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How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System

How long does meth stay in your system? The best answer is a range.

  • Positive results in a urine test generally will indicate use within a 1 to 4-day period.

However, it could be as much as a week or longer for heavy users. It is due to the pH of the urine primarily influencing the rate of excretion into the urine. How quickly the kidneys excrete the drug depends on the user’s urine pH level. Higher urine pH levels (alkaline) cannot excrete as efficiently as urine with average or lower (acidic) levels.

  • Most experts agree it can take 72 hours of total abstinence.

Drinking lots of water or taking herbal supplements that claim to “clean” your system is generally ineffective for removing all traces.

Understanding drug testing is essential for both testers and those getting tested.

  • Chemically classified as an amphetamine, methamphetamine achieves peak plasma levels within three to six hours.
  • Injecting reduces this time to two to four hours, meaning addicts who inject the drug into their veins feel its effects quicker and more powerfully than when snorted or smoked.
  • Injecting meth changes the pH levels in the urine to reach forty-five percent, and seven percent will show up as amphetamine. 
  • People who are snorting or orally taking this drug result in urine containing 30 to 54 percent methamphetamine and 10 to 23 percent amphetamine. 

Health Factor

These health issues could increase urine pH and increase the likelihood of detection: 

  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Diabetes

Half-Life

Half-life is the time it takes for the human body to process 50% of a drug.

  • The half-life is approximately 10 hours.

Therefore, the body breaks down and removes about 50% every 10 hours. It is essential because it is fair to measure when you expect to be “clean.” Then, another 50% of the remaining passes in the next 10 hours until levels become very low. 

Variables

The time this drug is detectable depends on which type of test and the range of detection or cutoff levels. 

  • Detection time depends on the user’s body chemistry, metabolism, and current health condition.
  • Smoked, it can remain detectable in the bloodstream for up to 48 hours.
  • Snorting it can stay in the blood for as long as four days.
  • People injecting it may test clean within two to three days.
  • It remains detectable in urine for up to 70 hours.
  • Daily users may fail a drug test even if they stop using weeks before testing.
  • Concentrations are higher in saliva than in blood plasma.

Occasional users (those using this drug once a month or less) will test positive within 24 hours of snorting or injecting the drug. However, depending on a person’s metabolism, health, age, and other factors, they may test negative only one or two days after use. 

  • People using it once or twice a week tend to retain more molecules in their soft tissues. 
  • Also, it may be detected through urine, blood, hair, and saliva tests for 96 hours if used once or twice a week. 
  • Daily users are the most likely to fail drug testing even if they stop using several weeks before taking a test. 
  • Tolerance means abusers must take more of the drug to feel the same effects they once felt when taking less of it. As a result, it may take daily users (addicts) more than four or five days of strict abstinence before passing a test. 
  • Even then, this window of time should not be relied on for passing a test, especially if it is a hair follicle test. 

Test Types

A unique type of urine test detects substances in body fluids utilizing immunological reactions to:

  • specific antibodies
  • If a drug test is positive, a sample from the original specimen may use chromatography to validate if the person appeals to the positive results. 

Determining how long it stays in your system depends on a variety of factors, including: 

  • Age 
  • Gender
  • health 
  • Metabolism 
  • Dose recently
  • How long a user 
  • Method of use

Hair

It can be detected in hair samples for four or five months following the drug’s cessation. However, hair follicle tests detect drug use for several years after a user last took an illegal drug, depending on the length of the hair. 

Appearance

Meth is a white, bitter-tasting powder. It looks like fragments of glass. It is better known as crystal meth. It can be smoked, injected, or snorted. 

Addiction

It affects the central nervous system and is a schedule II stimulant, making it legally available through a doctor’s prescription but rare. The precursor drug is an amphetamine. Short-term use for weight-loss treatments and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment. 

  • Users have reported addiction after only one use. 

It is a potent central nervous stimulant due to its ability to dissolve rapidly in the body’s lipids and fats, allowing it to move effortlessly over the blood-brain barrier.

Thus, it targets two specific types of transmitter systems. 

The production uses pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in over-the-counter cold medicines like Sudafed. Because of this, it has become harder and harder to purchase Sudafed in any substantial quantity. 

It causes increased physical activity and talkativeness, decreased appetite, and pleasurable well-being or euphoria. It creates a rush (strong feeling) of confidence and energy. It causes a strong desire to continue its use and is the reason for its addictive tendencies. 

Because it is a highly addictive drug, when people stop taking it withdrawal symptoms often occur, including;

  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • severe depression
  • psychosis
  • intense drug cravings

In addition, stroke, heart attack, or organ problems such as kidney failure can be the result of overheating and cause of an overdose. Chronic users may also suffer irreversible damage to neurons and nerve terminals that causes severe cognitive problems. Death can be a result of these powerful effects. Long-Term Use Can Cause Permanent Damage.

Long-term effects may include: 

  • Increased risk of contracting infectious diseases 
  •  May worsen the progression of HIV/AIDS and its consequences. 
  •  Severe dental problems (“meth mouth”) 
  •  Anxiety, confusion, paranoia 
  •  Hallucinations and addiction 

It is more addictive than opioids and cocaine because it directly disrupts neurotransmitter systems involved in reward, pleasure, and motivation.

It also exerts more damage to the brain than other drugs, with an extended period of brain repair needed following detoxification and rehabilitation.

  • Heavy users may suffer symptoms of psychosis for the rest of their lives, including severe memory loss, halting speech, and attention deficit disorder.

The best way to ensure passing a blood or urine drug test is to stop using the drug at least six months before taking the test.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/methamphetamine#section=Top

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64092/

https://www.workplacetesting.com/definition/1055/gas-chromatography-mass-spectrometry-gc-ms-drug-testing

https://webpages.math.luc.edu/~tobrien/research/2015_Forensic_Science.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunoassay

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2612120/

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-are-long-term-effects-methamphetamine-misuse