Doctors typically prescribe Xanax (alprazolam) for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax is a benzodiazepine, which means it works by lowering the amount of normal excitement in the brain. Benzodiazepines like alprazolam slow down other functions in the body, including breathing.
It can be difficult to predict the exact length of time that Xanax will stay in a person’s system. If a person has health problems or is over a certain age, it could take longer for the body to fully process the medication.
Xanax (Alprazolam) Detection Time
People who have an upcoming drug screening for work or school may wonder how long Xanax stays in your system. Xanax can be detected in a person’s system within several hours after last use, and traces of the drug can be found for about four days.
Xanax is usually prescribed to be taken every three or four days. This drug works quickly, but the effects do not last as long as other benzodiazepines. Sometimes Xanax is prescribed in an extended-release tablet. This form of the drug may take longer to clear from a person’s system.
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Xanax is highly addictive. People who use Xanax or take the drug more often than prescribed may have longer detection windows.
How Does Xanax Affect The Body?
Xanax may cause certain side effects, including dizziness, headache, and fatigue. As the systems of the body process the medication, these side effects usually decrease or stop.
It’s important to take Xanax exactly as prescribed. Benzodiazepines can be habit-forming, especially Xanax. This potent drug is the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine and is up to 10 times stronger than other drugs in its class.
People who take Xanax for a long period of time can become dependent on the medication. Over time, their body may require higher doses of the drug to elicit the same effects. This is called having a tolerance. When a person takes large or frequent amounts of Xanax, their detection window could be increased.
Benzodiazepines like Xanax can be dangerous when taken with other drugs, especially alcohol or opioids. Mixing Xanax with another central nervous system depressant could result in overdose or death. Taking this sedative with other substances can also lengthen the amount of time that Xanax is detectable in the body.
Drug Tests That Detect Xanax (Alprazolam) In The Body
Benzodiazepines like Xanax are one of the most commonly used classes of drugs. These central nervous system depressants can lead to dependence, addiction, and overdose. Many schools and employers require routine drug screenings to detect and prevent benzodiazepine use.
While most employers and medical communities rely on a simple urine screening, there are several types of drug tests that can detect benzodiazepines like Xanax. If your doctor has prescribed Xanax to treat your anxiety or panic disorder, let the person who is administering the drug test know. You may be asked to show a copy of your prescription.
Xanax can be detected in drug test types that include:
- Urine Screening: This type of test is the most commonly used, because of its simplicity and accuracy. Urine screenings usually show results from the past one to three days.
- Blood Test: Benzodiazepines like Xanax are traceable in blood for several hours after last use. However, this type of testing can be invasive as well as expensive.
- Saliva Swab: Oral swab tests can detect alprazolam for up to 24-36 hours after last use. Some research suggests that oral testing may soon become the most common way to test for Xanax.
- Hair Test: Hair follicle screenings can detect substances up to 90 days after last use. This type of test is more complex, and is not administered as often as other types.
What Else Can Influence How Long Xanax Stays In Your System?
When a person takes Xanax, their liver metabolizes the drug and breaks it down into agents called metabolites. People may experience the effects of Xanax differently, depending on their metabolism and overall organ function. This could ultimately affect how long the drug will be traceable in their system.
It is not possible to predict the exact length of time that Xanax will stay in a person’s system, as detection windows are estimates. Several personal factors can affect detection windows, including body size and genetics.
Xanax (alprazolam) detection time can be impacted by additional factors that include:
Age And Health
As people age, the functions of their bodies tend to slow down. This includes the rate at which the liver and kidneys work. Elderly people may have longer detection windows for Xanax, because of their slower metabolism and organ function.
Xanax can lead to physical dependence, where a person needs the drug in order to function. Dependence can lead a person to take increasing amounts of the medication, and large amounts of Xanax can cause the drug to be more traceable in the body.
People who struggle with Xanax use and addiction may also combine the drug with other substances, such as opioids. This greatly increases a person’s risk of overdose – and could also result in a longer detection time.
Height And Weight
As with other drugs, traces of benzodiazepines are stored in the body’s fatty tissues. People who have a higher body mass index could experience a lengthened detection window, due to their height and weight.
How To Get Xanax (Alprazolam) Out Of Your System
Xanax is one of the most addictive benzodiazepines. This drug has a high potential for use. If you or someone you love is dependent on alprazolam, the safest way to get the drug out of your system is through medical detoxification.
When people suddenly stop taking benzodiazepines like Xanax, their body goes into a sort of shock known as acute withdrawal. This is the body’s way of detoxing and clearing the drug from its system. Unfortunately, the detox process comes with difficult side effects that include blurred vision, vomiting, anxiety, and seizures.
Medical detoxification ensures that people stay comfortable and safe throughout the detox process. Patients are provided with emotional support and medication-assisted treatment that ease withdrawal symptoms and promote a full recovery.
Doctors may also suggest tapering schedules. This involves patients gradually reducing their dose of the drug until their body has fully adjusted. However, even with a tapering schedule, Xanax is considered to have one of the more difficult withdrawal periods.
Treatment For Xanax (Alprazolam) Addiction
Benzodiazepine use, addiction, and overdoses have increased in recent years. In 2015, nearly a quarter of people who died of an opioid overdose were also taking a drug like Xanax.
Fortunately, Xanax rehab centers across the U.S. provide customized treatment for benzodiazepine use. If you or someone close to you is struggling with Xanax addiction, there is help available.
Inpatient treatment centers provide a safe and supervised space for people to detox. Once a person has successfully detoxed, patients engage in therapies that include counseling, 12-step support, and addiction education.
To learn more about Xanax detection time, or to find a rehab center near you, reach out to one of our treatment specialists today.