Xanax is probably one of the most popular drugs in the benzodiazepine class. They help treat anxiety, seizures, muscle spasms, and sleep disorders. But, how long does Xanax stay in your system? According to their prescribing information, the average person metabolizes half a Zanaz from their system in about 11.2 hours. However, it can take days before the body eliminates Xanax from the system.
What is Xanax?
Xanax (Alprazolam) is a prescription medication that treats anxiety and panic disorders. As you probably know, Xanax is highly addictive and is often abused recreationally. Xanax helps calm the nerves by producing a feeling of relaxation. It’s generally meant as a short-term medication to treat a myriad of mental health conditions. However, some people take prescription drugs for recreational purposes only. When taken at higher doses, it can create a euphoric feeling or “high” that causes people to become dependent. Unlike other benzodiazepines, doctors don’t know precisely how Xanax works. They know it helps depress the central nervous system (CNS) to help relieve anxiety and calm people down. Xanax is not a short-acting benzodiazepine nor a longer-acting one; it’s somewhere in the middle.
How Long Does Xanax Last?
Xanax is taken by mouth, and it’s quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. The feelings of calm can be experienced in 6.3 to 26.9 hours. Usually, it takes Xanax about 1-2 hours to kick in and reach its peak or maximum concentration in the body. But its effects can linger for much longer than that, especially if you’re taking an extended-release version of Xanax. People who take this medication often build up a tolerance. When this happens, it may take longer to feel the sedative effects of Xanax, or the sedation may not feel strong. This can be a trigger point for misuse and addiction. When people develop a tolerance for Xanax, they’re more likely to use it more frequently, request an increase in dose, or misuse it by snorting or injecting the drug to accelerate the effects.
How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your System?
Various tests can detect the presence of Xanax; like most other drugs, blood, urine, saliva, and hair tests are the go-to testing method. Depending on the drug tests used, Xanax can be detected at different lengths of time.
Depending on the laboratory test used, most people have half the dose of Xanax in their blood within a day. Still, it can take several days (usually between 4 to 5 days) for the body to eliminate Xanax from the system.
Interestingly, not all urine tests can detect the presence of specific benzodiazepines like Xanax. However, they can still catch drugs in urine, and Xanax will usually linger in the body for up to 5 days.
While rare, saliva tests can be used to check for the presence of drugs. So far. The maximum time Xanax was still detectable in someone’s oral fluid was about 2.5 days.
Because hair doesn’t grow as quickly, hair tests can detect Xanax for up to 3 months. In fact, some laboratories may test positive for up to 12 months after taking Xanax.
What Affects How Long Xanax Stays in the Body
Timeframes can vary on how quickly your body breaks down Xanax. Several factors affect how long Xanax stays in your system, including:
- Metabolism rate
- Height and weight
- Body fat content
What Makes Xanax Last Longer
Sometimes, Xanax can last longer in the body. These circumstances include:
- Alcoholic liver disease: Since the liver helps metabolize Xanax, someone with an unhealthy liver will take longer to break it down. For example, someone with alcoholic liver disease will take 19.7 hours to break down Xanax.
- Age: Older adults take longer to break down Xanax and other medications. The average half-life in an older adult is close to 16.3 hours after their last dose.
- Obesity: The half-life of Xanax in someone with obesity is 21.8 hours on average. That’s over 10 hours more than an average-sized person. This is because there’s more fat tissue, and their metabolism tends to be slower.
- Alcohol use: Combining alcohol and Xanax can lead to dangerous side effects, including fatal overdose. Both substances act as Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants, and alcohol makes Xanax last longer in the system.
What Makes Xanax Last Less
Xanax can also last a shorter amount of time. Those with fast metabolism rates will expel the substances at a faster rate. Also, people who take medications that speed up eliminating drugs or what doctors call “inducers” will eliminate Xanax faster from their system. Doctors prescribe these medications to reduce seizure activity:
- St. John’s Wort
How to Get Xanax Out of Your System (Safely)
Xanax isn’t the longest-acting benzodiazepine, but it isn’t the shortest either. Even if you don’t feel the effects of Xanax, that doesn’t mean it isn’t detectable in your system. When someone stops taking Xanax abruptly, it can experience withdrawal symptoms. Because of this, the best and safest way to get Xanax out of your system is through benzo medical detox. In this clinically supervised detox process, we ensure the patient’s safety and make the withdrawal phase as comfortable as possible by minimizing withdrawal symptoms and using medication-assisted treatment services to guarantee a complete detoxification process.
Getting Help for Xanax Addiction
It’s common for Xanax addicts to create a social group of people who also abuse substances. So, they might not realize they have a problem to begin with. If you or someone you know is taking Xanax, watch out for these early signs of addiction:
- Mood changes
- Behavioral changes
- Physical changes
- Trouble sleeping
- Sudden weight loss
You can start by making a doctor’s appointment to assess your overall health. They can also help you answer any questions about your substance abuse problem, and when you’re ready, refer you to a treatment center. If you’re ready to learn more about our Xanax addiction treatment programs, don’t hesitate to call us. We offer unique and personalized treatment plans. If you have questions for yourself or a loved one, our admissions specialists will be more than happy to answer all your doubts. Start your addiction treatment journey today.