If you are one of those people searching long and hard on Google on the question, "How long does meth stay in your system?", you're in great luck as we have everything you need to know to better understand this illegal drug—starting on how it is detected in our body or how long it stays in the system.
From types of drug tests, and common withdrawal signs, to detection times in the body, we'll walk you through everything you need. Continue reading below to find out more.
How Long Does Meth Last in the Body and by Type of Drug Tests?
A drug test can surely detect meth and how long it stays in your system since a person's last dose. The standard testing formats used by labs usually include a saliva test, blood test, urine test, or hair test. These testing platforms are effective in detecting meth and finding out if someone will test positive for the drug.
Methamphetamine in Urine Tests
This quick and non-invasive test can detect methamphetamine between 24 to 120 hours (1 to 5 days) since its last use. However, pH balance may affect a urine test with acidic urine having a shorter detection time.
Methamphetamine in Hair Follicle Tests
Meth can be detected through a hair test for up to 90 days (3 months). Hair samples of 1.5 inches may be taken from the individual as the drug stays there for longer.
Methamphetamine in Saliva Tests
Drugs like meth stay in the saliva for as long as two days. Swab tests are the common form of testing when saliva is involved.
Methamphetamine Detection in Blood Tests
Drugs like meth stay in the blood for around 25 hours after last use. This form of drug testing warrants the shortest amount of time.
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine (commonly known as "meth") is a highly potent and popular illicit drug known for its stimulant effects on the central nervous system. Unlike other substances, such as hydrocodone and Vicodin, meth is usually known in its powder form, always white, odorless, and bitter-tasting.
People ingest it via inhalation or orally as it can also be dissolved easily in water and alcohol. The US Drug Enforcement Administration classifies Meth as a Schedule II drug, which may only be obtained through a non-refillable prescription. Although rarely prescribed, it's indicated for treatment for ADHD.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that some of the short-term effects of meth may include:
- improved psychomotor coordination
- decrease in appetite
- rapid heartbeat
- increased body temperature
Meth's half-life averages at 10 hours. However, the length of time meth stays in your body may be different for each person. People who suffer from drug addiction may also have other co-occuring syndromes, such as sex addiction or anxiety.
Determining Factors on How Long Meth Stays in Your System
Many variables determine how long meth stays in the system. These factors may often vary from person to person. But the fact remains that the common driving factor on chemicals staying in the body is constant meth use.
Medical professionals usually consider this especially during the treatment process to ensure that the individual gets the proper recovery they need. Here are several factors that one should note—especially when considering your treatment options.
- Urine acidity - the pH level of your urine dictates how long meth will stay in your body. People who have more acidic urine will understandably have a swifter period of detection.
- Prolonged regular use - People who engage in substance abuse, whether it's GHB or meth, will experience a build-up of the drug in their system. This leads to drug tolerance allowing for a shorter detection time for people with meth addiction.
- Healthy organ function - people who have a good-functioning liver or kidney will metabolize meth better than those who have failing organs. Always remember that our kidneys and liver are vital in digesting and excreting toxins and chemicals away from our system.
- Half-life - Half-life simply refers to the amount of time our body flushes away half of the drug. In meth's case, it takes around 10 to 12 hours for that to happen.
When battling substance use disorder, it's important to talk to your qualified healthcare provider so that they can better advise you if you feel like any of these factors may bring a concern to you in your recovery regimen.
What Happens When You Stop Taking Meth?
As with any other substance abuse case, when you stop meth, your body will undergo various withdrawal symptoms that may either interfere with your day-to-day life—causing much pain and discomfort to those who are suffering.
Meth withdrawal is not without any issues. It's not as simple as quitting meth use or going "cold turkey." It needs to be planned deliberately and slowly so that your body may be able to adjust carefully to avoid any dangerous meth withdrawal symptoms.
Here are some of the withdrawal signs you should watch out for if you wish to stop your physical dependence on meth.
Short term meth withdrawal symptoms include:
- changes in appetite
- general malaise
- intense cravings
Long-term meth withdrawal may cause some serious symptoms such as:
- irregular sleep
- cognitive issues
- motor issues
People suffering from intense long-term meth withdrawal should inform their professional treatment provider so that they would be given proper case management services for their particular situation. It also helps a recovery provider to check on your overall health and ensure that you can respond well to your withdrawal management from substance addiction.
About Meth Misuse and Addiction Treatment
There are many patterns and characteristics related to meth abuse in adults. However, as with many substance abuse problems, methamphetamine stems from various reasons that can be rooted in variables like - genetics, family relationships, mental health state, and environment.
We have compiled some of the more common reasons why methamphetamine use is rampant nowadays.
- Emotional - this factor is influenced by many things such as a person experiencing trauma in their life, relationship problems with their families or partners, or stress from work or a life-changing event. Other substances may also be part of the equation for someone to become involved in drug abuse.
- Psychological - People who experience self-esteem issues or lack confidence, or maybe experience other mental health issues may also resort to drug use as a form of escape. Individuals who also suffer mental health problems may also resort to other drugs or addiction medicine as a way to cope with their situation.
- Physical - This pertains mainly to people who take meth (regardless if it's in an illegal or prescription form) recreationally or medically to "feel good" or perceive that taking drugs improve their wellbeing.
The good thing is that people who suffer from addiction to over-the-counter medications or illegal drugs can still seek help. With the help of a clinical professional, they can seek cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and even avail of transitional housing as part of a successful recovery.
Always remember to partner with a Mental Health Services Administration-approved treatment centers and licensed medical professionals to get the best help with your behavioral health conditions and addiction problems.
How To Get Help from Meth Addiction?
If you feel like getting help for your meth addiction, assistance is now more accessible and easier for people. What's better is that you can also stay in supportive living arrangements to help you recuperate and work on your life skills as you transition to the real world.
There are plenty of options you can choose from when it comes to sober living, from recovery apartments to luxury sober living—ensuring that you can recover comfortably as best as you possibly can.
Transcend Recovery Community has everything you need to make rehabilitation a reality. With its affiliate/sister programs as well as many branches around the country, you're sure to get help anywhere and anytime.
If you'd like to know more, just visit Transcend's FAQ section. Or better yet, contact an addiction recovery specialist to help you get started today.