Saturday May 28th 2016

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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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41 Responses to “How long does meth stay in your system?
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

2:40 am January 12th, 2015

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

1:00 pm September 6th, 2015

I did a little Meth n had intence sex now the vain on my temple is super huge I’m scared

Clean & Sober
8:56 pm September 6th, 2015

Damn people, just put the pipe down! Plain & simple, you create your own misery.

10:23 am September 7th, 2015

Hello Michael. I believe your condition requires doctor’s examination, so please go see a doctor.

4:27 am September 9th, 2015

I had a us, hadn’t used meth at time for 15days. It came out possative. For meth. Is that possable?

1:17 am September 16th, 2015

If I used close to .25 grams of meth at 11 pm Monday and 9 am Tuesday. I split the .25 between those times how long will it stay in my system for? I’m 290lbs and 6’4

5:25 am September 16th, 2015

I’ve been using (smoking) for about a month 1/2 after being clean for 3 years. How long before it’s out of my system if September 15th (today) at 11:00pm is the last time touching it?

recovering addict
2:04 pm September 29th, 2015

How much would someone say is heavy use for a single person in a 24 hr is you were to measure in gramage or grams.

7:33 pm October 7th, 2015

Meth is craaaazyyy I didn’t sleep for like 3 days until last night when I started consistently using it & I’ve barley eaten in like 4 days & when I did eat I forced myself. It’s a crazy ass drug that makes you feel like the happiest person alive but you can’t get addicted to it because you’ll get super skinny then one day you will have to stop doing it then very quickly get fat. That hasn’t happend to me cuz I barley started doing it && I’m not gonna do it all crazy all the time & my girlfriend made me stop but I wasn’t gonna become a crack head but it is hella fun. I’m usually lazy af but when I’m high on meth I want to go do so much. But I’m not trying influence anything! Drugs are bad! Have fun(;

9:34 am October 10th, 2015

Hi. I seeked out meth to take recreationally. My intentions were to keep it for later on..such as holidays. However my curiosity got the better of me, so I sampled the 1 point I had ($100 worth). I smoked a bit much, didn’t sleep at all that night really, going to work with one hours sleep. The next night I suffered withdrawals, however got through it. Over the next few weeks, I slowly succumbed and finished my wee bag of meth. So I decided to get just 1 more bag, ($300 worth) but this time I definitely won’t smoke it till Xmas. I was wrong. I started to learnby not smoking it at night I could still sleep, and by smoking just a little bit in the mornings would give me more energy to do things. Unintentionally I smoked all my stash. I tried to quit but a month later I thought I’ll get just one more bag ($1000) worth. I’ll definitely have some for Xmas i thought (3months away). I did not realiase at this stage I was making uncharacteristic mistakes at work, had meth jaw, paranoia, abnormal body language in public and supervisors at work had suspicions. The night I got my full gram was at 11pm. Despite promising myself to avoid a puff I thought just a quick one then bed. But after that first taste, I had more and more until it was too late. I panicked but there was nothing I could do. I managed to get 1 hours sleep before a meeting that morning. Well at the meeting I should have kept my mouth shut. I didn’t. I blurted out a lengthy confusing strange discussion that had the whole room in shock. I was so embarrassed. That day however I got so much work done (on next to no food or sleep) that I convinced myself that maybe smoking it not such a bad thing. Just not before meetings. The next day a drug van was called…but it was my workmate they tested. I took this as a warning by my company that ‘we know, sort your sh@t out’. I finished the week well so thought I’ll have one puff before the weekend, then thats it.Before I knew it within 3 hours I had smoked $500 worth, pleaded with supplier to drop off better smoking gear, which in turn he brought over a higher dealer with deals in the tens of thousands. That night I smoked all my stash..but LUCKILY I had the realization of what was happening. I freaked out and confided my addiction to a FRIEND like a scared emotional dog who snapped me back on the right path. I am now drug free, healthy, fit and it can bring a tear to my eye knowing how close I came to losing everything. I thought I could control the drug despite what I read, but no, the drug controlled me. Meth is pure evil and needs to be eliminated.

8:33 pm October 18th, 2015

My boyfriend has been clean for 12 years. He relapse an did 4 lines of meth. He couldn’t walk for two days an it’s been 4 days an he is so sick he’s cold can’t walk is this something I have to take him to the hospital his head is feeling weird

8:36 am October 23rd, 2015

What is 50 milligrams of meth in blood test . Taken st hospital after car accident 11 am. Was it consumed one r two days prior.

9:11 am October 23rd, 2015

I used meth to help get off herion,ya sounds crazy but it worked ,most people told me you can not really have withdralws from Meth but dam they were wrong. I do have a high tolerance so I did do alot and did shoot it so keep that in mind but for day’s after not doing it I felt strait up like shit, please know it is not an easy thing to stop and just not worth the aftermath of the high.. That is only one of my many reason’s to stop doing it or not to even try it. It can change your life more then you think ( and not for the better )and you probly will not realize it till it is to late.

6:07 pm November 6th, 2015

Well I got so bad on meth it landed me in rehab. I lost everything and I mean everything even my soul. Got clean and now I’m back on it. I inject it’s ridiculous. In one shot I have to put a full gram in it. And I have to do that just to feel anything.. and it only gets worse. Any drug I do now I have to inject just to feel it…stay away it will ruin ur life!

