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How Long Do Benzos Stay in Your System?

Several substances in this class of drugs have unique properties that may affect how long they last in the system. Benzos are sedatives and hypnosis depressants to alleviate anxiety and muscular convulsions and reduce spasms. These drugs have a high potential for abuse and are generally prescribed for a brief amount of time.

What are Benzodiazepines?

Before we get into how benzos linger in your system, we must define them. "Benzos" is short for benzodiazepines, which are central nervous system depressants used to treat anxiety and other conditions.

You are likely familiar with Xanax (for managing anxiety), a well-known prescription medication. It's common for doctors to prescribe this benzodiazepine to their patients. Other widely used benzos include:

  • Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin (clonazepam): (used to manage seizures).

  • Versed (midazolam), Ativan, and Valium: (used as anesthetics).

  • Restoril (temazepam), Dalmane (flurazepam) e Halcion (triazolam): utilizzati per curare l'insonnia.

  • Oxazepam (Valium, Ativan, Librium, and Serax): (used to treat alcohol withdrawal syndrome).

  • Valium: (used for the treatment of muscle spasms).


Benzodiazepines can achieve their sedative effects because they boost the activity of a neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). When you feel anxious, this chemical counteracts overstimulation to alleviate the symptoms.

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Medically Reviewed:


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Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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Benzos are a Schedule IV Drug

The Controlled Substances Act puts benzos on the list of Schedule IV substances, which are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant for adults. When mixed with other drugs that make you sleepy, like opiates and alcohol, these substances can create a potent mixture that can kill.

Most benzos are used intentionally to feel relaxed, but others, like Rohypnol, are used to commit crimes, particularly sex crimes. So, not every person who experiences an overdose of benzodiazepines does so of their own free will.

Rolling Hills Recovery Center offers free 24/7 benzo addiction support. Call today and confidentially speak with our addiction specialists at 855-559-8550.

How Long Do Benzos Remain in Your System? (Timeline)

The length of time a particular benzodiazepine stays in the body depends on its half-life and the beginning of the action. The detection times of this drug's presence in the body are proportional to the amount ingested. Regrettably, if the impact of benzos only lasts for a few hours, a user might try to increase their dose or consume more to achieve the desired effect. Additionally, your body may be able to eliminate particular benzo types more quickly than others.


The following is a breakdown of how long each type of benzo drug's adverse effects lasts in the body:

  • Benzodiazepines such as Valium, Librium, and Dalmane, which are long-acting, may be detected in a person's body for up to 24 days.


  • Some benzodiazepines with an intermediate-acting duration, for example, Xanax, Ativan, and Restoril may be detectable in a user's blood for up to 12 days.


  • Halcion, a short-acting benzodiazepine, for example, Versed, may be detectable in a user's system for a day.


Benzos may be detected in a person's system at various periods depending on the test used. These are only generalizations about how long benzos may last in the body fluids of urine, blood, saliva, and hair:

Urine Testing

The presence of short-acting benzos such as Halcion can stay in your urine for up to 24 hours. Longer-acting benzos like Valium may be detected in urine 5-8 days after use. How long benzos last in urine depends on which drug you are taking; benzodiazepines like Ativan, Xanax, Restoril, and Klonopin may be detected in urine for approximately five days. 


Blood Testing

Blood tests may only be used to detect blood benzos 12 to 24 hours after consumption.

Hair Testing

There is a possibility that benzos will be detected in the hair follicles for four to six months. The type of benzodiazepine used, metabolism, age, body size, weight, liver function, and hydration may all impact these broad estimations.


Generally speaking, your health is much better the younger you are (you are less likely to be on many drugs at this stage in life). In healthy young individuals, the half-life of Xanax is typically 11 hours, but in older people, it may be as long as 16 hours. This implies that a young person's body will get rid of the benzos more quickly than someone older.

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Use of Alcohol

When combined, benzos and alcohol can produce hazardous side effects. In addition, if you do this, it may take longer for these medications to be eliminated and leave the body.


Drug elimination periods are longer for several ethnic groups.

Organ Issues

The liver plays a crucial role in eliminating benzos and other harmful substances. Having a condition like chronic liver disease makes it more difficult for your body to break down and eliminate certain medications. This can result in a longer duration for the medication to be processed.


If you are overweight or have more body fat, it is harder for your body to break down chemicals like benzos. This makes them stay in your system for longer and has a more prolonged effect.


If you have a faster metabolism rate or participate in more excellent physical activity, benzos may be eliminated from your system faster.

Use Pattern and Time Frame

Using benzos regularly may take your body longer to flush them out of its system. This may be the case, mainly if you use them recreationally.


Hydration levels affect urine drug tests since drinking an excessive amount of fluids dilutes the substance, which in turn results in a false negative.


If you're asking how long benzodiazepines last in your system, it's probably because you're concerned about how you're taking your prescription. Benzos should only be used at the specified dose if prescribed by a doctor. Additionally, cutting or crushing these drugs may be dangerous and lead to an overdose.


The following are symptoms of a benzo overdose:


  • Coma

  • Drowsiness

  • Weak and fast pulse

  • Dilated pupils

  • Clammy skin

  • Shallow respiration


Overdosing on benzos does not always result in death, but the danger is real. If you have any reason to believe that someone is suffering from the consequences of a benzo overdose, call 911 or the poison control center immediately. It is possible to reduce the effects of an overdose, but only if it is identified early enough by medical professionals with the proper training.

Rolling Hills Recovery Center Offers Treatment for Benzo Addiction

Confronting the fact that one's drug usage has veered into abuse is often a challenging task. However, this is the first step towards regaining control of your life from the grips of addiction and dependency. There is assistance available if you find it challenging to quit using benzodiazepines or have withdrawal symptoms when you do.

Rolling Hills Recovery Center can provide support and resources to help you (or maybe a loved one) overcome addiction to benzodiazepines or any other substance. We offer 30, 60, and 90 day treatment programs to help you overcome your addiction. Reach out to us right now!


Rolling Hills Recovery Center Is Here For You. Verify Your Insurance Today.

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What are benzodiazepines?
Benzos are a schedule lV drug
How long do benzos remain in your system? (Timeline)
Rolling Hills Recovery Center offers treatment for benzo addiction 

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