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How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

How long does Adderall stay in your system? Learn everything you need to know about Adderall in this comprehensive article.

What Is Adderall?

What is Adderall, and how long does Adderall stay in your system? Adderall is the brand name for a medication that contains two active ingredients: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These are stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that are responsible for hyperactivity and impulse control. What does Adderall treat? What are the side effects? How long does Adderall stay in your system? Continue reading to find out.

How long does Adderall stay in your System

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What Conditions Does Adderall Treat?

How long does Adderall stay in your system? What does Adderall treat? Adderall is primarily used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the United States, approximately 11% of children, 8.7% of adolescents, and 4.4% of adults have a lifetime prevalence of ADHD. Medical professionals commonly prescribe Adderall to manage ADHD symptoms, as it can help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity.1
This medication can also be prescribed to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder. The stimulating effects of Adderall can reduce daytime sleepiness and help those with narcolepsy stay awake and alert.

How Does Adderall Work?

How long does Adderall stay in your system, and how does the substance work? For those with ADHD, the brain struggles to maintain normal levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. For example, the brain may not produce enough of these chemicals or use them inefficiently. Dopamine and norepinephrine are neurotransmitters that play a significant role in attention, motivation, and impulse control.

Adderall works by increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain. More specifically, it blocks the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine. This increase improves the ability to focus and pay attention, as well as decreases impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

Who Should Take Adderall?

Adderall is a controlled substance and should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
It is advisable that one asks a trusted medical professional relevant questions such as, “how long does Adderall stay in your system?” and “what are the implications of taking Adderall?” prior to consumption. Making an informed decision on substance use is important to maintaining health and wellness.

How Does Adderall Affect Those Without ADHD?

Adderall can have different effects on individuals without ADHD, as they do not lack dopamine and norepinephrine. When people without ADHD take Adderall, they commonly experience increased alertness, focus, and concentration. Thus, it is frequently used recreationally or as a performance-enhancing drug.
How long does Adderall stay in your system? How does taking this substance impact those without ADHD? Well, taking Adderall without an ADHD diagnosis can lead to an excessive release of neurotransmitters, producing a sense of euphoria, increased energy, and sociability. While this may seem appealing, the recreational use of prescription medication has consequences.

Dangers of Taking Adderall Without Prescription and Medical Supervision

Using Adderall without a prescription or medical supervision is not recommended, as it can have dangerous effects. People without ADHD may not experience the same effects or have the same tolerance to the drug as those with ADHD. As a result, they may be more susceptible to adverse side effects. Adverse side effects of unprescribed Adderall use, as well as the answer to the question “how long does Adderall stay in your system?” will be detailed below.

Adderall Side Effects

How long does Adderall stay in your system? What are the implications associated with Adderall use? Adderall can cause a variety of side effects, some of which are more common than others. The most common side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain

Additional Side Effects of Adderall Use

Other possible side effects of Adderall include:
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Cardiovascular problems (e.g., heart attack, stroke)
  • Depression
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Mania
  • Rash
  • Tics

Is Adderall Addictive?

Is it possible to become addicted to Adderall? How long does Adderall stay in your system before it becomes addictive? As a stimulant, Adderall does have the potential to be addictive, particularly when taken in larger doses or for an extended period of time. Regular use of Adderall can lead to tolerance, meaning the body needs more of the drug over time to achieve the same effects. This can increase the risk of addiction.

When a person becomes addicted to Adderall, they may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. These symptoms can include fatigue, depression, insomnia, and irritability.

Why Do People Misuse Adderall?

How long does Adderall stay in your system? Why do people misuse the drug? People may misuse Adderall for various reasons. Some of the most common reasons include the following: 2

  • To Improve Academic or Work Performance: Adderall can increase focus, attention, and concentration, which can be appealing to students and professionals. Enhancing school performance is among the most commonly reported reasons students misuse prescription stimulants.
  • To Lose Weight: Adderall can suppress appetite, driving some to misuse the drug as a weight loss aid.
  • To Get High: Adderall can produce a sense of euphoria, increased energy, and increased sociability. These effects can influence misuse in people with and without ADHD.
  • To Self-Medicate: Some individuals may self-medicate with Adderall to alleviate mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, without consulting a healthcare professional. 

Who Abuses Adderall?

