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How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System? - Urine, Blood & More

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

Crystal meth, short for crystal methamphetamine, is an extremely potent and highly-addictive synthetic stimulant. It is typically produced in illegal labs or in the homes of drug traffickers, who mix other prescription forms of amphetamines with dangerous, harsh chemicals like acetone, ammonia, and lye. The chemical concoction goes through a heating process to increase the potency of methamphetamine, then the mixture is combined with hydrogen chloride gas and left to dry, which causes the substance to crystallize.

Most crystal meth users smoke it, using a cigarette-shaped glass pipe. But it can also be injected, snorted, or ingested in a pill. 

For many people who have considered using crystal meth, or who have used it and are struggling with symptoms of addiction, it’s common to wonder how long the drug stays in their system. Since dependence on crystal meth develops quickly, many users find themselves attempting to strategically time their use of the drug, in hopes that others will not detect their substance use.

Unfortunately, however, crystal meth is one of the most difficult illegal drugs to recover from. In fact, studies have indicated that only 12 percent of meth users will make a long-term recovery. This makes it highly unlikely that those who use the drug will be able to conceal the fact that they are using for long.


The Duration & Effects of Crystal Meth

How Does Crystal Meth Makes the User Feel?

The most common sensations associated with the use of crystal methamphetamine are euphoria, increased energy, and a surge in confidence. These symptoms can cause users to behave in ways they normally wouldn’t, and result in a false sense of ability. 

Unfortunately, the more a person uses crystal meth, the less enjoyable the effects become. Paranoia and hallucinations are common amongst those addicted to the drug. Common hallucinations include feeling bugs or insects crawling beneath the skin, the belief that you’re being followed or spied on, and hearing voices that instruct you to do things that are dangerous or potentially harmful to others.


How Long Can These Effects Last?

The euphoric “rush” most users feel after using crystal meth is actually short-lived. Most users report this initial boost wears off within an hour, but it can dissipate in as little as five minutes for frequent users.

The user will then experience less intense sensations of being high for anywhere between 3-14 hours.

How the Body Processes Meth

Methamphetamine is processed in the body by a liver enzyme called CYP2D6. After the crystal meth is smoked, injected, or ingested, it makes its way through the bloodstream, eventually arriving in the liver and kidneys, where these enzymes begin to break down the substance. It’s important to note, however, that not all of the methamphetamine goes directly to the liver and kidneys. Some is transported to the brain, where it causes levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine to rise drastically.

How Long Does It Take To Get Meth Out of Your System?

This is a question that doesn’t necessarily have a straightforward answer. This is largely due to the fact that how long methamphetamine remains in your body is dependant upon the method of ingestion, how much of the substance has been taken, and how long the individual has been using.

Typically, however, 50 percent of methamphetamines leave the body within 10-12 hours.

The high produced from using crystal meth lasts a similar amount of time, with symptoms easing up between 6-12 hours after smoking or taking the drug.

These times are not reflective of how long methamphetamine is detectable within the body, however. While the body can completely process and eliminate meth within 2-10 days (depending on how much has been taken), it can still be found using drug test kits long after this timeframe.

Ways to Test for Methamphetamine

There are four primary ways in which employers, healthcare professionals, sports organizations and other entities can utilize meth drug tests.

These methods are described below:


Urine Drug Tests

Urine drug tests are the most common screening method, accounting for 90 percent of the tests that were administered in 2015.

Unfortunately, though, urine tests are the easiest to manipulate. Many patients provide false urine samples, or use cleanses, in an effort to produce a false negative result.


How Long Does Meth Stay in Your Urine?

Methamphetamine can be detected using a urine screen for approximately 3-6 days, depending on the amount used, the frequency of use, and the tolerance level of the individual being tested.

Saliva Drug Tests

Saliva drug tests are more difficult to manipulate, since the person being tested is in the presence of the screen administrator throughout the entire process. With that being said, many substances are only detectable in human saliva for a short period of time. Thus, saliva screens are best suited for cases where recent use is in question.

How Long Does Meth Stay in Saliva?

Methamphetamine can be detected in saliva for 1-2 days after use, on average.

Blood Drug Tests

Blood screens are the most conclusive form of drug test, but they must be completed by certified laboratory professionals or healthcare physicians. Thus, they are not an ideal option for many employers.

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your Blood?

A positive methamphetamine test can be obtained for up to 3 days after use.

Hair Follicle Drug Tests

Hair follicle drug tests are the most optimal screening method for those who want a detailed history of when and how much a person has used crystal meth. Drugs remain in the hair longer than they do in any other type of sample, making them a preferred testing method.

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your Hair?

Methamphetamine can be detected in a human hair sample for approximately 10 days after use. This timeframe can vary, however, if the person is a frequent user.

As you can see, the answer to the question “How long does it take to get meth out of your system” is a complex one. There are so many variables that can impact the metabolization process and so many disparities between testing methods. If you need a professional to walk you through the process, Countrywide Testing is here to help!