How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?


How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

The length of time Xanax stays in the system varies from person to person. Typically speaking, half-life Xanax is 9 to 16 hours, give or take, after being ingested. The half-life is the time it takes for the drug to be reduced by one half in the blood. This translates to a span of approximately 4 days for the the drug to be fully cleared from your system, granted you haven’t continued use of the drug. If you or suspect someone needs treatment for Xanax abuse, we offer inpatient and outpatient services.

This estimated time is based on several factors specific to each individual. The timeline can be affected by a person’s height, weight, overall health, age, and also, if the person is using any other drugs at the time. Like anything else consumed and processed through the body, a person’s metabolism also plays a part in how fast or slow it will take for Xanax to break down and eventually become eliminated from your system.

Additionally, the dose of Xanax and how often it is ingested are factors in how long it will remain in the system. For example, a person who is abusing the drug will most likely be taking amounts beyond the prescribed dosage recommendation, which will take longer for it to pass through the system. Each situation is unique and puts the user at risk for dependency, addiction, and long-term consequences to a person’s health and overall well-being.

Drug Testing for Xanax

People who are concerned about lasting traces of Xanax in the system most likely worry about being able to pass a drug test. Again, this is an added concern if the drug has not been prescribed or is not being taken as prescribed.

Drug testing is mandatory for specific employment, specifically jobs that require the use of heavy machinery. Athletes are also often drug tested for performance-enhancing and other illicit drug use. People receiving treatment in rehab may also be subject to routine drug tests. And, those who are facing or have been convicted of a crime may be subject to drug tests as well.

How long does Xanax stay in your urine?

The most common form of Xanax drug detection drug testing is via a urine drug test because these tests are not as invasive or expensive as the other types of drug testing, which include sampling of blood, saliva, or hair follicle testing. During urine testing for Xanax, a sample can result in traces of the drug for up to 4 days after the last time it was used. Those who use Xanax more frequently may test positive for the drug in the urine a full week after the last use.

For blood testing, normally the detection time is within hours of ingestion and can detect Xanax for up to a day after ingestion in certain cases. However, a hair follicle sample may be able to detect Xanax for up to a month after the last use; although, both of these methods of testing are less commonly used than a urinalysis. A blood test is more invasive and a hair test requires a larger sample to get an accurate reading.

How long does Xanax stay in your saliva?

Saliva testing can also provide a positive result for Xanax for up to 2.5 days, which is a longer detection than blood testing, but still not as wide a window of drug detection time as urine. The person administering the saliva test will decide which is necessary to take the sample.

Overview of Xanax Use

Xanax is commonly prescribed for patients who suffer from mental or mood disorders, including panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and phobias. The drug is meant to present a sense of “calm” within patients as its prime function inhibits neuron activity, which helps promote sleepiness and relaxation.

Although Xanax is not intended to create a “high” in users as with other drugs which are prone to being abused, the effect of Xanax can still cause a euphoric feeling in certain patients. Since the drug’s reaction with the central nervous system happens quite quickly, the effects of the drug are typically present within the first hour of use and can last for up to several hours afterwards.

People abusing the drug who wish to create this euphoric high at a faster rate may crush the pills and snort them. This type of behavior is most commonly associated with people who already abuse recreational drugs such as cocaine or heroin.

Xanax is not as commonly referenced for being an addictive drug, but people can and do become dependent on it.

Signs of Xanax Abuse

If you’re concerned for a friend or family member who you suspect is abusing Xanax, there are common signs to look out for. The first major indicator is a severe change in mood or personality. As with any drug abuse, if the person is suddenly secretive or withdrawn and they exhibit some of the physical symptoms associated with drug use, there may be real cause for concern.

Physical side effects a person might experience may include irritability, drowsiness, and/or fatigue. Depression and amnesia are also common side effects of Xanax use. People who have taken Xanax have also reported disruptive dreams combined with sleepwalking and possible actions they don’t recall the next morning. There are risks to consider when taking Xanax even with a prescription, but when abused, there is an increased cause for concerns to a person’s physical health and mental state.

Frequent users may exhibit signs of strong, impulsive behaviors, psychotic episodes, or in some instances, delirium. If a person has overdosed on Xanax, he or she might experience difficulty breathing, blurred vision, or slurred speech. In the event of an accidental overdose, emergency medical care is required.

Remember that addiction doesn’t look the same for everyone. It may be harder for some people to recognize than others. If a person is still able to maintain a seemingly healthy lifestyle, career, and family, the addiction may be slower to creep up, but it doesn’t mean anyone has the ability to control drug use after dependency has set in. That’s not how the body works.

