Have you taken Ritalin and don't know if it can show up on a drug test? If so, you've come to the right place. We'll give you accurate facts about Ritalin that will answer all your questions. For example, what drug tests will Ritalin show up on? How long does Ritalin show up in drug tests?
Ritalin and methylphenidate
Ritalin is a brand name for the chemical methylphenidate, so all the information given here also applies to other methylphenidate-based drugs, such as Aptensio, Concerta, Biphentin, Equasym, Daytrana, Medikinet, Methylin, Metadate, and Quillivant.
Does Ritalin show up on drug tests?
Some ADHD medications (e.g., Adderall) are basically amphetamines, so they show up on even the most basic 5-panel drug tests. Fortunately, this is not the case with Ritalin, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you don't have to worry about drug tests.
Firstly, Ritalin seems to share enough chemical similarities with amphetamine to trigger a false positive on many rapid screening devices. This may be cleared up on a secondary GC-MS test, but it may also raise some questions.
Secondly, American colleges are becoming increasingly worried about drugs like Ritalin being used to boost academic performance. Fourth Amendment rights currently protect students from being subject to mandatory drug testing, but these often need to be sacrificed if you want to participate in extracurricular activities, usually sports but sometimes even non-athletic pursuits like chess.
Finally, some extended drug tests and a specific drug test can identify Ritalin use.
So, how long does Ritalin show up in drug tests?
This obviously depends on the sort of drug test you need to take. Saliva tests generally have the shortest detection time at around 12 hours. On the downside, they may detect Ritalin use as soon as 5-10 minutes after use.
Ritalin will show up in urine drug tests for 1-2 days after last use for most people, although we've heard reports that it could be as long as 5 days for chronic users. If you're one of these, we suggest a week-long detox program or one of the emergency solutions below.
In contrast, hair tests can usually detect any sort of regular drug use (assuming they look for that drug) in the previous 90 days. On the upside, it takes hair a few days to grow out of the follicle, so you'll be unlikely to fail a drug test if you only used something the day before.
How to avoid failing a drug test for Ritalin
If you're still worried you may fail a drug test for Ritalin, some emergency solutions can be used on the day of a drug test. For example, if you're subjected to a short-notice saliva drug test, you can swish some special mouthwash around your mouth shortly before the test.
Urine tests need a little more preparation, but if you use a detox drink an hour or two before your test, you should be able to give a clean urine sample. Hair tests are a little more complicated again, as you'll need access to a shower, but special detox shampoos can be safely used on the morning of a test.