How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System? An Overview

Jump to a section
Table of contents
Expand list

Although the effects of Adderall last between four to six hours, Adderall can be detected in blood for up to 46 hours after last use, in urine for up to 96 hours, and in hair for as long as three months. It’s important to bear in mind that how long Adderall stays in your system will always be impacted by factors such as body weight, gender, age, urinary PH (acidity) levels, drug dosage, and frequency of use. Avenues Recovery provides an overview of Adderall and how long it lasts in your body.

What is Adderall?

Adderall, part of the amphetamine family, is a stimulant drug approved by the FDA as a treatment for ADHD and narcolepsy. Stimulants are a class of drugs that act on the central nervous system and speed up brain activity, making people feel more energetic and alert. They also produce an overabundance of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and euphoria. It works by regulating levels of stimulation in the brain, which improves focus and concentration levels and reduces impulsive behavior.

Back to top

Adderall Half-Life

How long Adderall stays in your system is controlled by the Adderall half-life. The half-life of a drug is the time it takes for half the amount of the drug (or its main active ingredient) to leave your body. On average, an adult can expect half of an Adderall dose to leave the body within approximately 13 hours, with the drug being eliminated entirely after a few days.

How Long Does 10 mg of Adderall Stay In Your System?

Based on Adderall’s half-life we can calculate that approximately 13 hours after taking 10 mg of Adderall there will be 5 mg of Adderall remaining in one’s system. 26 hours after taking Adderall, there will be 2.5 mg of Adderall in one’s body, and so forth. About 40 hours later, there will only be 1.25 mg of Adderall in one’s system.

How Long Does 20 mg of Adderall Last?

The same can be calculated for a 20 mg dosage of Adderall. About 52 hours after taking 20 mg of Adderall, the body will retain 1.25 mg of the original Adderall dosage.

Factors That Affect How Long Adderall Will Last

Exactly how long Adderall stays in your system will differ from person to person. 

It will depend on various individual factors:

  • Dosage - The more Adderall ingested, the longer it will take to completely leave your body.
  • Body size/weight - Certain drugs are stored in fat, so they will stay in the system of people who are heavier, for longer.]
  • Age - Adderall may stay in the system of older people for longer, since their total body waters decrease and their body fat increases.·  
  • Medical history - Previous illnesses and medical complications may slow the metabolism and slow the excretion of Adderall.
  • Other drugs - Other recently ingested drugs may cause Adderall to remain in the body for longer. Therefore, how long Adderall stays in your system will depend on if you are taking other substances at the same time.
  • Body PH Levels - People with high levels of PH or alkalinity in their urine, will excrete Adderall more quickly than others.  
  • Food - Taking Adderall on a full stomach allows the body to digest and excrete it more efficiently.
  • Metabolism - Those with a strong and efficient metabolism will process and excrete drugs much faster than those with a weaker metabolism. 

Chart: How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your Urine, Blood, Hair, and Saliva?

There are many different tests used to detect drugs and alcohol, including blood tests, breathalyzers, urinalyses, and even hair follicle testing. The above guidelines give a good idea of how long Adderall stays in your system and is detectable by drug tests. However, the sensitivity of the drug test will also determine exactly how long Adderall is found in your system for.

Test Type Detection Time Period
Urine 3-4 Days
Hair Follicle Test Up to 3 Months
Blood Up to 2 Days
Saliva Up to 20-50 Hours

Back to top

Adderall Misuse

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified Adderall as a drug with a high potential for abuse. In fact, amphetamines are one of the most dangerous prescription drugs. It is neither a performance-enhancing drug nor a safe or responsible way to get high. Although anyone can misuse Adderall and experience withdrawal, rates of Adderall abuse and addiction are unarguably higher among those who misuse the prescribed drug – either by using it without medical supervision/a prescription or by exceeding the prescribed dosage.

Misuse of Adderall is widespread among college students, who consider it to be a “study drug.” They believe that it will help to improve their cognitive function and academic achievements – for example, they may take it to help them pull all-nighters before essay deadlines or big exams.

Learn more about Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics.


Side Effects of Adderall Misuse

Some side effects of Adderall are:

  • Increased alertness and energy, and a decreased need for sleep 
  •  Euphoria (immediately after use)
  •  Reduced appetite
  •  Deep depression
  •  Anxiety attacks
  •  Disturbed sleep patterns
  •  Dizziness
  •  Headaches
  •  Paranoia

Long-term Adderall misuse can result in far worse, even devastating health complications, such as:

  •  Severe tooth decay
  •  Stroke
  •  Heart disease
  •  Convulsions/Seizures
  •  Death


How To Take Adderall if Prescribed

When taking Adderall as a medical prescription, it’s important to follow the prescribing doctor’s instructions. According to Drugwatch, Adderall can be administered as immediate release tablets taken 2-3 times a day, or an extended release version taken once a day. Patients above the age of 6 start at a daily dose of 5mg and increase if needed, rarely exceeding 40mg/day. Only a doctor should prescribe when to increase the dose, and by how much, while monitoring its effectiveness.

How to Get Adderall Out of Your System: Treatment for Adderall Addiction

When someone develops a serious Adderall addiction, they will require residential rehab treatment incorporating guided therapy in order to recover. Therapy for Adderall misuse will involve addressing any mental health disorders brought on by the addiction, as well as the root causes that led them to addiction in the first place. Drug addiction frequently occurs in individuals with pre-existing mental health problems (known as co-occurring disorders) and only serves to exacerbate them.

There are many therapeutic modalities available in both individual and group therapy settings, all will use an integrated approach to look at the addict's past and present state and help pave the way to a future free of drugs.


Adderall Addiction Treatment at Avenues Recovery

If you or a loved one are suffering from an Adderall addiction or want to know more about how long Adderall stays in your system, don’t hesitate to contact Avenues Recovery Center for help. We offer a variety of treatment programs and extensive resources to help you recover. A trained and caring treatment specialist will explain your options clearly and walk you through the next steps. Thousands have found their way home through Avenues Recovery – and so can you!

Check your insurance

We received your insurance request!

We will get back to you shortly. While you wait... you may find our resource blog helpful. Take a look below: