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How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

The high experienced after smoking, snorting or injecting crystal meth is described by users as both powerful and also quickly over.

For this reason, many take more and more of the drug in the hope of re-experiencing that first, intense rush only to become more and more irritable and paranoid as time passes and their sleep deprivation increases.

Is crystal meth abuse an issue that you want to resolve safely and effectively? If so, drug rehab can help. At the phone number listed above, our counselors are waiting to talk to you about your options in medical and psychological care. Call now to learn more.

How Long Does Meth Stay in the System?

How long does meth stay in the body, and how long can it be detected?

  • Plasma half-life = 12-34 hours. This means that by 12-34 hours, the concentration of meth in your blood will be reduced in half.
  • Time to leave the body = 2-10 days. Generally, the heavier the user, the longer it will take for meth to leave the body.
  • Effects of meth use = 8-24 hours.
  • Detection in urine tests = up to 72 hours.2

Depending upon your ability to metabolize the drug, the length of time that meth remains in your system and is detectable by testing will vary.

What Factors Affects the Length of Time That Meth Is Detectable in Your Body?

  • How often you use meth.
  • Your dose at last use.
  • The functionality of your kidneys and liver.
  • The type of test used to detect the drug.

Metabolizing Meth

When the user shoots, snorts or swallows methamphetamine, the body metabolizes the drug and turns some of it into amphetamine when it is in the bloodstream.

A few hours after use, the body begins to process both chemicals – methamphetamine and amphetamine – through the liver and kidneys and excrete it as urine. It has been reported that up to 50 percent of a dose of meth can exit the body exactly as it came in – that is to say, it is not metabolized or processed at all and the user experiences no effects from it.3

Health Effects of Meth Abuse

Immediate effects of methamphetamine abuse may include:

  • Increased energy.
  • Feelings of euphoria.
  • Sweating.
  • Excess talking.
  • Loss of hunger.
  • Teeth grinding.

  • Itching.
  • Scattered thinking.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Mood changes.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.4

Abusing meth may also increase your long-term risks of:

  • Early death.5
  • Heart disease.6
  • Risky sexual behaviors.7
  • Possible neurotoxicity.8
  • Methamphetamine-induce psychosis – including paranoia, hallucinations and delusions.9
  • Cognitive deficits – affecting memory, information processing, language and motor skills.10
  • “Abstinence syndrome” – including poor concentration, insomnia, irritability, psychomotor retardation and anhedonia (being unable to feel pleasure).11

What to Expect at Meth Rehab

Crystal meth addiction is unique compared to other substances of abuse in that those who abuse the drug regularly can often abstain for weeks or even months at a time – but frequently relapse without an active treatment program in place. For this reason, long-term sobriety is most effectively obtained by those who enroll in crystal meth rehab.

Comprehensive addiction treatment programs aim to help individuals build a strong foundation in recovery well before cravings kick in. They often use some combination of any of the below techniques throughout the recovery program:

Types of Treatment Centers

Luxury and executive meth rehab programs offer a wide range of luxurious amenities in addition to providing addiction treatment. Both of these treatment types come at a higher price tag, as a result, with executive rehab tailoring its structure specifically for business professionals who want to stay involved in their work during their time in rehab.

Traditional rehab programs offer the same high-quality addiction treatment – but at lower prices that may be more affordable for your budget.

Is crystal meth addiction treatment something you would like to learn more about? Contact us at the phone number listed above and speak to a recovery advisor about how we can explain your options and help you find the best drug rehab for you.


  1. Desoxyn Drug Insert/Information.
  2. Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services. Facts about Methampthetamine. Adamhs Board of Cuyahoga County.
  3. Methamphetamine (and Amphetamine). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  4. Hart C. L., Gunderson, E. W., Perez, A., Kirkpatrick, M. G., Thurmond, A., Comer, S. D. (2008). Acute physiological and behavioral effects of intranasal methamphetamine in humans. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33(8), 1847-55.
  5. Salo, R., Flower, K., Kielstein, A., Leamon, M. H., Nordahl, T. E., Galloway, G. P. (2011). Psychiatric comorbidity in methamphetamine dependence. Psychiatry Res, 186(2-3), 356-61.
  6. Kaye, S., McKetin, R., Duflou, J., Darke, S. (2007). Methamphetamine and cardiovascular pathology: a review of the evidence. Addiction, 102(8), 1204-11.
  7. Zapata, L. B., Hillis, S. D., Marchbanks, P.A., Curtis, K. M., Lowry, R. (2008). Methamphetamine use is independently associated with recent risky sexual behaviors and adolescent pregnancy. J Sch Health, 78(12), 641-8.
  8. Sekine, Y., Ouchi, Y., Sugihara G., Takei N., Yoshikawa, E., Nakamura, K., et al. (2008). Methamphetamine causes microglial activation in the brains of human abusers. J Neurosci, 28(22), 5756-61.
  9. Scott, J. C., Woods, S. P., Matt, G. E., Meyer, R. A., Heaton, R. K., Atkinson, J. H., et al. (2007). Neurocognitive effects of methamphetamine: a critical review and meta-analysis. Neuropsychol, 17(3), 275-97.
  10. Grant, K. M., LeVan, T. D., Wells, S. M., Li, M., Stoltenberg, S. F., Gendelman, H. E., Carlo, G., et al. (2012). Methamphetamine-associated psychosis. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol, 7(1), 133-39.
  11. Newton, T. F., Kalechstein, A. D., Duran, S., Vansluis, N., Ling, W. (2004). Methamphetamine abstinence syndrome: preliminary findings. Am J Addict, 13(3), 248-55.

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