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How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System? - Half Life Information

Xanax abuse is one of the most rapidly increasing forms of substance abuse in America. In fact, the number of emergency room visits attributed to Xanax use more than doubled between 2006-2013.

These numbers are particularly concerning when you take into account that the drug is becoming particularly popular amongst young adults and teens, with some studies reporting that more than 10 percent of adolescents aged 18 to 25 are abusing Xanax. There is no doubt that curbing the popularity of this drug is of critical importance for anyone worried about the health of younger generations.

Since Xanax is a prescription drug, many young people are able to obtain the pills by stealing them from their parent’s medicine cabinet, or by going to multiple doctors until the drug is prescribed.

What is driving the growing propensity for the abuse of Xanax throughout the population? Many users are seeking the drug because it produces a calm, relaxed feeling for those who take it.

Other physical effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Ataxia
  • Appetite Changes
  • Tiredness

What is the Half Life of Xanax?

The typical adult Xanax half life is between 11-13 hours after consumption. This can (of course) vary based on many different factors, but as a baseline it is a reliable estimate.

How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your System?

Similar to the half life, the amount of time Xanax will remain detectable in the human body varies based on several different factors.

These different factors that can have an impact on detection include:


Drug users who are overweight may metabolize drugs more slowly. This is especially true for drugs that are lipid-soluble, since blood flow in fatty areas is more sluggish among obese individuals.


As we age, our organs and other anatomical systems function less effectively. This means that the body may not be able to process and eliminate drugs from the body as easily as it could in earlier stages of life. Thus, the elderly are more likely to experience adverse effects from drugs, and may find that it takes longer for the effects of drugs to wear off.

Frequency of Use

The more an individual uses a particular drug or substance like Xanax, the more their tolerance for it develops. For Xanax in particular, one study showed that using the medication for just 10 days can cause a tolerance for its physical effects. This can cause you to feel like you aren’t getting the same “high” as you once did with Xanax in your system, causing you to take more of the drug to produce the same sensation.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Urine?

This is a question that many individuals ask when they have used Xanax (with or without a prescription). Some patients simply want to know how long they should wait before driving their vehicle or operating machinery, while others are concerned about passing a drug test.

So, how long does Xanax stay in your urine?

On average, drug screens can identify Xanax in urine for 5 days after it’s been consumed. But as we mentioned above, it’s important for anyone who has used Xanax to know that this timeframe can vary from person to person.

Additionally, while the Xanax half life in urine is relatively short, hair follicle drug tests like the ezHOME test from Countrywide Testing can detect if someone has used Xanax as far back as 90 days. Our SAMHSA, CLIA, CAP, and ISO certified lab will screen for drug usage by analyzing the hair sample, allowing for a full 90-day drug history report

How to Get Xanax Out of Your System 

Despite the hundreds of websites on the web who promise to flush benzodiazepines like Xanax from your system with cleansing kits and detoxes, these elimination methods are rarely effective. For light users, cleanses may speed up metabolization by a day or two, but for more frequent users, the only way to truly eliminate Xanax from the body is to stop ingesting it.

For more conclusive types of drug screens, like blood and hair follicle tests, it is even more improbable that detoxing or cleansing will have an effect on your results.

If you’ve been researching “How long does Xanax stay in your system” because you are worried about failing a drug screen, the best course of action is to be upfront and honest. Most employers, sports organizations, healthcare professionals and legal services understand that prescription drug addiction is a legitimate and complex health condition and will work with you to find supports and programs that can assist you with recovery.

Are you looking for the most accurate and conclusive BZO drug test devices on the market? At Countrywide Testing, we offer a wide range of screening products to meet your needs.