How Long Do Benzodiazepines Stay In Your System?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 11, 2021

Benzodiazepines are prescription sedatives that can be detected in urine, hair, oral fluids, and blood. The amount of time benzodiazepines stay in the body can vary based on the type of benzodiazepine, dose taken, and other factors.

Benzo Drug Test Detection Times

Benzodiazepine drugs can take several days to clear from the body completely. These drugs can be detected through the most common screening methods.

Benzodiazepine drugs can be detected in:

  • urine tests: 4 days to six weeks
  • oral fluid tests (e.g. saliva): 12 hours to 10 days
  • blood tests: 6 hours to three days
  • hair tests: up to 90 days

The amount of time benzodiazepines can be detected in a drug test will depend on the type of benzodiazepine, dose taken, as well as other personal and biological factors.

Learn more about how long drugs can be detected in your system

Benzodiazepines That May Show Up On A Drug Test

Benzodiazepines are a class of medications commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorder, and insomnia.

Common benzodiazepines that appear on drug tests include:

Benzodiazepines can be long-acting or short-acting. They are generally prescribed as a short-term treatment, due to a risk of developing physical dependence with chronic use.

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How Long Do Benzodiazepines Show Up In Urine Tests?

Urine tests are the standard type of test used to screen for drug use. Urine tests can detect benzodiazepine use for anywhere from four days to six weeks, depending on the drug.

For instance, a short-acting drug like lorazepam (Ativan) can remain detectable in urine for up to five days, on average.

On the flip side, long-acting benzodiazepines like diazepam (Valium) can remain detectable in urine for up to six weeks after use.

Read more about detecting benzodiazepines in urine

How Long Do Benzodiazepines Show Up In Blood Tests?

Blood tests offer the shortest detection window of all drug tests. Benzodiazepines will typically only show up on a blood test for one to three days.

How Long Do Benzodiazepines Show Up In Saliva Tests?

Benzodiazepines can be detected in oral fluids like saliva or sweat for anywhere from 12 hours to 10 days, depending on the type of benzodiazepine drug.

How Long Do Benzodiazepines Show Up In Hair Tests?

Hair drug testing can detect the use of benzodiazepines for up to 90 days, or three months, on average. This is the longest detection window of all drug testing methods.

Read more about how long benzos can be detected in the hair

Factors That Can Affect Benzodiazepine Detection Times

Average detection window estimates may not apply to everyone. The actual amount of time it takes for benzodiazepines to fully clear from the body can vary.

Factors that can affect the benzodiazepine detection times:

  • age
  • dose taken
  • type of benzodiazepine
  • frequency and duration of use
  • metabolic rate
  • body fat percentage
  • liver and kidney function
  • use of other drugs

Some screening methods—including hair testing—can detect benzodiazepine use even after the drug has been fully eliminated from the body.

Why Are Drug Tests For Benzodiazepines Used?

Although safe and effective when taken as prescribed, benzodiazepines can become addictive and are some of the most commonly misused drugs.

Drug tests might be used to monitor a person’s prescription drug use, health indicators associated with their drug use, or to ensure compliance with an addiction treatment program.

Benzodiazepine Detox And Withdrawal

Benzodiazepines can be dangerous to try to stop taking alone if you’ve been misusing them, have taken them for a long time, or have become addicted.

Medical detox programs for benzodiazepines can offer:

  • 24/7 medical supervision
  • treatment for withdrawal symptoms
  • assistance in creating a tapering plan
  • care coordination

Fully detoxing from benzodiazepines can be a long-term process. For some, it may take weeks or even months to fully taper off benzodiazepines.

This process can take place on an outpatient basis with medical guidance, or on an inpatient basis within an addiction treatment program.

Find Treatment For Benzodiazepine Addiction Today

Millions of people in the United States report misusing prescription drugs like benzodiazepines each year. If this describes you or a loved one, you’re not alone.

Call our helpline today to find a benzodiazepine addiction treatment program that’s right for you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 11, 2021
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