4:24 am November 7th, 2015

I have been smoking about 12yrs i could stop anytime whereever but now i need to drug test into tuesday and im still smoking

5:33 pm November 9th, 2015

Hi Debbie. That seems like a severe reaction. I believe it’s best to take him to the doctor’s where he can be properly examined. I hope everything will be ok soon.

7:52 pm November 9th, 2015

Hi Maria. I can’t help you with that one. I suggest you consult the laboratory expert staff or doctors that would know.

3:30 am November 24th, 2015

I have read all these posts and had all the same effect but I did a big dose of some potent ice and I was seeing bugs in my carpet so scary as it sounds I started stabbing the colorful bug eggs that I thought were there end up tearing our furniture up. The shit is the devil it’s nothing to try for fun Cuz when that so called fun ends u go into depression I got stuck and found what I thought was method on the floor I put it in my spoon and crushed it down my fiance saved me from injecting glass into my vein an I swore to him it was real but he begged me I played on the floor crying Cuz I wanted more and I fell straight asleep. I’m going through it now Cuz I relapsed and it don’t feel right I just I’m every emotion paranoid anxious sad mad curious confused and I have been to bed for two days I’d advice anyone who has not tried it to not do it in the end you will feel so helplessly alone I don’t feel alone Cuz I no all you know what I’m talking about AMD how it affect ts Ur mind thanks for sharing y’all I know we all can get lat it be positive have a motive drink lots of water force itself to eat and sleep and don’t repeat doing the drug you may just get suisidle and off itself js I’m out god bless

10:20 pm November 30th, 2015

Hi did meth on thursday and then i did it again on sunday and at 1am on monday how long will it take for it to get out of my system

11:13 am December 1st, 2015

Hello Cesar. Experts claim that meth can be detected in the urine 1-4 days after its use. Anyway, every drug affects each person differently, so the period of drug detection varies. It depends on drug dosage, time of use, frequency, metabolism, etc.

Raver boy
4:49 am December 26th, 2015

How much would someone say is heavy use for a single person in a 24 hr or weekly basis if you were to measure in gramage or grams. And I’ve smoked 3 points of a gram (under half a gram) all up in the last 3 days, it’s Saturday 1.50pm 26th of December so I won’t b having anymore coz I’ve gotta urine test in 4 days on Wednesday the 30th of December at 12pm will I b ok to pass? Or is there anything I can do to improve my chances if need b? I usually only use small doses once a week on a weekend. I’m 5’8 and I work out threw the week

3:37 am December 27th, 2015

I haven’t tried meth ever In my life, but last night I was in a closed room with a few mates that was smoking meth….. The room was smokey and i was in the room for a good 3-4 hours….. I was wondering if I was to get drug tested will I come up positive?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
7:16 pm January 4th, 2016

Hi, Lidaro. I did some research on second-hand meth smoking, and there seems to be little or no research on this topic. I’ve read that few people (especially children) have been found to test positive for meth use as a result of a friend’s use or manufacture. Here’s the article:

Also, you can do the same by searching using these keywords: meth second hand smoking

8:47 pm January 5th, 2016

I just lost my wife to this drug . 1.3 anagrams in her system . Her heart exploded. What are you people thinking ? Don’t ruin your life with this stuff . Sure you are young , but time goes by so fast . Just look at yourself in the mirror every time you get high . Pretty soon that look is going to stick . Just saying .

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
12:14 am January 7th, 2016

Hi, Chris. I’m really sorry for your loss… Hope other will find your message inspiring…

6:47 pm January 24th, 2016

I took about ,10 cents I snorted it I weigh about 240 lbs how long will it stay in my system I took it Friday evening

3:48 am January 31st, 2016

Hi I every
I was addicted meth so I went 2 rehab recently I started using. I started using once every 4 months nw m using a every weekndpp. I cnt go 2 rehab my wife execpting and m woeking. Any advice wud be appriciated

2:32 am April 6th, 2016

I snorted meth for the first time on Sunday at three in the morning I did about ten large key bumps and I have a drug test on Wednesday at 4:00 pm I’m really scared will I pass I’m a female I am 5’6 and weigh 150 lbs my motabolism isn’t very fast either

11:56 pm April 26th, 2016

Hi I am trying to find out can you test positive for second hand smoke of Crystal meth in a hair drug test.. Please let me know and thank you very much

5:33 pm May 9th, 2016

I smoked meth and a few key bumps of coke on Friday night and a little again on Saturday night will i be clean by Thursday for urine test?

8:38 pm May 11th, 2016

I just tested positive for methamphetamines and I haven’t used in over 40 days. The only thing I can think of is I missed the vein on a large shot that resulted in a big lump. That lump still exists 40 days later. Is there meth still enclosed in the lump that is being processed by my body?

5:29 am May 19th, 2016

I’m 18 years old and my first time doing meth I snorted one line about an inch and a half long and the width of 2-3 millimeters. How long would it take to clean out of my system for a urinalysis?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:28 pm May 20th, 2016

Hi ConfusedUser. I suggest you go to the ER about the lump.

6:21 pm May 22nd, 2016

I’ve been using method everyday and everynight in past 2 months,I have urine drug test in 3 days time and I stopped Monday for my thursday test.Will they detect it that span of time?

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