How Long Does Methamphetamine (Meth) Stay in Your System?
When someone struggles with a meth addiction, a critical part of the detox process is getting meth out of your system. A common question during the detox process is, “how long does meth stay in your system?” The half-life of methamphetamine is ten hours. The half-life of methamphetamine is how long it takes to get half of the substance out of your system. It usually takes four days to completely remove meth from your system.1
What is Methamphetamine?
Meth is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant drug. Meth works by stimulating the central nervous system to create an energetic and euphoric high. Methamphetamine typically comes in a white, bitter-tasting, and odorless crystal powder, also known as crystal meth. Methamphetamine can be used by snorting, smoking, or injecting.2
How Long Is a Meth High?
When meth is taken, it typically takes effect within ten minutes and will last between 8 to 24 hours. A meth high leads to potent stimulation of the central nervous system, negatively affecting someone’s cognitive and rational decision-making abilities. 3
What is the Half-Life of Meth?
The half-life of meth is ten hours, and it takes four days to remove all methamphetamine metabolites from the body’s system.
How Long Does It Take to Feel Effects?
The effects of meth set in quickly after the drug is taken, typically within ten minutes, and will last for hours after use of the drug. Meth’s effects can affect someone in many ways.
Symptoms of Meth Use
Common effects of crystal meth use include:
- Decreased appetite
- Hyperthermia (higher than normal body temperature)
- Increased attention
- Low inhibitions
- Physical alertness
- Reduced fatigue
Detection Time of Meth in Body
A meth drug test may be used for a variety of reasons. A meth drug test may be administered during addiction treatment to provide accountability and ensure that an individual has been staying sober. Meth detection times will vary depending on the type of drug test used.
One of the most common ways to detect meth in your system is urine testing. Administering a test for meth in urine is common because it is cheap and creates an easy testing process. Meth in urine can be detected up to seven days following the last dose of meth. One of the issues with detecting meth in urine is that false positives can occur. Other drugs or certain foods can cause a false positive for methamphetamines, throwing off the results.4
Another form of crystal meth drug test is a meth blood test. A meth blood test can detect meth in your system for up to three days following the last dose of meth. Meth blood tests are less common than other methods because they are more challenging to administer and have a shorter detection period than more accessible methods like a urine test.
Another common form of meth detection is through a saliva test. Meth in saliva can be detected for up to four days following the last dose of meth. Saliva tests for meth are common because they are quick and easy to perform while still providing a good detection window.
Methamphetamine testing can also be done through the hair follicles. This can be particularly effective if a longer detection window is required. Meth can be detected in the hair follicles up to 90 days after the last use of meth.
Factors That Affect Detection Time
Many factors can affect meth detection time and the body’s ability to process methamphetamine metabolites through the body’s system.
Your overall health can affect how long it takes for the body to process meth from its system. Those who are more active and eat a healthy diet will likely metabolize and process meth more quickly.
Frequency of Use
Frequency of use can also impact the body’s ability to process meth. Those who use meth more frequently will likely have it remain in their system longer.
The body’s natural metabolic rate can also affect how quickly methamphetamine metabolites are processed. Those with a faster metabolic rate will be able to process meth through their system more quickly.
Smoking vs. Injecting
How meth is used may also impact how long it stays in the body’s system. When meth is injected straight into the bloodstream, it is usually processed through the body more quickly compared to smoking.
How to Get Methamphetamine Out of Your System
During the treatment process for meth addiction, it is essential to flush meth out of your system. The first part of the treatment process will be a methamphetamine detox. During detox, you will stop taking meth, and the body will go through its natural process of flushing meth out of its system. Withdrawal symptoms will be experienced during detox, ranging from mild to severe. Going to a drug treatment center during a meth detox is important to ensure that this process is as safe and effective as possible.
Symptoms of Overdose
One of the dangers of meth use is the risk of overdose. Since someone can build a tolerance to meth, those who struggle with addiction are more likely to take increasingly higher doses of the drug. Taking high doses of meth increases the likelihood of overdosing. Common symptoms of a meth overdose include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Extremely high body temperature
- Heart attack
- Irregular heartbeat
- Kidney damage or failure
If someone is experiencing any of these meth overdose symptoms, they must get immediate medical attention. You should call 911 at the first sign of an overdose. When paramedics arrive, they must be informed that an overdose may have occurred so they can provide the proper treatment procedures for the patient’s needs.
Get Help for Meth Addiction at Great Oaks Recovery
If you or someone you know is struggling with a meth addiction, Great Oaks Recovery can help. Great Oaks provides evidence-based treatment programs that can be tailored to the needs of the individual. When you partake in a meth addiction treatment program at Great Oaks, our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be there with you to ensure you get the best possible results. Contact us today for more information about how Great Oaks can help you.