How long does Adderall stay in your system? Who is at higher risk of abusing Adderall? Adderall abuse can occur in different populations and demographic groups. Some people who may be at higher risk of Adderall abuse include:3

  • College Students: Adderall misuse is prevalent among college students to improve academic performance, stay awake during late-night study sessions, or as a party drug.
  • Young Adults: Young adults may be more likely to abuse Adderall due to peer pressure, social influences, or wanting to enhance work or daily routine performance.
  • Individuals With ADHD: Individuals with ADHD who are prescribed Adderall are at an increased risk of abuse for a variety of reasons. For instance, they have access to the medication, can request a higher dosage, and may feel inclined or capable of taking more because they have a diagnosis. One survey found that 25% of college students with ADHD misuse their prescription to get high.
  • Individuals With a History of Substance Abuse: People with a history of substance abuse or addiction may be more likely to abuse Adderall due to its stimulating effects and susceptibility to drug misuse.

How Long Do Adderall’s Symptoms Last?

How long does Adderall stay in your system? There are many factors that impact the duration of Adderall’s effects.

Adderall IR vs. Adderall XR

Adderall comes in two forms, immediate-release (IR) and extended-release (XR). Both medications contain the same ingredients; however, Adderall IR comes in a tablet, and Adderall XR comes in a capsule. The XR capsules contain 50% immediate-release and 50% delayed-release beads. This is how Adderall XR kicks in quickly and lasts all day.
When considering these two types, it is important to consider: How long does Adderall stay in your system? Adderall IR typically starts working within fifteen to thirty minutes, and its effects usually last about four to six hours. Adderall XR starts working within thirty to sixty minutes and lasts around ten to twelve hours.

Are Adderall’s Effects Universal?

Adderall’s effects vary from person to person. It is important to note the factors that influence the medication’s half-life. The duration of Adderall symptoms is affected by the following:
  • Dosage
  • Frequency of use
  • Height, age, and weight
  • Metabolism
Moreover, food can influence the length and intensity of Adderall. How long does Adderall stay in your system on an empty stomach? Taking Adderall on an empty stomach allows for faster absorption, meaning the effects occur more quickly. On the other hand, a full stomach can delay absorption. Additionally, consuming food or drinks that contain citric acid one hour before or after taking Adderall can reduce the body’s ability to absorb the drug.

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

So, how long does Adderall stay in your system? According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the half-life of Adderall is around eleven hours. This means the body takes approximately eleven hours to process and eliminate Adderall’s active ingredients by half.4

Adderall Tests

People perform Adderall tests in a laboratory to measure the levels of amphetamines in a person’s body. These tests can help detect the presence of Adderall in the body and determine if the medication is being misused.
How long does Adderall stay in your system? Which tests can detect Adderall? Find out below:5

Blood Tests

How long does Adderall stay in your system, and how does one detect it in the bloodstream? An Adderall blood test involves using a sample of blood drawn from a vein in the arm. The sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis, and the test results are usually available within a few days.

The detection window for Adderall in the blood ranges from twenty-four to forty-eight hours after the last dose.

Urine Tests

How long does Adderall stay in your system, and how does one detect it in the body? An Adderall urine test involves collecting a sample of urine in a clean, dry container. The sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis, and the test results are usually available within a few days.

The detection window for Adderall in urine can last anywhere between two and seven days after the last dose. Remember that many factors can alter the timeline for which the drug can be detected, such as metabolism, weight, dose, and medication type (IR or XR).

Saliva Tests

An Adderall saliva test involves collecting a sample of saliva using a swab or device specifically designed to collect saliva. The sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis, and the test results are usually available within a few days.

How long does Adderall stay in your system, and what’s the time frame for detecting Adderall via saliva testing? The detection window for Adderall in the saliva is the shortest among the tests, typically ranging from twelve to twenty-four hours after the last dose.

Hair Tests

An Adderall hair test involves collecting a hair sample, often from the scalp, using scissors or clippers. The sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis, and the test results are usually available within a few days.
How long does Adderall stay in your system regarding hair? The detection window for Adderall in hair is longer than blood, urine, and saliva tests, lasting as long as three months after the last dose. Although hair tests are not standard, they help detect drug use that dates beyond a few days.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

How long does Adderall stay in your system? How does this impact withdrawal? Adderall withdrawal symptoms can occur when a person stops taking the medication or significantly reduces their dosage, especially after prolonged use. These symptoms can include:
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings for the medication
  • Depression, feelings of hopelessness
  • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  • Fatigue, lack of energy
  • Headaches
  • Increased appetite, weight gain
  • Insomnia, sleep disturbances
  • Irritability, agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

How Severe Are Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms?

