How Long Does Meth Stay in My System?

February 11, 2021

Written By: Buena Vista Recovery

This question might be one of the things running through someone’s mind when they learn a potential workplace requires a pre-employment drug test. You might be asking this, too, if you are already employed and a random drug test is something your company implements every once in a while. Whichever the case is, the answer to the question “how long does meth stay in my system?” varies depending on several factors per individual.

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What is the Half-Life of Meth?

According to the study in 2009 by Christopher C. Cruickshank and Kyle R. Dyer entitled “A review of the clinical pharmacology of methamphetamine”, the half-life of meth is 10 hours. That means that half of what someone uses will remain in their system after ten hours. A 35-milligram dose will be detectable for up to 87 hours in the blood. Still, the length of time meth stays in the body depends on each case. The frequency of use, the amount of meth used, and the dosage of last use can all affect how long the compound might stay in someone’s body.

The functionality of their kidneys and liver is also a factor. The health of these organs is critical in the absorption and excretion of compounds such as meth. Aging affects these organs too. As we age, kidney and liver function decline. Drug excretion becomes less efficient. Renal dysfunction and diseases affecting blood flow in the kidneys and urine flow affect how long the drug stays in your system. Examples of these diseases are congestive heart failure, liver disease, and antidiuretic hormone release.

If the person using meth is also using other substances such as alcohol, the way their body process the drug will also change. A heavy drinker will have slower metabolism of meth and other drugs in their bodies. 

All the listed factors affect how long meth will stay in your body. However, different tests have different detection time ranges. 

How Long Can Meth Be Detected in the Body?

The length of time meth can be detected in the body depends on the kind of sample used for drug detection.

  • Blood Test: We can already detect meth in the blood 1-2 hours after use. It can last 1-3 days after the last dose. 
  • Urine Test: Meth stays in your urine for 3 – 7 days after the last use. It can also be detected in urine as early as 2 – 5 hours after your last consumption of meth. 
  • Spit Test: After just 30 minutes – 1 hour, meth is detectable through saliva. It can be detectable up until the third day after the last use.
  • Hair Test: According to a study, people who abuse meth should test negative after six months of claimed abstinence.

How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Meth?

Methamphetamine is a potent and highly addictive stimulant that dramatically affects the central nervous system. Meth addiction can happen quickly, with some people becoming addicted after just one use. It can quickly lead to significant physical, mental, relational, and financial damage. Some of the most commonly reported side effects are anxiety disorders. Methamphetamine has been shown to elevate levels of stress hormones in the body that cause depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia.

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How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects of Meth?

The length of time the drug stays in the body and the time it can be detected are different from the length of time its effects linger. People feel some of its effects almost instantly after ingestion, but some effects are long-term, especially for those who have abused meth for a longer amount of time. 

Methamphetamine is a potent stimulant. As a stimulant, it keeps the body awake and energetic for a time. People usually feel confident after taking it, making meth a popular party drug. This pleasurable “high” can hit its peak for 5-15 minutes. Meth also releases dopamine, which interacts with the reward circuit of the brain. Dopamine influences the brain to repeat the pleasure by taking the drug again. It makes meth highly addictive. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, other short-term effects may include

  • Increased focus
  • Improved psychomotor coordination
  • Decreased appetite
  • Euphoria
  • Increased respiration
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Hyperthermia
  • Some experience arousal

Psychosis or getting out of touch with reality can be experienced by those who consume more than 50 milligrams dosage of meth. Although these short-term effects usually subside after 8 hours, the body can suffer long-term consequences. 

What are the Long-Term Effects of using Meth?

Long-term effects include psychological problems such as:

  • Neurotoxicity or damage to the brain
  • Cognitive impairment (this could be confusion, memory loss, loss of attentiveness, trouble understanding or, difficulty recognizing people and places, or mood swings
  • Increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
  • Experiencing withdrawal syndrome symptoms such as sleep disturbance, anxiety, and depressive mood when long-term users suddenly quit

Long-term Physical effects may include the following:

  • Nasal tissue damage when sniffed
  • Respiratory problems 
  • Liver, kidney, and lung damage 
  • Heart and brain blood vessel damage
  • High blood pressure
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Stroke
  • Epilepsy

Meth Withdrawal

The meth withdrawal process can be tough on the addict’s body and mind. The person may experience symptoms like anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Not to mention the impact that it can have on the brain and mental health. Meth addiction is a serious public health problem in the United States. If you or someone you love is struggling with meth addiction, it’s important to know how to get help. Getting professional treatment is the first step in safely and comfortably detoxing from methamphetamine. 

How to Get Meth Out Of Your System

Meth users who are trying to stop will experience withdrawal symptoms. Long-term and heavy meth users will experience more intense withdrawal symptoms. Meth withdrawal is not easy and it comes with frequent cravings. Oftentimes, when people using meth begin withdrawal they are motivated to use more of the drug to feed their cravings. Longer and heavier use leads to a longer detox time. Some Withdrawal symptoms include: 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal Thoughts

Meth Treatment Programs

Although meth abuse and addiction have many adverse effects on an individual, there is still hope for those who are struggling with it. Taking the first step to getting help is challenging but is not impossible. Successful recovery begins with detoxification in a meth treatment program.

In medical detox, professionals help patients mitigate physical dependency on meth. Make sure to find a rehab facility that medically monitors the detoxification procedure. Being medically monitored means having professionals like licensed physicians and skilled nurses as support.

Medicine-assisted detox can also be helpful to decrease withdrawal symptoms. These medications can be necessary to ensure that the patients get safely through the withdrawal phase in the most comfortable manner possible. Suppose you or someone you love is looking for a way to break free from meth addiction or other substance addiction in your area. In that case, you may want to check out a reputable Arizona drug treatment facility that understands specific struggles and needs.

After completing detox, the next step is to get stabilized and create a long-term recovery plan. One of the options is an inpatient treatment center. An in-patient stay of a week to a month shall be devoted to addressing the root of your addiction. People use this time to face mental health issues that they may not have been able to handle because of meth use. One-on-one sessions with a therapist and group therapy should be available for patients. Teaching relapse-prevention skills should also be part of a good rehabilitation program. You can get in touch with a Phoenix drug rehab for residential substance abuse treatment in a comfortable setting on a modern campus. 

If you are aware of meth addiction in your life or your loved one’s life, please do not hesitate to get help because addiction is surmountable. You may get in touch with a recovery facility like Buena Vista Recovery for a confidential consultation. You may take this brave first step to wellness now.


Disclaimer: This post serves a strictly educational use. It does not reflect the services, products, or therapeutic approaches of this establishment or its healthcare practitioners. This blog aims not to advertise the products, services, or therapeutic approaches of any other establishment that may be associated with this site. On the subject of safe or legal services, products, and appropriate therapies, recommendations ought to be given by a qualified professional on a case-to-case basis.