Xanax (alprazolam) is a common benzodiazepine medication used for short-term relief of moderate to severe anxiety. Xanax has a relatively short half-life of 10 – 20 hours, meaning that it leaves the system much faster than other drugs like Valium (diazepam), which has a half-life of 60-100 hours.
This means that Xanax will usually show up in a drug test within three days of use and is likely to be entirely out of your system after five days. However, some factors might influence how quickly it clears from the body and some things you can do to speed up the process.
While you wait for the Xanax to pass, consider looking into alternative medications that can help with your stress and anxiety in a way that won’t violate your drug test.
Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction: Benzodiazepine dependence can be treated by gradually withdrawing the drug and then substituting it with lower doses of a different type of tranquilizer, such as clonazepam, which produces long-term stability with gradual withdrawal.
How Long Do Benzodiazepines Stay in the Central Nervous System?
The length of time that benzo stays in your system varies by manufacturer. Depending on the test utilized, they may be found days, weeks, months, or even years after ingestion.
How Long Do Benzodiazepines Stay in Your System? What Factors Influence This?
The length of time a Benzodiazepine takes to leave one’s system is determined by several factors, including the drug consumed and the quantity absorbed, as well as the user’s age, weight, gender, and drug-taking habits.
The adverse effects assessment is based on a variety of criteria, such as how the drug was taken and whether other substances were used, the user’s race or ethnicity, and any medical conditions. Although a person’s height and weight are not considered, certain broad parameters may be utilized to determine how long a Benzodiazepine stays in one’s system.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzos are a type of psychoactive drug considered a Schedule IV narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act. Benzos are typically used to treat anxiety and sleep problems and other conditions such as epilepsy that induce seizures. Because of their lower risk and greater success rate, benzos displace a considerably more powerful and hazardous class of medications, barbiturates. Benzodiazepines have a high potential for abuse and dependence when combined with CNS Depressants such as alcohol that work similarly.
Benzodiazepines can be obtained legally, and health care professionals may prescribe them to those suffering from the effects of alcohol withdrawal. Benzodiazepine use has risen as a result of increased Benzodiazepine prescriptions. Xanax is a highly popular medication that may be abused, so it’s known as “Bars” because many Xanax pills have a geometric form.
Benzodiazepine Effect Timespan
The quantity of time that a Benzodiazepine spends in the human body is dependent on its type. In the medical industry, a drug’s half-life is used to determine how long it takes for your body to metabolize and eliminate half of the medicine ingested. It generally takes five half-lives for a drug’s active components to leave the body. Benzodiazepines have three types of half-lives: long-acting, intermediate-acting, and short-acting. These categories are important in determining which medication to offer for specific illnesses.
Long-acting benzodiazepines have been linked to a build-up of drowsy feelings, making people feel as though they are living in a dream if their dosage is too high or overusing the medicine. However, extremely fast-acting Benzodiazepines might induce symptoms such as memory loss and perplexity.
Benzodiazepines in Your System
The duration that Benzodiazepines remain in the body is determined by several things, including which Benzodiazepine was taken, your weight, past drug usage, medical history, and even your metabolism’s speed. When individuals take drugs more frequently, more evidence of their use is left behind; those who regularly use it are more likely to test positive. Someone with a fast metabolism that takes a small dose will typically test negative sooner than someone with a sluggish metabolism that takes the same or larger doses.
The amount of time benzos stay in the body is determined by a range of factors, including The user’s usual dosage, How the drug was ingested, whether other medicines were taken at the same time, Age, Race/ethnicity, physical and mental health.
Detecting Benzodiazepines in The System
Before starting a new job, many firms demand that prospective employees pass a drug test. In the legal system, drug testing is also prevalent in cases involving parole and child custody.
Athletes are tested frequently in professional sports and athletic organizations to ensure that they are not using performance-enhancing drugs. They are tested when an athlete is suspected of using performance-enhancing substances. Because prominent athletes attract a lot of attention, drug tests among professionals are frequently the most visible.
Most drug tests don’t check for the actual drug, and they search for metabolites, which are by-products generated when your body breaks down the medication. These chemicals linger in your system much longer than the active component, and chemical testing may reveal which medicine was consumed by the metabolites remaining in your body.
Types of Drug Tests
Urine Testing. This is the most typical type of test. It’s accurate for a few weeks depending on the substance. Count metabolites filtered through the kidneys.
Saliva Testing. However, accuracy is most remarkable within hours of taking a drug; after more than 12 hours have elapsed, it deteriorates considerably. Urinalysis is considered less invasive because it does not entail the collection of bodily fluids.
Hair Testing. It is possible to detect drug use three months prior. Because most concerned parties are now testing for current drug usage, this is less utilized.
Blood Testing. The test is no longer available due to a policy change, but it’s still possible to get a reading—the more uncommon but highly precise test within a few days of usage. Results are provided as soon as the examination is completed, and it is highly invasive and costly.
Perspiration Testing. The least common and newest test is primarily used in parole hearings to keep track of drug usage over time. The exam might take up to two weeks to finish.
Benzodiazepines: Keep in mind that the detection period for benzodiazepines by urinalysis varies depending on a variety of factors, and the timeframes mentioned above may not be appropriate in all cases. Valium for 10-30 days, Xanax for 5 days, Klonopin for 5 days, Ativan for 5 days, Halcion for 7-15 hours.
Must Read: What Does Suboxone Do
Types of Benzodiazepines
If you attempt to guess how long benzodiazepines stay in your body and are detected, several variables are considered. The medicines have varying degrees of activity in the body, with some staying longer or shorter in circulation.
