About Prescription Stimulants (Ritalin)

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If you take prescription stimulants, will it show up on a drug test?

Whether it is from your employer, a family member, or the NZ government, you may have to take a drug test at some point in your life. It is important to understand what drug tests can pick up on, and what could happen if you fail a drug test.  

Most prescription stimulants are in the amphetamine family, so they often show up on amphetamine drug tests.  They can be detected in urine for 48-96 hours, in blood for up to 46 hours, in saliva for 20-50 hours , and in hair for around 90 days. There are many types of prescription stimulants, so this may vary depending on which one you use and how much you use. 

Some prescription stimulants, when they are metabolized in your body are very similar to the metabolites of other drugs in the amphetamine family. This can cause some drug tests to be positive for methamphetamine or MDMA. If you are taking prescription stimulants that have been given to you by a doctor, you can speak to them about the next steps. It is a good idea to do this before you have the test.

If you fail a drug test this may affect your employment, government support, court cases, or official licenses or registrations. At work, you may face legal consequences, especially if you have put the safety of others at risk.  

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