Meth In Your System: How Long Does It Stay?


Methamphetamine abuse has been a social problem since people started using it for recreational purposes. While it was first developed in 1893 as a medical treatment for various health conditions, including asthma and narcolepsy, the stimulant’s addictive and damaging properties made it one of the world’s most dangerous drugs.

What Is Meth and What Are Its Effects?

Methamphetamine (also known as crystal methamphetamine or, simply, meth), whether injected, snorted, or inhaled, is a highly addictive substance that affects the brain and central nervous system. Methamphetamine raises neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels in the brain, stimulating brain cells and affecting energy, alertness, and other biological processes.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists methamphetamine as a Schedule II drug in the United States. It simply means that it is prohibited to take methamphetamine recreationally and that meth has significant potential for abuse, even though it can have some limited medicinal advantages.

Methamphetamine can quickly cause a rush or flash sensation when injected or smoked. This “rush” is due to the brain’s rapid release of large quantities of dopamine. However, snorting crystal methamphetamine results in euphoria, not a rush.

Methamphetamine’s effects are comparable to those of other stimulants, and they include the following:

  • Agitation
  • Appetite suppression
  • Pleasure feelings
  • Enhanced sociability
  • Low inhibition levels
  • Confusion
  • Physical alertness

What Experts Say About Meth in Your System

According to a 2014 study, methamphetamine is neurotoxic, causing damage to the brain’s serotonin and dopamine receptors. Long-term methamphetamine use can damage the brain, which may last for months even after stopping use.

Even if a person stops using meth, the neurological repercussions might last a lifetime. Researchers discovered that methamphetamine usage increases the likelihood of Parkinson’s disease. Methamphetamine abuse can also result in severe anorexia and may induce substantial changes in physical appearance, even after only briefly using the stimulant.

Side Effects of Meth

Among the dangers of meth is the increase in respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure. It can result in increased body heat and an irregular pulse. There is also a risk of cardiovascular collapse.

Methamphetamine can potentially cause irreparable damage to cerebral blood vessels, leading to a stroke. Other side effects of meth usage on the central nervous system include irritation, disorientation, anxiety, paranoia, and aggression. Some folks also have chronic sleeplessness and tremors and can experience convulsions and hypothermia.

How Long Do Meth Effects Last?

Methamphetamine is often smoked using a small glass pipe or injected. Both of these ways deliver the drug to the brain quickly, with injection being the quickest. Meth can be taken orally or through the nose. It produces a long-lasting high that often includes increased physical activity for up to half a day.

Unlike cocaine, which is swiftly eliminated from and nearly entirely digested in the body, meth stays in the body for considerably longer, essentially untouched by the body’s metabolism, resulting in sustained stimulant effects. When you have meth in your system, its effects can last anywhere from 8 to 24 hours, depending on how much is consumed, the time of day, how it was ingested (IV, oral, etc.), how effectively the kidneys and liver operate, and the individual’s body chemistry.

What Is the Meth Half-Life?

The half-life of meth is 9-24 hours, suggesting that it takes 9-24 hours to lower the quantity of meth in a person’s blood by half.

How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System?

Methamphetamine metabolizes to amphetamine; therefore, a drug test will likely reveal both drugs. Meth may frequently be detected in urine for up to 72 hours from the last intake. The diagnostic range for amphetamine-type drugs in urine is generally 3 to 5 days; however, it may be detectable in urine for up to a week for chronic users.

Testing for meth can also be done through hair, blood, and oral secretions. Meth can be identified by a hair test for up to 90 days after last use, depending on the type of hair test employed. It is typically used for forensic or research study testing, not clinical or occupational testing. For identifying recent intake, blood and oral fluid testing can be more helpful and reliable than urine testing; however, both have smaller detection intervals than urine testing.

Withdrawal From Meth

Meth withdrawal symptoms will appear within days of stopping use, especially if the individual is a long-term user. Meth withdrawal symptoms are exceedingly unpleasant and are accompanied by powerful cravings. The cravings make it particularly hard for meth users to quit the drug, and the longer and heavier the use, the longer it takes to exit the system completely.

Though as physically life-threatening as the symptoms of opiate, alcohol, and benzodiazepine withdrawal, the psychological repercussions of meth withdrawal can lead to persons attacking others or harming themselves. It is strongly advised that going for the “cold turkey” approach from methamphetamine not be undertaken without medical supervision.

How To Clean Your System of Meth

Having meth in your system may be deadly because of its effects on your brain. Meth withdrawal management programs help patients detox from meth safely and comfortably in a friendly and monitored setting.

Detoxifying is frequently the initial step in a SUD treatment program. Medical practitioners assist patients in meth withdrawal management programs as their bodies detox off meth.

Key Takeaway

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, illicit substance that strongly affects the central nervous system. It remains in the system for days or even months after usage. Urine tests, for example, may identify meth for up to four days after usage, while hair testing can detect it for three months or more. Increased heart rate and body temperature are among the short-term consequences. Meth can cause memory loss, weight loss, and severe dental issues.

How Professional Meth Addiction Treatment Can Help

Detox is frequently the first step on the path to long-term recovery. Following detoxification, professional therapy with holistic techniques that tackle the underlying beliefs, behaviors, triggers, and patterns linked with meth addiction is suggested. Because of the potentially destructive consequences of meth on the mind, people who cease taking the substance should be evaluated for co-occurring illnesses.

Fortunately, cutting-edge, evidence-based facilities for addiction recovery in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, such as Haven House Recovery, provide tailored addiction treatment designed to help addicts rehabilitate and achieve long-term recovery.

It is never too late to get assistance. If you or someone you care about is suffering from the devastation of addiction and are unsure where to turn, give us a call! We’re happy to help point you or your loved one in the right direction.