addiction

How Long Do Benzos Stay In Your System?

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Benzos stay in your system and can be detected in certain body parts for up to 90 days. Read on to discover how long benzos last in specific parts of the body, which factors affect how long benzos stay in your body and benzos half life. But first, what are benzos?

What Are Benzos?

Benzos, short for benzodiazepines, are a class of psychoactive drugs that are commonly prescribed to treat various medical conditions – mainly those related to anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. They are known for their calming and sedative effects on the central nervous system. Benzodiazepines work by enhancing the activity of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which inhibits the firing of neurons, leading to reduced anxiety and relaxation.

Benzodiazepines come in various forms and have different durations of action. Some examples of well-known benzodiazepines include Alprazolam (Xanax), Lorazepam (Ativan), Diazepam (Valium), Clonazepam (Klonopin), Temazepam (Restoril), and Chlordiazepoxide (Librium). 

Benzodiazepines are generally considered safe and effective when used as prescribed and for short periods of time. However, there are numerous risks and side effects associated with its use.

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How Long Do Benzos Last in Urine?

Short-acting benzos, like Halcion, can be detectable in the urine for 24 hours. Intermediate-acting benzos such as Xanax, Klonopin, Restoril and Ativan can still be detected in the urine 1- 5 days after use. Longer-acting benzos like Valium may appear in the urine 5 - 8 days after use. Those who misuse benzos chronically have detected benzos in their urine up to 30 days after the last use.

How Long Do Benzos Last in the Blood?
Benzos may be detected in the blood from one hour to eight days.

How Long Do Benzos Last in the Hair?
Benzos can be detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days.

How Long Do Benzos Last in the Saliva?
Benzos can last in the saliva for up to two days.

Which Factors Affect How Long Benzos Stay in Your System?

Benzos may stay in some peoples’ bodies longer than others based on several factors:

  • Type of Benzos - some benzos take longer than others to clear out of the system. Long-acting benzos take the longest to clear out completely.

  • Age - the older the user is, the longer it takes for benzos to be cleared from the body.

  • Weight - the heavier the user is, the longer it takes for benzos to exit the body.

  • Kidney function - it takes longer for benzos to be cleared from the system from users with poor kidney function, especially if they were taking Chlordiazepoxide and Lorazepam.

  • Liver function - it takes benzos longer to exit the system for users with poor liver function, especially if they were taking Chlordiazepoxide and Diazepam.
  • Dosage - the higher the dosage, the longer it takes to leave the system.

  • Metabolism - the slower the metabolism, the longer it takes to leave the system.

  • Frequency of use - the longer a user has been using benzos, the longer it will take to clear from the system. For a one-time user, it will clear out immediately.

  • Polysubstance Use - ingesting other drugs (or alcohol) with benzos can cause the benzos to stay in the system for longer

  • Fluid Intake - the more fluids a person drinks, the quicker the benzos will be flushed from the system.

  • History of Drug Use

  • Medical History

  • Manner of Ingestion

  • Individual’s Physical Health

  • Gender

How Long Are Specific Drugs Detected in a Urine Test?

Several factors determine how long benzos are detected in the urine, but these samples show an example of how long the metabolites can be detected in the bloodstream.

  • Halcion: 7 - 15 hours

  • Valium: 10 - 30 days

  • Xanax, Klonopin and Ativan: 5 days

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Peak Levels and Half-Life of Benzos:

Now we will discuss the peak level and half-life to determine how long it will take for benzos to be cleared from the system. The peak level is when a drug is at its highest concentration in the bloodstream. The half-life benzos describes how long it takes to get rid of half of a dose. Most drugs take five half-lives to be cleared from the body.

Peak levels and benzodiazepine half-life depend on benzos type, dosage, and how it was ingested.

Here is a benzos half-life chart for benzos taken orally:

Benzodiazepine Time to peak level Half-life
Alprazolam 1 - 2 hours 12 - 15 hours
Chlordiazepoxide Several hours 24 - 48 hours
Oxazepam 3 hours 5 - 11 hours
Lorazepam 1 - 2 hours 10 - 20 hours
Diazepam 0.5 - 6 hours 20 - 80 hours
Clonazepam 1 - 4 hours 18 - 50 hours

 

Possible Short-Term Effects of Benzos

  • Anxiety reduction
  • Stress reduction
  • Euphoria
  • Calm
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech or stuttering
  • Nausea and loss of appetite
  • Impaired thinking and memory loss
  • Drowsiness

Possible Long-Term Effects of Benzos

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Paranoia and aggression
  • Addiction
  • Nausea
  • Skin rashes 
  • Weight gain
  • Personality change
  • Weakness and lethargy

If you or a loved one suffers from a benzos addiction, reach out to us at Avenues Recovery so we can guide you on your path to recovery.

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Why Test for Benzos?

Many companies require their employees to do drug testing before starting a new job. Drug testing is also commonly done for child custody and parole cases. In addition, most professional athletic teams require regular drug testing to ensure their athletes are in top form and drug-free. 

Most drug tests test for metabolites, molecules left in the body once the body has processed the drug. These molecules can stay in the system much longer than the drug itself. 

Which Types of Drug Tests Are There?

  • Urine Testing - Urine testing is the most common type of testing. It measures for metabolites found in the urine. It can be accurate for several weeks after drug use. 

  • Saliva Testing - Less invasive than urine testing, but must be conducted within 12 hours of drug use.

  • Hair Testing - Can detect drug use from three months prior. It is used less often than other tests because most tests only test for current drug use.

  • Blood Testing - Blood testing is invasive and expensive. It is quite accurate yet used less commonly. Results are usually available immediately.

  • Perspiration Testing - Quite new and used less often. It is mainly used in parole cases to determine long-term drug use. It can take up to two weeks to receive results.

Having your life controlled by an addiction is extremely tough! If you or a loved one suffers from a benzos addiction, reach out to us at Avenues Recovery so we can guide you on your path to recovery. Our experienced addiction counselors will help you fight your addiction and regain control of your life.

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