How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your Blood?
Today Xanax is likely the most common benzodiazepine class drug among patients with depression or anxiety disorders. It has a calming effect and help to put users in a state of relaxation when taken at standard doses. Recent increases in the abuse of benzodiazepine such as Xanax has resulted in the conception of several tests to detect the substance easily in the user’s’ body tissues and fluids. Complicating things further, many occupations today require testing for benzodiazepines and other medications that create a calming effect. For instance, many military, construction, driving, and even medical positions, require testing for drugs and medication with sedative effects. Consequently, most people using the drug medically or otherwise may find themselves worrying with an impending drug test.
Does Xanax show up on a drug test? How long does Xanax stay in the blood? How can Xanax be removed from the body? These are just a few of the questions users with a looming drug test may have .
Does Xanax Show Up On A Drug Test?
Yes. These are several types of drug tests today that can be used to detect benzodiazepine 3-7 days after use. Xanax may not be detected by a standard drug test (SAMHSA-5) targeted at drugs such as cocaine, opioids, amphetamines and PCP, but more comprehensive drug tests are capable of singling out Xanax. That said, some forms of test that are performed to detect Xanax include:
Blood test: This is one of the most invasive types of drug testing used to detect whether or not someone had ingested Xanax. Although it’s not commonly performed it’s sometimes necessary. For instance, in cases of suspected Xanax toxicity, medical professionals will require a blood sample to make an accurate diagnosis. Blood tests are effective at detecting Xanax in only a few hours after ingestion. A drawback is that blood samples do not provide a long detection window when compared to other forms of testing.
Saliva Test: This form of testing is not often used because it can be more expensive than a urine test. Xanax can be detected from saliva for an estimated 2 to 3 days. This means that under certain conditions it can be more accurate than a blood test, although it will not provide as extensive a detection period as a hair test. It’s a relatively simple drug testing method that relies on the collection of sufficient saliva for accurate results.
Hair Test: Xanax can be detected from a hair sample. Primarily, radioimmunoassay (RIA) is the method used to detect Xanax in hair follicles. A RIA can confirm if a person has ingested Xanax; up to 28 days after the substance was consumed, based on the presence of metabolites such as 4-hydroxy alprazolam (4-OHALP) and alpha-hydroxyalprazolam (alpha-OHLAP). Hair testing for Xanax must be done a while after Xanax ingestion since it takes roughly a month for 1 cm of hair to grow. If done shortly after ingested the test will be negative.
Urine Test: This is one of the most popular methods used for detecting whether or not someone had ingested Xanax. Users’ urine will contain around 20% of the oral dosage of Xanax. GC/MS analysis of the urine is used to detect any present benzodiazepine metabolites. Even those who take Xanax irregularly in low-doses may test positive up to 7 days of ingesting the drug, though this may vary based on individual circumstances.
How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your Urine?
Xanax does not remain in the urine as long as drugs such as Valium, a long-acting drug. For the average user, it will remain in the system for 1 to 4 days prior to ingestion. As it relates to urine, individuals who have ingested the drug for a prolonged period may end up failing a drug test taken within 4-6 weeks after discontinuing use.
It’s important to note that this does not apply to all users. There are a number of different factors that can affect Xanax clearance from a user’s body, majority of which are based on individual circumstances. One user may successfully clear the substance from their body in 3 days, while another may require a longer period of time. Factors that may affect clearance include:
- Body height
- Poorly functioning kidney
- Body weight
- Dosage (High or Low)
- Problem with the Liver
- Urinary pH
- Medications taken along with the drug
- Length of use
- Frequency of use
Individuals concerned with getting Xanax out of their system for professional reasons or other reasons, should consider discontinuing use. If the drug was prescribed to treat depression then a substitute drug can be recommended. It is not recommended that long term users who have become dependent on the drug cease usage without the supervision of a medical practitioner. That said, once usage had been discontinued under the supervision of a medical professional, individuals may try to adopt healthier habits such as exercising and dieting to speed up the excretion process.
How to Get Xanax Out of Your System Safely?
Though many people consider going cold turkey in order to get Xanax out of their system, this can be very dangerous. Xanax has been associated with serious withdrawal symptoms that can even appear in people who have only ingested the drug for a few weeks. Since Xanax is a prescription medication, many people consider it to be safer than illicit drugs like heroin but when used long-term the consequences can be devastating when usage is suddenly halted. Withdrawal symptoms that may occur after suddenly discontinuing use include:
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
- Increased anxiety
- Weight loss
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Difficulty concentrating
Anyone experiencing these symptoms after quitting Xanax should seek medical help. Take the first step in ridding your body of Xanax when you give us a call today. Our inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are specifically tailored for individuals with drug dependency; prescription or illicit, in a structured environment with medical help. Patients participate in individual therapy, group sessions, and educational programs, to help them overcome dependency. We place extensive focus on improving the social skills and building a strong support system for our patients. Give us a call today at 1-866.582.9844 to learn more about how we can help.
- University of Rochester Medical Center: Benzodiazepines (Urine)
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Benzodiazepine abuse treatment admissions have tripled from 1998 to 2008
- National Institute on Drug Dependency: Well-Known Mechanism Underlies Benzodiazepines’ Addictive Properties
- National Institute on Drug Dependency: Misuse of Prescription Drugs
- Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection: Abuse of Benzodiazepines/Sedative-Hypnotics
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Benzodiazepines in Combination with Opioid Pain Relievers or Alcohol: Greater Risk of More Serious ED Visit Outcomes
- Drug Enforcement Administration: BENZODIAZEPINES
How to get Xanax out of Your System.