admission into treatment. It is imperative to your recovery and the recovery of others in your program that you enter into treatment not actively using addictive substances. Doing so allows you to focus on healing instead of combating the effect of drugs or withdrawal.
How Long Does it Take to Detox From Adderall®?
How long does Adderall® stay in your system? The length of time it takes to detox from Adderall® depends on several factors, including the amount of the drug in your system, frequency, and the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. Some individuals stay in a detox treatment program for only a couple of days, while some stay longer. Your treatment team will closely monitor you to determine your length of stay in detox.
Can I Detox from Adderall® on My Own?
Safely and comfortable detoxing from Adderall® should be completed under the supervision of a physician. It is crucial that you do not try to detox from any type of prescription drug on your own. Abruptly ceasing some substances can lead to unbearable side withdrawal side effects, irreversible organ damage and even death.
Where Can I Find Treatment for an Adderall® Addiction?
Overcoming your Adderall® addiction with the help of certified substance abuse clinicians gives you the best chance of long-term recovery. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers offer a combination of healing modalities that can help you overcome addiction and the underlying challenges that lead you to drug use in the first place. When you work with New Waters as your recovery partner, we can connect you with the resources you need to overcome Adderall® addiction in an environment that allows you to focus on your recovery as well as your professional life.
How Can I Get Started With New Waters Recovery?
If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction to Adderall®, there is help. At New Waters Recovery, we specialize in Adderall® addiction recovery treatment for high-level professionals and executives.
We understand the unique challenges experienced by executives and cater our services around your professional responsibilities. From technical capabilities and customized, chef-prepared meals, we provide unparalleled, upscale treatment that allows our clients to complete treatment both comfortably and while attending to your obligations outside of recovery.
You can succeed without Adderall®, and we’re here to help you regain control of your life. Contact our admissions department today and let us know how we can help you.
- Handelman, K., & Sumiya, F. National Library of Medicine. (2022, July 22). Tolerance to stimulant medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Literature review and case report. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9332474 on 2023, January 17
- Fitzgerald, K. PhD, Bronstein, A. MD. (2013, February). Adderall® (amphetamine-dextroamphetamine) toxicity. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S193897361300024X on 2023, January 17
- Millichap, J.G. Pediatric Neurology Briefs. (2005). Long-term effects of adderall xr in adhd. Retrieved from https://www.pediatricneurologybriefs.com/articles/10.15844/pedneurbriefs-19-6-10/ on 2023, January 17