Alprazolam is more commonly known by its trade name Xanax. It's currently the most prescribed benzodiazepine in the United States, which has inevitably led to it becoming the most misused as well. If you've been using it recently, it's natural to wonder how long alprazolam is in your system. Can you pass a drug test after a short period of abstinence? Or will you need to take extra precautions? This article aims to answer both these questions.
Alprazolam and drug tests
Two basic types of drug tests are commonly used in employment situations: standard and extended drug tests. Standard drug tests are based on federal government guidelines and look for five basic groups of drugs, namely marijuana, coke, amphetamines (including meth and MDMA), opiates (e.g., heroin, morphine, opium, etc.) and PCP. Extended drug tests, meanwhile, look for a much wider selection of drugs. There are no legal guidelines for which additional drugs should be included, however, so this varies considerably between different labs.
When it comes to alprazolam, you will generally be okay to take a standard 5-panel drug test, but you will be at considerable risk of failing an extended drug test.
So, how long is alprazolam in your system after stopping?
Alprazolam can stay in your body for a while, or at least its metabolites can. That said, even when you have trace amounts still in your body, you may still pass a drug test because the concentrations are below the detectable threshold. As different drug tests work in different ways, their detection times can vary considerably.
Saliva drug tests for alprazolam
If you've recently stopped taking alprazolam, saliva drug tests are generally the easiest to pass. A 48-hour period of abstinence is usually enough before your test, but you could also use a detox mouthwash before your test if you're caught short.
Hair drug tests
Even if you've been off alprazolam for some time already, a hair drug test may well detect any sort of regular use from the past 90 days. This means you would need to be off alprazolam for about three months before you could safely take a hair drug test. Fortunately, special detox shampoos are available to cleanse telltale toxins from your hair.
Passing urine drug tests
Urine drug tests can be a little tricky, because much depends on how long you've been using alprazolam. Most short-term users are usually ready for a test after four days of abstinence, but it's not unheard of for chronic users to fail a drug test up to six weeks later.
Considering the differences in people's metabolisms and the varying testing technology, we suggest waiting at least a week if you've only been on alprazolam for a short time. This would be an ideal time to start a weeklong detox program.
If you don't have a week, let alone six weeks for a chronic user, do not despair. Using a good quality detox drink before a drug test can drastically lower the concentration of drug metabolites in your urine without needing a lengthy detox period.