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How Long Does Adderall Stay In Your System

How long does Adderall last in your system? Read on to learn about Adderall half-life, symptoms, and more.

What Is Adderall Used For?

Despite growing concerns regarding Adderall misuse and abuse, the drug remains a first-choice treatment option for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Various studies show that proper use of Adderall helps improve attention and focus and reduces impulsivity, all common and sometimes debilitating symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.1

Adderall works by increasing the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the central nervous system. Dopamine, sometimes referred to as a “feel good” chemical, is a chemical produced in the body responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness. Although the body produces dopamine naturally, Adderall and other stimulant drugs increase the amounts the body produces.

Chemical Reactions

The chemical norepinephrine affects how your brain responds to events and how fast it responds to outside stimuli. Adderall affects how the user reacts to stimuli. Increased levels of dopamine produce intense feelings of happiness and contentment.

Adderall Side Effects

Adderall is a stimulant drug. When you take a drug like Adderall, even when taken as directed by your provider, it causes elevated body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. It also reduces your appetite and energy levels, helping you stay awake.2

Is Adderall Addictive?

Adderall is an addictive stimulant drug. People often misuse Adderall because they develop a dependency on its two primary ingredients, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Although amphetamine is not new to medical treatment and its effects are beneficial when used to manage specific conditions, the stimulating qualities of amphetamine are what often lead to Adderall abuse.

Why Do People Misuse Adderall

People of all ages misuse Adderall because they want to benefit from the specific effects of the drug. It is common for adults, teens, and some adolescents to use Adderall for “off-label” uses. A study conducted in 2015 by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed nearly five million Americans abused Adderall in the previous year.3

Who Abuses Adderall?

People who engage in Adderall abuse do so because the drug helps improve mood and focus, decreases appetite, and helps with academic, athletic (and sometimes sexual) performance. Using Adderall in this way is what leads to Adderall addiction. Unfortunately, there are many different sources for Adderall. This leads to high levels of Adderall abuse and addiction in people of all ages.

How to Find Adderall

In addition to obtaining medications through a legal prescription from your mental health provider, Adderall is also found in other places such as:

  • On school grounds
  • Through online pharmacies or on the “dark web”
  • At home, by stealing prescriptions from friends and family

Adderall Addiction Treatment

The best Adderall addiction treatment programs in southern California use a multifaceted approach. The first step for most people who enter therapy is detox. Skilled treatment professionals will provide medical and mental health support throughout your withdrawal journey at a comprehensive detox program like San Diego Detox, where medically supervised detox is available.

Depending on your needs, this may involve therapy, medical monitoring and intervention, and administering medications to help reduce the strength of some withdrawal symptoms.


Following detox, therapy is the next stage or step in Adderall addiction treatment. There are different treatment options for someone looking to overcome Adderall addiction. For some, an outpatient treatment program may help you achieve your goals.

However, the most intensive (and sometimes most effective) rehab programs in San Diego are inpatient or residential rehab programs. In a residential program like our luxury rehab, we will work with you to develop an individualized care plan based on your current therapeutic needs.


Addiction is a highly individual illness, and the path to sobriety looks different for everyone. For this reason, no single process or cookie-cutter addiction treatment program will work for everyone. It is essential to choose a program where the treatment models and therapies are based on factors unique to you, including the severity of your addiction, your current medical and mental health needs, and your history with addiction and addiction treatment.

Dual Diagnosis

It is also necessary to consider any underlying medical or mental health conditions that may contribute to or worsen your relationship with substances like Adderall. If you have a mental health diagnosis or Adderall abuse has led to changes in your mental health, it is crucial to choose a program like ours at San Diego Detox, where our treatment professionals specialize in dual diagnosis treatment.

Dual diagnosis conditions are not uncommon. Statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show around 40% of adults with a substance use disorder also have a mental illness.6

San Diego Detox

Overcoming Adderall addiction requires a commitment to achieving and maintaining sobriety. It is a process best achieved with support and guidance at a luxury rehab like San Diego Detox. At our southern California addiction treatment center, a team of skilled professionals will work with you to develop a plan of care designed around your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

At our private, retreat-like setting outside San Diego, you can immerse yourself in the journey of healing as we provide the support and care you need to get well. To learn more about how our programs can help you quit Adderall, contact us today for information.

How Long Do Adderall’s Symptoms Last?

Adderall is absorbed and processed through your gastrointestinal tract and your liver. There is no precise timeline for how long Adderall lasts in your body. Several factors unique to the individual determine how long an Adderall test can detect the drug. These include:4

  • The dose-how much Adderall you take each time you use it
  • The frequency of use-how often you take Adderall
  • Your body composition factors, including your overall health, height, weight, and age, impact how long Adderall lasts in your body
  • Your metabolism-someone with a slower metabolism will feel the effects of Adderall longer than someone with a faster metabolism

Other factors, including the pH of one’s urine and the health of their liver and kidneys, may also factor into how long Adderall lasts.

Adderall Tests

There are several routine tests for amphetamines, a component found in Adderall. As with tests for other drugs, each type of test can detect Adderall for different lengths of time.5

  • Blood: Blood tests can only detect Adderall in the blood for up to 46 hours.
  • Urine: Urine tests for Adderall can detect the drug in your urine 72-96 hours after your last use.
  • Saliva: Saliva tests can detect traces of Adderall for 20-50 hours after your last dose.
  • Hair: Adderall is detectable in the hair for up to three months after last use.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

Adderall withdrawal can produce intense and sometimes overwhelming withdrawal symptoms making it difficult for someone to withdraw independently. The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms will depend on the dose, duration, and frequency of your individual Adderall use.

For some, withdrawal symptoms will resolve in as little as five days, whereas for others, Adderall withdrawal symptoms may persist for two weeks or more. Someone who used Adderall at larger than prescribed doses for an extended time can expect withdrawal symptoms to be more intense and last longer.

Indications of Adderall Withdrawal

The symptoms one experiences when withdrawing from Adderall are essentially the opposite of the symptoms that led to their cravings and subsequent addiction. The most common include depression, sleep changes, appetite changes, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, and nightmares. Some will experience more severe and dangerous symptoms, including suicidal thoughts.