It is a common misconception that prescription medications won’t appear on drug tests. However, whether they are looking to detect specific medications or there are ingredients in that prescription that the test can detect, there is more to drug testing than just the illegal drugs immediately coming to mind. 

Of course, when used as prescribed, prescription drugs are not necessarily something to be concerned about. But when taken unprescribed and without the guidance of a medical professional, certain prescription medications can be dangerous. This is doubly so when someone is operating heavy machinery.

In particular, one prescription drug that many are using to IMPROVE performance is Adderall. But because Adderall is a popular and effective ADHD medication, will it appear on a drug test? And if it does, are employers allowed to inquire about a prescription? Is there a possibility of consequences for having Adderall and similar prescriptions in your system? 

Read more to find out. 

What Do I Need to Know About Adderall?

Adderall is a combination prescription medication commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. The drug comprises amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which belong to the class of medications known as stimulants. 

Many people take prescription amphetamines like Adderall to enhance their productivity or stay awake longer. In some cases, Adderall has even shown increased sociability and talkativeness. For these reasons, Adderall is commonly used by college students to study for exams. 

But for these same reasons, some may also use Adderall for the job.

However, some side effects of using Adderall should be acknowledged. Some of them are restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, nausea and vomiting, and headache. More severe reactions include seizures, blurred vision, aggressive behavior, and more. 

How Long Does itStay in Your System?

The time Adderall stays in your system depends on your bodily makeup. It can depend on how often you take it, what type of drug test you take, etc.

Though these are by no means hard and fast rules, here is the average amount of time Adderall will be detectable during a drug test:

  • Adderall can be detected up to 3 to 4 days since your last dose during urine testing
  • It can be detected only 1 or 2 days following saliva and blood drug tests
  • For a hair follicle drug test, however, Adderall can be detected for weeks after your last dose, sometimes for up to three months

What Can Happen If I Take An Adderall Drug Test?

Because amphetamines are part of the make-up of Adderall, if you have taken it within a certain amount of time and you take a drug test, you will test positive for amphetamines. 

Often, if you test positive for amphetamines, you will receive additional testing from identifying the specific substance that triggered those positive results. In those cases, the particular type of amphetamine, Adderall, will be identified. 

If you have a prescription for Adderall, you can also present your prescription to your employer to clarify your results instead of taking an additional drug test. 

What if you don’t want to present your employer with your personal medication information? By law, your employer cannot technically inquire about your prescriptions if a) the drug is not known to affect job performance and b) testing for that drug is not a “business necessity.” 

However, it is essential to note that there are some cases, especially in safety-sensitive jobs, where employers can argue that knowing about these prescriptions is a business necessity. 

In this case, if you do not have a prescription for Adderall, but it was found in your system, you may be subjected to consequences or even termination based on your employer’s drug policy. 

Protecting your investments and business as an employer is incredibly important, especially during recruitment and hiring. Protect yourself by conducting background checks, application drug tests, or periodic employee drug tests to ensure your company is safe.

Soteria Drug Screening offers comprehensive, safe, efficient drug testing, background checking, and other services. To learn more, visit


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