How long does Adderall stay in your system? How bad can Adderall withdrawal symptoms get? Similar to the effects and longevity of Adderall, the severity of withdrawal symptoms varies depending on several factors. The individual’s health and the frequency, duration, and amount of Adderall taken can affect how the body reacts to withdrawing from the drug.
On average, the withdrawal symptoms of Adderall are mild and uncomfortable. However, some people experience severe symptoms that require professional help, such as suicidal thoughts.

Managing Adderall Withdrawal and Pursuing Effective Treatment

It’s important to note that suddenly stopping Adderall can be dangerous and lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. That is one reason why it’s so important to know the answer to the question “how long does Adderall stay in your system?” If you are taking Adderall and are considering stopping the medication, talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to taper off the medication.

Additionally, seek professional help if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms or have concerns about addiction. Various treatment options, such as behavioral therapy and medication-assisted treatment, can help you manage withdrawal symptoms and overcome addiction. Recovery is possible, and we at Ripple Ranch Recovery are here to help.

How long does Adderall stay in your system?

Adderall Addiction Treatment

How long does Adderall stay in your system? Now that we know the answer, we can consider how to heal from Adderall addiction effectively. Receiving treatment for Adderall addiction is pivotal to establishing the means for a sustainable, fulfilling, and healthy life. At Ripple Ranch Recovery, we offer services that enable long-term wellness and sobriety, such as:


Adderall detox is the process of ridding the body of the drug and managing withdrawal symptoms. Detox treatment for Adderall can occur in a hospital or inpatient treatment center, where medical staff can monitor patients during the withdrawal process. Ripple Ranch Recovery offers a medically managed detox in a safe and comfortable environment.

During detox, the patient will be gradually tapered off the substance to minimize withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. The answer to how long does Adderall stay in your system helps provide an approximate time for when the withdrawal symptoms begin to occur. Medical professionals can also prescribe medications to manage symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia.

Dual Diagnosis

During the detox process, the individual will undergo a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for their case. A dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, is a term used to describe when an individual simultaneously has a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment can play a huge role in managing otherwise untreated risk factors and mental health challenges.

It is important to consider all aspects of a person’s health in their recovery journey. This can include psychological and behavioral evaluations to determine any underlying mental health conditions or co-occurring disorders that may have contributed to the addiction.


There are several therapies that can be used to help individuals recover from Adderall addiction. These include:
  • Behavioral Therapy: This type of therapy helps individuals identify and change negative patterns of behavior related to their addiction. It can include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on understanding the thoughts and feelings that lead to addictive behavior, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which teaches how to manage emotions and improve relationships.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): MAT combines medication with behavioral therapy to help people overcome addiction. Buprenorphine and naltrexone are common medications prescribed to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with Adderall addiction.
  • Support Groups: Support groups provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences and receive support from others who are going through similar struggles. Examples are 12-Step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and SMART Recovery.
  • Family Therapy: This type of therapy helps family members understand the addiction, improves the connection and communication between all members, and teaches them how to support the individual in recovery.
  • Holistic Therapy: Holistic therapies include yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and other alternative treatments. They help manage stress, improve physical and mental well-being, and promote overall health and healing.
At Ripple Ranch Recovery, we will tailor the best therapeutic treatment approach to fit your individual needs, equipping you with the necessary tools for long-term wellness.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient rehab, also known as residential rehab, is a type of treatment where the individual lives at the treatment center for the duration of their treatment. This program typically lasts thirty to ninety days and provides twenty-four-hour supervision and support. Inpatient rehab is often recommended for patients with a severe addiction, a history of relapses, or co-occurring disorders.
Both inpatient and outpatient programs provide therapy, counseling, and support groups, but inpatient rehab is generally more intensive and provides a higher level of structure and supervision. Individuals in inpatient rehab cannot leave the facility during their stay, while those in outpatient rehab can leave after their scheduled appointments.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient rehab allows the individual to live at home and continue their daily responsibilities while receiving treatment. Outpatient rehab typically involves regular visits to a treatment center for therapy and counseling. Depending on the patient’s needs, these visits can be scheduled daily, weekly, or bi-weekly. Outpatient treatment programs are often recommended for individuals with mild to moderate addiction, a stable living environment, and a strong support system.

Reach Out and Experience Transformative Healing at Ripple Ranch

At Ripple Ranch Recovery, we understand how challenging it can be to struggle with Adderall addiction alone. Take the first and most important step towards self-care today by reaching out to us. Let our compassionate staff answer any questions you may have, such as “How long does Adderall stay in your system?” Whether you are wondering how long does Adderall stay in your system, how do you begin treatment, or what would your treatment plan look like, we are here to help.

Call us today at 830.494.4717 or visit to get started.