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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 powerful but also fleeting – dissipating shortly after it first hits.

For this reason, many take more and more of the drug in the hope of re-experiencing that first, intense rush. Many caught in this cycle become increasingly irritable and paranoid as time passes and sleep deprivation mounts.

Is crystal meth abuse an issue that you want to resolve safely and effectively? If so, drug rehab can help. Call 1-888-744-0789 to speak with one of our treatment support advisors who would be happy to speak with you about your methamphetamine recovery options. 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 detectable in your system will vary.

What Factors Affect 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 an individual uses methamphetamine, the body immediately begins to metabolize the drug as it circulates in the bloodstream – first converting some of it into amphetamine.

A few hours after use, the body begins to process both the circulating methamphetamine and amphetamine. The substances are partially cleared by both the liver and kidneys, and urinary excretion of the metabolites occurs shortly thereafter. 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, with the user experiencing no stimulant effects from that specific fraction of the drug.3

Health Effects of Meth Abuse

Immediate effects of methamphetamine abuse may include:

  • Increased energy.
  • Feelings of euphoria.
  • Sweating.
  • Excessive talking.
  • Diminished appetite.
  • Teeth grinding.

  • Itching.
  • Disordered thought.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Mood changes.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.4

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

  • Early death.5
  • Heart disease.6
  • Communicable diseases.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 somewhat unique compared to other substances of abuse in that those who abuse the drug regularly may be able to abstain for weeks or even months at a time – but then will 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 Meth Addiction 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 relatively 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.

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

Learn More and Find a Rehab Center

Is crystal meth addiction treatment something you would like to learn more about? Contact us at 1-888-744-0789 and speak to a recovery advisor about finding the best drug rehab for your situation.

Sources

  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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