People may benefit from taking amphetamines as prescribed, but some people abuse these medications. Urine and hair samples can reveal this abuse long after the last dose.

Amphetamines are prescription medications that stimulate the central nervous system. They are most often used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. How long they last inside the body depends on several factors, including age, weight, dosage and more.

How Long Do Amphetamines Stay In The Urine, Hair and Blood?

People who have been abusing amphetamines often wonder how long these drugs stay in their systems. If you’ve quit taking amphetamines or are considering discontinuing your use, it is important to consult with a doctor to determine the best process for giving up these drugs, as you may experience withdrawal. A doctor can recommend a tapering process or refer you to treatment to help you manage withdrawal.

Once people have completely discontinued using the amphetamines, they normally want to know how long it will take for the drugs to be removed from their systems. Naturally, the process of elimination from the body varies slightly from person to person.

Experts have provided guidelines regarding how long amphetamines stay in the urine, hair and blood. These guidelines are averages and can change from person to person. They are as follows:

  • Blood: Up to 46 hours
  • Urine: Up to 2-3 days
  • Hair: Up to three months

Average Peak Levels And Half-Life Of Amphetamines

The peak effects of amphetamines occur 1 to 3 hours after a person takes them by mouth, and effects last for as long as 7 to 12 hours. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the half-life for the popular amphetamine Adderall is 9 hours for the immediate-release version and 10-13 hours for its extended-release version. 

Factors that Influence How Long Amphetamines Stay in Your System

Several factors play a role in how long amphetamines linger inside the body. The most influential factors to consider when coming off stimulants are:

  • Age: Age plays a dynamic role in organ function as well as metabolism rates. The younger a person is, the faster their metabolism is usually going to be and the better their normal organ functions will be. The older someone is, the less likely they are to have a fast and fully-functioning metabolism and organ function. Therefore, age is a huge factor in how quickly someone can eliminate toxins from his or her body.
  • Body composition: We must look at height, weight and fat content in comparison to the dosage amounts someone has been taking. If they have been taking amounts disproportionately to these factors, their elimination process will vary significantly from someone who is within average proportions.
  • Genetics: Addiction is often a function of genetic makeup. Genetics also dictate a person’s body type and metabolism. A person’s body type and genetic makeup will affect how someone is able to process stimulants through their system.
  • Function of the Kidney & Liver: A person with a dysfunctional liver or kidney is going to have a harder time eliminating toxins from amphetamines than someone with a healthy, fully-functioning liver and kidney. Those organs are essential for elimination and thus will affect clearance timeframes.
  • Metabolism: While diet, supplements and fitness can affect someone’s metabolic rates, the rule of thumb is that the higher a person’s metabolism, the faster they will be able to process and excrete drugs, food and other liquids.
  • Frequency of use: The frequency at which someone is using amphetamines and the amount they are using will greatly affect how quickly they will be removed from the system. If someone is a heavy user, they will take longer to rid their body of a drug than someone who only took a single dose one time.

Related Topic: How long does meth stay in your system

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms of Amphetamines

Understanding how long amphetamines stay in the body is helpful; however, knowledge alone will not prevent withdrawal symptoms and is often not enough to break the cycle of addiction to stimulants. Some of amphetamine withdrawal symptoms to be aware of are:

  • Depression or low mood
  • Lack of energy
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive Sleepiness 
  • Lethargy 

People can benefit from undergoing a detox program, where staff can monitor symptoms and mood as they withdraw from amphetamines and cleanse their bodies of these substances. Experts report that some people may benefit from antidepressant medications as they complete the withdrawal process. 

If you or a loved one is ready to remove amphetamines from your system and overcome addiction to these drugs, The Recovery Village is here to help. We offer a range of services, including detox programs. Contact us today to begin your journey.

Melissa Carmona
Editor – Melissa Carmona
As the content manager at Advanced Recovery Systems, Melissa Carmona puts years of writing and editing experience to work helping people understand substance abuse, addiction and mental health disorders. Read more
Jenni Jacobsen
Medically Reviewed By – Jenni Jacobsen, LSW
Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker through the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. She has seven years of experience working in the social work field, working with clients with addiction-related and mental health diagnoses. Read more
Sources

O’Malley, Gerald; O’Malley, Rika. “Amphetamines.” Merck Manuals, May 2020. Accessed June 16, 2020. 

Piper, Brian; et al. “Trends in use of prescription stimulants in the United States and territories, 2006-2016.” PLOS One, 2018. Accessed June 16, 2020. 

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Five million American adults misuse prescription stimulants.” April 16, 2018. Accessed June 16, 2020. 

Australian Government Department of Health. “Pharmacology of amphetamines.” April 2004. Accessed June 16, 2020. 

Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Amphetamine.” January 3, 2019. Accessed June 16, 2020. 

Hersh, Erica. “How long does Adderall stay in your system?” Healthline, October 3, 2019. Accessed June 16, 2020. 

Cox, D; Bowers, R; McBride, A. “Reboxetine may be helpful in the treatment of amphetamine withdrawal.” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, July 2004. Accessed June 16, 2020.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.