How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

Xanax is the most popular drug in one of the most popular classes of drugs—benzodiazepines—in the world. While Xanax is widely used for medical reasons, this drug also has a high potential for abuse.

Xanax tolerance can build quickly, leading to dangerous problems with addiction and misuse, as well as overdose. If you or anyone you know has been abusing Xanax, you need to educate yourself about this drug.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Body?

Xanax’s brain effects can be felt within minutes after it is taken. Hours later, the effects will start to wear off. But just because you can’t actively feel Xanax’s effects does not mean it is out of your system. 

Drug tests can find Xanax in your body for a long time after it is taken. The following factors influence how long Xanax will show up on a drug test:

  • The type of drug test that is administered
  • Who took Xanax, and how they used the drug.

Let’s take a look at some of the common kinds of drug screening that you may encounter:

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Urine?

If there is any chance you will take a drug test and you are worried about Xanax showing up, you need to know about urine testing. Urine sampling is the most common way to test for drug use. This is because urine tests are:

  • Accurate
  • Cheap
  • Easy to administer
  • Able to detect a wide range of drugs for many days after the last time taken
  • Non-invasive (only require peeing in a cup)

When it comes to Xanax, the drug can be found by urine tests for around 4 days after it was last taken. At-work drug tests are very commonly urine tests. This means you will need to be clean for at least 5 days to pass a test that looks for Xanax.

You can never be sure what kind of test you will encounter, and other types of tests are able to find Xanax for even longer.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Hair?

Hair testing makes it nearly impossible for users of most substances to plan around drug tests or to try to detox quickly before a test. This is because drug tests that use a hair sample can detect past substance use for far longer than other types of tests.

Hair testing usually uses the follicle, which is the part of a hair that enters the skin. This means that attempting to bleach or cut hair prior to a test will have little to no effect on the results.

Xanax is commonly found on hair tests for up to 3 months after the last use. However, since body hair does not grow as quickly as head hair, a body hair sample may hold traces of Xanax for up to 12 months.

Although hair testing can detect drugs like Xanax for a long time, they are not very common. This is mostly because hair testing is more expensive than other tests, and because they are less accurate overall.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Blood?

Xanax has an average half-life between 9 and 16 hours. This means that it takes 9-16 hours for half the Xanax to be removed from a user’s bloodstream. But calculating how long Xanax will show up on a blood test is not as simple as multiplying its half-life by two.

Usually, it takes 4 or 5 half-lives for a drug to stop being detectable by blood tests. In the case of Xanax, blood tests are known to be capable of finding the drug for 4 to 5 days after it was last taken. 

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Saliva?

Xanax remains detectable in saliva for up to 2.5 days after it is taken. Saliva testing has the benefit of being non-invasive, like urine testing. Still, it remains relatively unpopular because the tests are more expensive than urine tests, have shorter detection windows, and do not provide a greater rate of accuracy.

For these reasons, saliva testing rarely replaces urine testing in workplace settings. The only place you are likely to see a saliva test would be if you were asked to take a drug test by a police officer. Police sometimes use saliva tests if they suspect that someone who they stop or arrest is under the influence of drugs.

Factors That Affect How Long Xanax Will Stay in Your System

How long Xanax stays in your system is not the same for everyone. There are a number of variables that can influence how long Xanax will stay in a person’s body. They include:


If you are younger, there is a good chance that your body will more easily break down Xanax and move it through your system. Older individuals, on the other hand, usually have slower metabolisms and may take longer to detox from Xanax.

Liver and Kidney Function

Once they are ingested, drugs like Xanax must be filtered out of the bloodstream and removed via urine. The liver and kidneys are important organs in this process. Anyone who has issues with the health of these organs will take longer to break down Xanax. This may include people who suffer from alcohol abuse issues and have related liver problems.

Weight and Metabolism

Metabolism has a direct relationship with detox times. The faster a person’s metabolism, the faster they will remove toxins from their body. Additionally, weight and body fat can play a role. Fat cells can store drugs like Xanax, especially when they are abused heavily. This leads to longer detox times.

Xanax Use History

It is very important to consider how Xanax was used. People who abuse the drug and take it with a high frequency of use will get a build-up of Xanax in their body. If this goes on for a long duration of time with a high dosage, the problem will become even worse. As a general rule, the more Xanax you take, the longer it will linger in your body.

Get Treatment for Xanax Abuse

If you are concerned about how long Xanax might be in your body, you might have a problem with this drug. Xanax abuse and addiction is common and it can lead to serious problems. Call Northeast Addictions Treatment Center today to find out how you can stop abusing Xanax and turn your life around.


Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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