Xanax Detection Timelines (INFOGRAPHIC)

If you are expecting a drug test for Xanax or alprazolam, this infographic is for you. We outline detection times for Xanax in urine, blood, hair and saliva. Plus, factors that influence it.

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ARTICLE OVERVIEW: A visual representation that outlines basic detection periods for alprazolam on blood, saliva, urine, and hair based tests. You’ll learn average lengths of time of alprazolam stay in your system. Plus, you’ll learn about the factors that can influence metabolism.


Xanax Detection Timelines (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Drug Basics

Drug Name: Xanax, main ingredient alprazolam
Drug Class: Depressants/Sedatives/Hypnotics
Street Names: Xannies, Zannies, Z-Bars

Xanax, also known by its generic name alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine anti-anxiety medication. It is a central nervous system depressant that slows down brain activity and produces feeling of drowsiness, calmness, and relaxation. [1]

Xanax is usually prescribed as a tablet, but it can also come in a liquid form. It is classified as Schedule IV controlled substance by the DEA. Xanax’s active ingredient, alprazolam, can be habit-forming and users may become dependent on the medication. [2]

Use Statistics

Xanax is a popular and commonly prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States. Many Americans use Xanax for medical purposes, and many of them start misusing and get addicted. Also, there are people who take it recreationally, to get high. Just how many people?

According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there were 17,926,000 Americans who were using alprazolam, which accounts for 6.6% of the total U.S. population. Over 700K of them were teens, almost 3M were young adults between the ages 18-25.

More than 14M adult Americans took Xanax in 2017.

Also, about 4,165,000 Americans abused Xanax last year. Abuse can be seen among all age groups. 407K U.S. teens, over 1.6M young adults and over 2 million adults in U.S. took Xanax other than prescribed. [3]

Why Drug Test?

There are many reasons why someone will need a drug test. An employer may require it for a job position, or a court may order it for legal reasons. Athletes may be tested for drug use. People in rehab are also regularly tested in planned testing or random testing situations. Emergency rooms drug test in cases of injury or overdose. Also, your prescribing doctor may ask you for drug testing as part of your treatment.

Detection Window

Whatever the reasons, it’s good to know the basic detection windows for Xanax and to be prepared for what test results can be. Most drug tests are positive if you’re testing within the detection window for the specific type of test. What’s a detection window?

The period of time from the last dose of alprazolam until it’s detected in your system is called a drug’s detection window. 

So, how long does alprazolam stay in your system? On average, the half-life of Xanax is 12 hours. But, Xanax half-life can be anywhere between 6-20 hours. Still, detection windows for alprazolam vary between individuals. The detection window also depends upon the drug test that is used. Here are some general guidelines for Xanax detection by type of drug test sample:

Urine: Urinalysis can usually detect Xanax for up to 5 days after the last use.
Saliva: These types of tests detect the presence of Xanax up to 60 hours after the last intake.
Blood: The detection period for Xanax in a blood tests is about 24 hours.
Hair: Xanax can be detected up to 90 days in hair follicle drug tests.

Have in mind that drug detection times in urine, blood, hair, and saliva are in average and can vary greatly from person to person. You should use this information as a general guide only.

Influence Factors

Many factors can influence the presence of alprazolam in the system. Some of them include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Weight
  • Diet and use of fluids
  • Frequency and length of use
  • Overall health
  • Liver and kidney function
  • Metabolism
  • Physical activity

In general, younger people eliminate toxins faster. Also, people with slower metabolism will have Xanax longer in their system. Moreover, any liver or kidney impairment can slower the elimination period.

Any Questions?

We hope that you find this infographic educational and helpful. If you still have any questions about Xanax detection timelines, we welcome your questions and comments in the section below. We’ll try to answer your questions personally and promptly. Feel free to share a personal story and tell others your drug screening experience.

Moreover, if you or somone you love is battling Xanax dependence don’t hesitate to ask for support. Our caring admissions navigators are available 24/7 to discuss treatment options. Reach out today.

Reference Sources: [1] FDA: XANAX Label
[2] DEA: Drug Scheduling
[3] SAMSHA: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables
Addiction Blog: Xanax half-life: how long does Xanax stay in your system
SAMSHA: Clinical Drug Testing in Primary Care
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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