Valium has a long duration of action, and Xanax is available in an orally disintegrating form known as Niravam. Librium is a long-acting medication with few active metabolites like Valium. Ativan and Klonopin are intermediate-acting, while Halcion is short-acting.
With such a wide range of types, it’s critical to talk with your doctor about how long the drug you’ve been given will remain active in your body. The duration of activity for short-acting drugs is days, whereas that of longer-acting ones is around a week.
Avoiding Interactions When Benzodiazepines Are in Your System
Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs that have sedative, hypnotic, anxiety-relieving, antiseizure, and muscle spasms-relieving effects. Excess of the drug may result in an overdose.
Some of the things that you should do to avoid potentially harmful interactions or overdoses include:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the amount of medication you should take and take it as directed.
- If you forget to take a dose, ask what should be done if you miss one. It is possible that taking doses too close together is harmful.
- Be diligent about describing all of your medicines, prescriptions, over-the-counter chemicals, vitamins, and herbal treatments with your doctor so you can be given the best dosage.
- Don’t start or stop any other medicine or supplement without consulting with your doctor.
Alcohol, narcotic pain medicines, phenothiazines, MAO inhibitors, illegal medications, and other central nervous system depressants are all detrimental. When taken together, some herbs containing kavalactones, St. John’s wort, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit may cause problems. Smoking can decrease the effectiveness of these medicines as well.
Signs of Benzodiazepine Overdose
Overdosing on benzodiazepines might cause the following symptoms:
- Shallow respiration
- Clammy skin
- Dilated pupils
- Weak and rapid pulse
- Possible death
How Long do Benzos Stay in Your System?
There is no single solution to the issue of “how long do benzos stay in your system.” Many different genetic and external circumstances influence how long a specific substance remains in a person’s body. The amount of time it takes to remove these medications is determined by factors such as:
- Age: The body’s rate of benzo clearance may be affected by a person’s age. For example, the half-life of Xanax increases from 11 to 16 hours in senior citizens versus healthy young adults.
- Weight: The duration of a medication’s half-life is directly related to the amount of body fat it removes. Benzos have a longer half-life in individuals who are obese.
- Other Medications: Other medicines or substances can impact how quickly or slowly benzos are eliminated from the body. Over time, cigarette smokers have a lower concentration of benzodiazepines in their bodies than non-smokers. Mixing benzos and alcohol, on the other hand, extends the drug clearance process.
- Medical conditions: Benzos are retained in the body for a long time because specific medical issues prevent the body from getting rid of them readily. People with chronic liver disease, for example, are unable to break down medications at the same rate as people without a chronic illness.
- Lifestyle: The speed at which the body breaks down benzos is influenced by your lifestyle. Adults with a more active lifestyle and a faster metabolism break down chemicals more rapidly than inactive individuals.
Tests that look for benzos in your system only for a few days or months after you last use them, respectively. If you’re concerned about how long benzos stay in your body, consider answering the following questions:
How Long Do Benzos Stay in Urine?
Urine drug screenings are frequently used throughout the employment procedure to detect present and past drug use. Benzos, in particular, can be detected in urine for five days and up to a week after the last dose is ingested, depending on metabolic circumstances, age, weight, or alcohol usage.
How Long Do Benzos Stay in Blood?
Blood tests are commonly utilized to determine whether a person is currently taking any medications. These are usually done in a medical setting and after incidents such as an overdose.
How Long Do Benzos Stay in Hair?
Certain medications have the longest detection times in hair. Benzos may be found in hair for up to two to three weeks after a dose, which is not the most popular testing approach. A person may test positive for benzos up to 90 days after their last dosage.
How Long Do Benzos Stay in Saliva?
Saliva collected for oral fluid testing may be used to determine whether someone has taken anything recently. This means that benzodiazepines can be tracked for 2.5 days after the last dose.
The Types of Addiction Treatment Available
Treatments for benzodiazepine addiction provide a secure environment in which to detox and recover from dependency. These programs offer different therapies, counseling, training, and skill-building to expedite a recuperation process that leads to a benzo-free life. The following are some of the treatments accessible:
- Medical Detox: The first stage in treating benzo addiction is usually detox. Cold-turkey withdrawal from prescription medicines might be harmful. Medical detox allows patients to reduce their intake of hazardous drugs under supervision in a safe and controlled environment.
- Inpatient treatment: Inpatient treatment is a safe and supportive environment where patients can receive therapy and educational sessions that will help them achieve a drug-free future. This kind of care is an excellent choice for those who need around-the-clock supervision due to a more severe addiction or dual diagnosis.
- Outpatient treatment: Outpatient therapy is ideal for individuals who have a healthy and sober home environment. This treatment allows patients with a less severe benzo dependency to go home every day to practice their new skills and coping strategies.
- Relapse prevention support: Treatment may be discontinued, but the road to recovery is a lifelong one. Patients are given the tools they require to stay sober with relapse prevention treatment.
The many treatment choices accessible are a reflection of the addiction’s intricacy. Everyone has their drug abuse problem. It’s critical to talk about the circumstances surrounding addiction and any other associated mental health issues with a treatment professional to design the most effective treatment plan possible.
Robin has worked with chemical dependency/mental health for over 20 years. She is a certified addiction counselor (CAC) and a certified behavioral health technician (CBHT). Further, Robin has worked with over 17 combined facilities to aid/assist clientele with chemical dependency and acute /chronic psychiatric diagnoses. Her skill set is relapse prevention, chronic relapses, and crisis prevention.