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How long does meth stay in your system?

How long does meth stay in your system?

Meth can stay in the system and be detected in urinalysis drug tests 1-4 days after use. But chronic use can extended this detection period. More here on how meth works and the length of time it stays in your system, with a section for your questions about meth at the end.

What is meth?

Meth (short for “methamphetamine”) is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. While small doses of meth can be prescribed legally for limited medical uses, most recreational doses of meth are manufactured illegally.

How do you take meth?

Meth comes in different forms and can be taken in multiple ways. If prescribed, methamphetamine comes as a pill. In its powder form, meth can be ingested, snorted, or injected. In its “crystal” or rock form, meth can be smoked.

Main meth uses

Under the Controlled Substances Act, meth is classified as a Schedule II drug, which allows for very limited medical use. Medical professionals may issue a non-refillable prescription of methamphetamine as treatment for narcolepsy, attention deficit and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, and obesity.

Recreationally, meth is used as a stimulant. Soon after smoking or injecting meth, the drug produces a short and intense rush. If ingested or snorted, meth can produce a longer high lasting about half a day. When used recreationally, meth creates a feeling of euphoria. However, in the U.S., it is illegal to possess meth without a prescription.

Peak levels and half-life of meth

Blood concentrations of meth vary depending on the amount taken. Since meth can be prescribed by medical professionals, there is a therapeutic level of blood concentration, which usually ranges from .02-.05 mg/L. Recreational meth use, on the other hand, can range from anywhere between .01-2.5mg/L. Concentrations above .2mg/L are associated with abuse, and the threshold for toxicity for meth is above 2.5mg/L.

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Meth levels reach peak blood concentration differently depending on mode of administration. The half-life of meth can range greatly, but for all methods of administration the half-life ranges between about 10 and 12 hours. When ingesting meth, peak concentration of methamphetamine occurs in approximately three hours. For smoking and snorting, peak concentration takes between two and three hours.

Meth drug testing: How long does meth stay in the body?

Meth stays in the body much longer than some other drugs. For example, 50% of cocaine leaves the body after only one hour. With a half-life of nearly twelve hours, meth stays in the system for a significantly longer period of time. The exact amount of time methamphetamine can stay in the body depends on a number of factors, such as urine pH levels, amount taken, how frequently the drug is used, body mass, rate of metabolism, or other circumstance.

How long does meth stay in blood?

Meth stays in the blood for approximately 24-48 hours.

How long does meth stay in hair?

The longest amount of detection time for meth is in hair. Once the hair grows out after use, meth can be found months or even years after the cessation of use. Presence of meth in hair depends on the level of meth usage and the length of hair. One half an inch of hair represents about 30 days in hair testing for meth.

How long does meth stay in urine?

Urinalysis can turn up a positive result for meth within 1-4 days, but heavy and/or chronic use can extend this time frame.

How long does meth stay in saliva or sweat?

Meth can stay in saliva for approximately 1-2 days. Evidence of meth use can be detected in sweat within two hours and sometimes over a week after someone has stopped using meth.

Meth and addiction

Meth is highly addictive. It is much less expensive than cocaine and produces a much longer high. Use of meth releases a large amount of neurotransmitters into the brain such as dopamine, a chemical involved in the brain’s reward circuit. The large amount of dopamine released during the meth rush depletes the brain’s supply and leads to a “crash,” including a depressive phase. Users often seek more meth to recreate the euphoria, leading to a cycle of addiction.

Problems with meth?

If you have a problem with meth, please seek the advice of a doctor. Otherwise, we invite you to ask questions or share your experiences in the comments below.

Reference Sources: NIDA: Drug Facts: Methamphetamine 
NIDA: Drug Abuse: Methamphetamine
DEA: Drug Data Sheets on Methamphetamine
NHTSA: Methamphetamine
PubMed: The bioavailability of intranasal and smoked methamphetamine
CDC Fact Sheets on Methamphetamine
PubMed: Methamphetamine Disposition in Oral Fluid, Plasma, and Urine 
PubMed: Excretion of Methamphetamine and Amphetamine in Human Sweat Following Controlled Oral Methamphetamine Administration
PubMed: Methamphetamine detection in maternal and neonatal hair: implications for fetal safety

Photo credit: neutralSurface

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8 Responses to “How long does meth stay in your system?
Kylie
1:45 am August 19th, 2014

How can a user that injects get of meth is there any drugs a doctor can prescribe to assist . Thanks

Vana
2:40 am January 12th, 2015

Do you know how much longer meth can stay detectable in urine if you ‘miss’ while injecting it?

chris
12:14 am January 31st, 2015

meth is not physically addictive, but mentally.
i’ve known people who’ve used daily, and slept every night, ate regularly, and did’nt act adversely from it whatsoever.
but then, i’ve seen others just make their whole world revolve around it and end up being worthless.
to get off meth for good, it’s best to not have it anywhere near a person. often times moving to a different neighborhood or city is the best way to kick the habit.but, if the person wants to quit, they can, without all of that, fairly easily, with a little willpower.

Shannon
7:49 am June 12th, 2015

I’ve been smoking for a couple weeks everyday but small quantities I smoked meth at 9:00am took a urine test at the doctors around 11am and tomorrow I have to take a blood test do I have a chance of it not showing up? But I ain’t being tested for drugs but still

Jenny
4:11 am July 30th, 2015

Is it possible to test dirty for meth 1 month after doing it and only doing it for 4 days

lynch
10:34 am August 2nd, 2015

The half life……the come down, there is nothing and i mean nothing in this world that even stand close for the raw power of meth when your trying to gain releaf ona half life phaze….7 100mg trazadone, 9 shots of whiskey, 8th of weed, dros,perks, wat ever.theres no real fix. to stoping this run away train from destroying your day. All the joints,bones, muscles…just aged 60 years. Your dopimein resepters and under road construction. And you and shut down in all ways….its really not worth the ride.but nobody thinks of that before they take a road trip to kentucky early. Intel your there…intel your coming down like hailys comet feeling like it cant get worse bulll.
They need a prescription. That is made for counter attacking the. side effects of other drugs…with of course thre own side effects…trade lathagic fautge nausea, for drowsy, head ach and fever….it would be nice for none..but that would be impossible …..drugs drugs drugs thls worlds ran by them

charity
10:17 am August 17th, 2015

Haven’t smoked meth in five days until today and I have to got to probation Thursday it’s 4:15 am Monday morning will I past if I get morning at 9:00 am drug tested if I drink only water or cranberry juice if not please tell me the best thing t do…it will be about 60 hours I’m guessing ill be till probation

Charles
4:46 am August 20th, 2015

If I used meth for the first time in 3 1/2 years just one night it wasn’t much would I be clean within five days to add to this when I was younger doctors had me on upers and downers for add

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