If you are a concerned family member or friend of someone you suspect is abusing Xanax, approaching the subject can be a sensitive matter. The person may deny they have a problem, promise to get help, or become defensive and closed off.

It can be a frustrating and unsettling time because addiction has changed the way a person thinks and feels. Addressing the problem in a concerned and loving way is best, but it’s ultimately up to the person who’s using to get the help they need.

Xanax Dependency and Withdrawal

Drug dependency isn’t often reported among Xanax users, but the rise in use and visits to the ER due to abuse of the drug have risen significantly over the past decade. For those who are dependent or addicted to Xanax, overdose is a constant risk. An overdose happens when someone takes a large dose or doses of a drug without giving the body time to process it.

The way the body reacts to a drug can sometimes be unpredictable. Since Xanax is prescribed as an anti-anxiety medication, it’s not unlikely for people to determine for themselves how often and how much they should take to alleviate their symptoms, rather than following the prescribed dosage and medical direction.

With chemical dependency, the makeup of the body is altered to adapt to functioning with the drug in the system. Without it, someone who is dependent may suffer several withdrawal symptoms. In order to avoid these symptoms, such as depression, tremors, or seizures, people often continue to use and find themselves in an addiction cycle.

But keep in mind, Xanax addiction isn’t only about the physical activity of using the drug. Xanax affects the mind and behavior as well, which goes on to reflect negatively on a person’s relationships at work, home, and among friends and acquaintances. Addiction causes short- and long-term damage to the body, which over time, is visibly present.

The idea of someone “just quitting” isn’t as simple as it sounds when it comes to addiction. It requires the strength of a healthy mind and body; in addition to the help of professionals experienced in helping deal with addiction and relapse.

It’s not recommended to go through the withdrawal process alone. The symptoms that occur can wreak havoc on the body and can pose other potential effects that can be detrimental to a person’s overall health. Undergoing withdrawal and detox in a secure and safe environment ensures there are proper protocols in place and experienced medical professionals available to assist with the severity of withdrawal symptoms and provide emotional support through the toughest times.

Deciding to Seek Treatment

The decision to ask for help is one that has to ultimately made by the person suffering from addiction. Although family or friends may stage interventions or suggest counseling to prompt the person to get the help they need, without the desire to become healthy and sober for themselves, overcoming addiction may be harder to achieve or a short-lived venture.

Many drug users interested in knowing how long Xanax stays in the system may have to pass a drug test. They may refrain from use during this period of time. But it’s not to say that they will not return to use.

However, once there’s been a decision made to seek treatment, there are different pathways to sobriety. Each person will go through the withdrawal period referenced before because the body must be completely rid of Xanax before treatment can begin. There are various treatment options available and each person will experience rehabilitation and recovery differently.

What Kind of Treatment Options Are Available?

A broad overview of Xanax drug treatment includes either inpatient or outpatient care. With inpatient care, the person typically stays for a longer period of time in a safe and comfortable facility in order to concentrate solely on their health and sobriety without any interruption from the outside world.

By being removed from their current environment, the temptation to use is removed, which is especially important in the earlier stages of rehab. Treatment is a combination of monitoring a person’s physical health while they recover, but also provides emotional guidance through counseling, support groups, and activities and classes that teach individuals about living a life without drugs.

People who are addicted to Xanax only know life with it. It can be a harsh transition to be taken away from their known world without any guidance on how to function without it and learn about avoiding temptation. For example, if a person is taking Xanax in an effort to calm their anxiety, there must be an alternative or another set of coping skills set in place to help them ease these symptoms when Xanax is no longer an option.

A calming environment is important during treatment and recovery, which is why some people opt to receive their care near the mountains or ocean, while others prefer staying closer to home near family and other loved ones.

Outpatient care works similarly to inpatient care with regards to the structured environment and stable place with medical assistance and support readily available. However, with outpatient care, people may still reside at home or in a place they feel most comfortable. This may be a good option for those who are transitioning out of inpatient care or for those who have been to rehab before.

Where a person decides to seek treatment often depends on their current lifestyle and the amount of the support they have at home. It also depends on how long a person has been battling addiction and what level of care they need to return to good health. In short, treatment for Xanax addiction is not a one-kind-fits-all type of treatment. Just as a person’s addiction is personal, so is their recovery.

Regardless of the stage of addiction or recovery, it’s important to know there is help available. There’s a chance to create a more positive future. The first step is to acknowledge addiction as a disease that requires specific treatment in order to recover. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live a healthy and happy life. Take the opportunity to explore your options when it comes to treatment and care.

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