How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

drug test for meth in your system

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that produces powerful effects. This substance is extremely addictive due to the way it interacts with your central nervous system. Because of the habit-forming effects of meth, it has been classified as a Schedule II stimulant drug.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, “Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 0.9% (or about 2.6 million people) reported using methamphetamine in the past 12 months.”[1]

Additionally, around 24,000 Americans died from a methamphetamine overdose in 2020.[1]

Meth addiction is a serious condition that must be treated professionally, including detox, residential treatment, and outpatient programs. If you or a loved one suffer from a meth use disorder, you may be wondering how long meth stays in your system.

How Long Do The Effects of Meth Last?

Typically, individuals who abuse meth smoke or snort the substance. People who smoke or snort meth will experience an intense and long-lasting high. Oftentimes, the effects of smoking or snorting meth can last for up to an entire day.

While both of these methods cause rapidly produced effects, injection is the fastest method of use. Injecting methamphetamine may cause individuals to experience a rush of euphoria. This is why it is possible to become addicted to the drug so quickly.

While other stimulant drugs produce rapid and short-lasting effects, methamphetamine can cause long-lasting highs. This is because meth is not metabolized as quickly as drugs like cocaine. As a result, methamphetamine remains in the body unchanged by the metabolism, leaving long-lasting effects.

Depending on the method of use, how much is taken, your body chemistry, as well as kidney and liver health- the effects of meth can last from 8-24 hours.

How Does Your Body Metabolize Meth?

Once you ingest methamphetamine, your body will begin to break down the substance as it travels through the bloodstream. While most substances can be completely broken down and metabolized, a portion of meth will remain untouched.

In other words, about one-third of the methamphetamine an individual ingests will not be metabolized. This means that the meth has remained just as potent as it was when you smoked, snorted, or injected it.

The elimination half-life of any drug represents how long it takes your body to reduce the drug’s active substances by half. Being aware of the half-life of methamphetamine will help you or your loved one be able to gauge when withdrawal symptoms will begin.

For most people, the half-life of methamphetamine in the bloodstream is 6-15 hours. For methamphetamine to be fully cleared from your system, it will take about 4-5 half-lives. This means it can take around 25-40 hours for the substance to be cleared from your bloodstream.[2]

How Long Is Meth Detected in Your Urine, Blood, Saliva, and Hair?

Even if methamphetamine is cleared from your bloodstream, it can still be detected by drug tests in your urine, blood, saliva, and hair.

Urine is the most common form of drug test because it is non-invasive and relatively quick. Urine tests detect whether meth is in your system based on metabolites found in their urine. These tests can detect methamphetamine for 1 to 5 days after last use.

Blood tests are less reliable, as they detect methamphetamine in the blood system. This means that methamphetamine is only detectable for up to 25 hours after the last usage with a blood test.

Saliva tests are conducted through swabbing of the mouth or tongue. The swab collects saliva to determine whether methamphetamine is present in your system. This works for up to 2 days after your last use.

Hair tests are the most expensive form of drug testing because they provide the longest amount of detection time. When testing for methamphetamine, hair tests can detect the substance for up to 90 days.

Factors That Influence How Long Meth Stays in Your System

As previously mentioned, the time it takes your body to metabolize methamphetamine depends on a variety of factors. The same applies to how long meth stays in your system.

Which factors influence how long methamphetamine stays in your system?

  • The amount of meth used
  • The method of use (smoking, snorting, injecting, etc.)
  • Frequency of use
  • Other substances that may have been abused
  • The individual’s age
  • The overall health of the individual
  • Liver and kidney health
  • Type of drug test used

How to Get Meth Out of Your System Safely

The only safe way to rid your body of methamphetamine is to attend a professional meth detox program. When you are addicted to meth, your body becomes accustomed to the substance’s presence. Because of this, when you stop using meth you will experience symptoms of withdrawal.

Common symptoms of meth withdrawal may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • An inability to feel pleasure
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Increased appetite
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Sweating and fever
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness

Professional drug detox programs will help you to safely navigate the symptoms of withdrawal. Sometimes, you may be offered medications to decrease the severity of symptoms and eliminate cravings for meth. This prevents you from experiencing dangerous psychological side effects, uncomfortable physical effects, and ensures that you do not feel compelled to relapse.

Find Help for Meth Abuse and Addiction Today

If you or a loved one suffer from meth addiction, it’s time to consider professional treatment. Meth abuse and addiction can lead to long-lasting adverse physical and psychological effects. Attending a professional treatment program can prevent you from developing additional medical conditions stemming from meth addiction.

Contact Florida Recovery Group today for more information on our meth addiction treatment program.

References:

  1. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-scope-methamphetamine-misuse-in-united-states
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430895/