Interested in starting your healing journey? Speak with an admissions counselor now
We're Hiring!
Apply for Jobs Now

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Adderall is a prescription stimulant drug that is primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It comes in an immediate-release capsule and an extended-release form, which is referred to as Adderall XR.

While Adderall is effective in treating ADHD, some people abuse it for its euphoric and energetic effects. Up to 20% of college students abuse it to stay up long hours studying or partying.

If you or a loved one abuse Adderall, knowing how long it stays in your system is important. This information can prevent you from taking too much at once and overdosing. It can also help you determine when you will begin experiencing withdrawal.

Adderall usually stays in your system for up to 2 days. However, drug tests can detect Adderall in urine for about 72 hours.

How Long Do the Effects of Adderall Last?

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that increases activity in your brain and body. You might experience effects like increased energy, fast heart rate, and even a rush of euphoria. Some people describe an Adderall high as similar to cocaine or methamphetamine, as they are all stimulant drugs.

The common effects of Adderall include:

  • A rush of euphoria
  • Increased energy and focus
  • Feelings of self-confidence or importance
  • Fast heart rate or chest pains
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Increased sweating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lessened need for food and sleep
  • Psychosis

How long the effects of Adderall last depends on what formulation you take. The immediate-release formula will produce a more intense effect and lasts from 4 to 6 hours.

On the other hand, extended-release Adderall slowly releases the effects over time. Most people who abuse Adderall prefer the immediate release, as it is more potent. With that being said, Adderall XR can last up to 12 hours.

How Does Your Body Metabolize Adderall?

Understanding how long Adderall stays in your system involves being aware of how your body processes it. When you consume Adderall, it moves into your gastrointestinal tract first. Then, it travels into your liver where it will be eliminated via urine.

Most of the substance will be converted into metabolites referred to as hippuric and benzoic acids. Drug tests look for these metabolites to determine if you’ve abused Adderall recently.

The half-life of Adderall is about 10 hours. It typically takes your body 4 to 5 half-lives to eliminate a substance. In other words, it can take up to 2 days for your system to remove Adderall.

What Factors Affect How Long Adderall Stays in Your System?

The length of time Adderall remains in your system depends on a variety of personal factors, including the dosage you take. For example, the dose of Adderall can affect how long it remains in your body. People who take smaller doses will eliminate the drug faster.

Other factors that play a role in how long Adderall stays in your system include:

  • Age and Body Weight- People with a higher fat percentage might eliminate substances like Adderall more slowly than others.
  • Speed of Metabolism- Faster metabolisms allow your body to eliminate Adderall quickly.
  • Health of Kidneys and Liver- Since your kidneys and liver play a huge role in eliminating Adderall, their health directly affects how long it stays in your system. People with liver or kidney conditions might eliminate the drug slower than usual.
  • Presence of Additional Substances- Combining Adderall with alcohol or other substances can cause your body to eliminate it slowly. For example, drinking alcohol at the same time can make Adderall stay in your body longer.
  • Frequency of Adderall Abuse- People who abuse Adderall frequently will eliminate it slower than others who have only used it once or twice.
  • Formulation of Adderall- the extended formulation of Adderall is slowly dispensed into your body over time. This means it might take your body longer to eliminate Adderall XR when compared to the immediate-release formula.

It is important to note that there is no way to eliminate Adderall from your system faster. Detox drinks do not speed up your body’s metabolism. If you are trying to pass a drug test, the best thing to do is avoid abusing Adderall.

Thankfully, if you are prescribed Adderall, you will not fail your drug test. Using Adderall to treat a mental health condition is not considered substance abuse and you cannot be discriminated against.

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Even though your body eliminates Adderall within two days of your last dose, some metabolites are left behind. These metabolites are what drug tests look for to determine if you’ve used Adderall recently. The type of drug test being used affects how long Adderall can be detected in your system.


Urine tests are the most commonly used drug test because they are minimally invasive and relatively cheap. Adderall can be detected in urine for 48 to 72 hours after your last dose. People who have been using Adderall for a long time might test positive longer than first-time users.


Saliva drug tests involve using a cotton swab to collect saliva from the inside of your cheek. These tests are not as reliable as other types of drug tests. However, some employers use them to test potential job candidates.

Saliva tests can detect Adderall in your system for 20 to 50 hours after your last dose.


Blood tests are most commonly used in hospital settings. They provide a short window of detection, which can be helpful to determine if a drug is causing your symptoms. That said, blood tests can detect Adderall for about 48 hours.


Hair testing is the most reliable type of drug test available. Since they are so effective, they are also expensive to conduct. As a result, they are not commonly used.

Some high-profile careers might use hair testing before offering employment. These tests can detect any substance (including Adderall) for up to 90 days after your last dose.

Finding Help for Adderall Abuse and Addiction

The long-term effects of Adderall addiction can be devastating. For example, repetitive use of stimulants can cause significant damage to the heart. To prevent yourself from experiencing these effects, you should seek treatment from a drug rehab program.

At Mandala Healing Center, we offer our clients individualized treatment plans. In other words, all of the services you receive will be relevant to your needs. Our staff members also use a compassionate and empathetic approach to addiction treatment.

Clients are taken on a journey of healing through complete immersion into evidence-based clinical modalities, multifaceted alternative therapies, and expert medical management, allowing them to fully detox and recover from drug and alcohol addictions. Through a program of care designed to encourage change, a foundation is created that allows clients to find their higher purpose and reclaim their lives.

Contact us today to learn more about our Adderall addiction treatment program.