Benzodiazepines are a large group of drugs used to treat a variety of mental health disorders. While these drugs can be greatly beneficial towards diagnosed individuals, they are often abused and can become addictive. Each Benzo has its own chemical balance used to reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress. While they each produce similar effects, the length of time they last in your system may vary.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines or “Benzos” are commonly prescribed medications used to treat anxiety disorders (general anxiety disorder and social anxiety), panic disorders, insomnia and sleep disorders, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, and other pain management issues. Benzos work by enhancing the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which calms the overall central nervous system. This produces anxiety-reducing, sedative, and calming effects.

Common Benzos include Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin. The side effects, risk of becoming abused and addictive, and length of stay in the system all vary based on several factors.

Factors That Determine How Long Benzos Stay in Your System

There are several different factors that may determine how long Benzos might stay in your system. These factors include:

  • Type of Benzodiazepine used
  • Duration of drug use
  • Dosage amount use
  • Users age, weight, gender, ethnicity, and metabolism
  • Route of administration (orally, injection, etc.)
  • If other drugs were taken
  • If the user has any medical issues

For the most accurate information on how long Benzos will stay in your system, speak with your doctor about your drug use and the listed factors.

Duration of Benzodiazepine Effect

Each type of Benzo spends a different amount of time in the body. One way doctors have determined this is by looking at the drug’s half-life. A drug’s half-life is the amount of time it takes for the body to process and dispose of half of the drug taken. Benzos are typically classified as having three different half-lives. These include:

  • Long-acting (Valium and Librium)
  • Intermediate-acting (Xanax and Ativan)
  • Short-acting (Halcion)

The type of Benzodiazepine taken, long-acting, intermediate-acting, or short-acting, as well as the determining factors, will contribute to how long the drug will stay in your system.

Detecting Benzo’s in the System

Many people must have knowledge of how long a drug will stay in their system for reasons such as employment drug testing, or for legal reasons such as parole drug testing. Most drug tests do not test for specific Benzodiazepines, rather they detect what are called metabolites. Metabolites are the leftovers in the body that typically stay in the system for longer and therefore are detectable through tests.

Testing for drugs in the system can be done through a variety of ways. A common type of drug test is through urine, which can test for certain drugs in the system for up to several weeks of last drug use. Saliva, hair, blood and perspiration are all less common forms of drug tests with variation in determining the last day of drug use.

When testing with urine, Valium can be detected within 10-30 days of last use. Xanax, Klonopin and Ativan can be detected within 5 days of the last use. Halcion is a short-acting drug with a detectable timeframe of up to 17 hours. It must be noted that these timeframes will vary based on the several individual determining factors.

Get Help Today

If you are struggling with Benzodiazepine abuse or addiction, help is available. Contact Quit Addiction Now (888-974-2973) to learn about a variety of treatment options available to you.

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