Adderall and ADHD Treatment

September 12, 2011

How long does Adderall stay in your system?

Filed under: — admin @ 10:01 am

How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your System?

Adderall belongs to amphetamines. And amphetamines (amphetamine and methamphetamine) are in the group of the drugs included in the United States into a special list by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the so called “SAMHSA-5″. The list was formerly known as “NIDA-5″, or the five drugs of abuse highlighted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Together with Amphetamines, in that list there can be found other substances dangerous for your system: cannabinoids (marijuana, hash), cocaine (cocaine, crack, benzoylecognine), opiates (heroin, opium, codeine, morphine) and phencyclidine (PCP). As all of these substances may impair your thinking and reaction, and have a high potential for abuse, they draw special attention of the physicians when you have to pass your health tests. Due to the federal requirements, some companies even have to carry out their testing on a regular basis, especially if they employ for jobs that require particular attentiveness and being on the alert (e.g., driving, etc). The situation with amphetamines is so serious that even such substances as methadone, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, etc are included in the expanded test list, not in the “Top-5″. That is, they are optional for testing, and companies may choose among specific drugs that have to be included in their testing process. In case with amphetamines they have no choice.

How long Adderall stays in your system depends on the Adderall formulation. The half life of regular Adderall in your system is 4 to 6 hours. A single dose gets out of the system after about 35 hours. The half life of Adderall XR dose is 10 to 13 hours. (The medication consists of four different amphetamine salts metabolized at different rates.) It takes the system about 60 hours to get it out. However, in both cases approximate average results are taken, and in case of every individual the situation may differ.

To detect Adderall in your system, three different kinds of testing can be used: urine testing, hair testing, saliva testing and blood testing.

  • Urine Testing

Urine drug testing is said to be the cheapest way of screening your system for drug presence ($7-$50 for a home testing kit), so it is most widely used. It is taken by means of a special chromatographic absorbent device in which the specimen with (possibly present) drug is compared to the standard drug sample immobilized on a porous membrane. The process is quick and effective for the detection of amphetamine in urine. The cutoff concentration for this test (often called screening immunoassay) is 1000 ng/ml (one part per thousand), as recommended by the SAMHSA. Results are available within a week’s time. If more than one part per thousand is detected, the results of the testing are qualified as positive. The specimen is then retested by a more precise method of gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (GC/MS) which can detect amphetamines and methamphetamines at 500 ng/ml.

A single dose of Adderall is normally detectable in urine for 1 to 4 days after use, depending on the individual as diiferent people metabolize the medication at different rates. The detection period depends on several factors such as amount used, fluid intake, excretion, and acidity level of the urine (pH). After heavy chronic use, Adderall’s amphetamines can be detectable in urine for up to 5 or 7 days. Also, if smoked or snorted, Adderall is considered to stay in the system longer than if taken orally.

NB! Urine test does not determine that the drug being taken is specifically Adderall. The test only proves that some kind of amphetamine was taken. And Adderall is one of amphetamines. But if someone is on Adderall, the test will show that some amphetamines are present in the system.

  • Hair Testing

To detect amphetamines, the most recent 1.5 inches of hair growth is taken for testing. One hair is not enough, usually a bunch of hair about the diameter of a pencil is required. The length of 1.5″ provides a detection period of about 3 months. The shorter the person’s hair is, the shorter the detection period will be. Hair testing remains a rather expensive method (~$100-$150) which is not so widely used as urine testing.

  • Saliva Testing

This method has only been introduced within several recent years, and is still not widely spread althouth it is very convenient. And it only takes about five minutes to obtain the result with the same precision as in case with urine testing (1000 ng/ml detection). It has the advantage of not being embarrassing, too. So, it has every chance to gain popularity in course of time as new technologies will make it more exact. So far, we do not know the length of time that the test is accurate. (There have been reports that detection period of saliva testing is about 3 days.) A home testing kit’s price is ranged ~$15-$75 (slightly more expensive as compared to urine testing system).

  • Blood Testing

Blood tests are the most precise, but they are the most expensive, too. They are usually only aimed to determine the amount of Adderall you use, and whether you take it as prescribed, or overdose. Also, blood tests make it possible to distinguish dextro-amphetamines from levo-amphetamine, and in this way, determine if the person is using a single-salt dextro-amphetamine formulation (like Dexedrine or Vyvanse), or Adderall (which is a mixture of four different salts that includes the racemic levo-amphetamine salts). Detection period of blood testing is about 12 hours.

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