How Long Do Benzos Stay in Your System?

How Long Do Benzos Stay in Your System?


Benzodiazepines are one of the most powerful tranquilizer sedatives prescribed by doctors. It is a central nervous system depressant which is highly effective. Benzos vary in use, active times and addictive qualities. Learn about how long benzos stay in the system and how long effects last.


Benzo Use

Medically, benzos are prescribed for the following issues:

  • Induction of sleep
  • Relieve anxiety
  • Sedation
  • Treatment of muscle spasms
  • Prevention of seizures


Benzos may also be prescribed during alcohol withdrawal or used to treat anxiety related disorders of the GI tract. People take the drug recreationally for sedative effects or to enhance the effects of alcohol or opioids.


Peak Levels and Half Life

Peak levels and half life of benzos depends on the drug prescribed, dosage, interval of doses and route of administration. Longer half-life benzos have a more sustained effect though more may accumulate. Benzos are typically divided into three categories:



  • Ultra short acting benzos – the half-life of ultra short acting benzos is less than 5 hours.
  • Short acting and intermediate benzos – the half-life values from 5-24 hours can be dosed more frequently. Accumulation during multiple dosage is less extensive than with the long-acting group and diminishes as the half-life becomes shorter.
  • Long acting benzos – the half-life values usually exceed 24 hours. Drugs in this category have long acting pharmacologically active metabolites which accumulate extensively during multiple dosage.



Drug Testing

Benzos are part of routine drug testing procedures. Most standard drug screens usually are unable to distinguish between different benzos. A number of them share common pathways of metabolism which makes it difficult for tests to detect such low levels in the system. Benzos can be detected at the following rates:

  • Up to 30 days in urine
  • 4-6 weeks after last dose in urine
  • 12 hours to 2 days after last dose



Some people develop an addiction to benzos which affect the brain and body. Benzos may be more addictive than other drugs but it also depends on why a person is using benzos to begin with. Addiction can take over a person’s life, wreaking havoc on finances, personal relationships and employment opportunities. It is not easy to admit the need for help but it is a necessary first step to recovery. Once a person is ready to face the need for help with addiction, the better off the individual becomes. It is possible to receive treatment for benzo addiction with the right support of family, friends, loved ones and professionals who are experienced in treatment of addictions.


If you or a loved one are struggling to quit benzos, help is available. Call The Villa to find out how our programs and services can support the journey to recovery from detox to aftercare.