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How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

When Is Meth Out of Your System?
Meth usually takes about 2-10 days to leave the body, depending on how much and how often the person used and the functioning of their liver and kidneys. Urine tests can detect meth for up to 87 hours, though some tests may be able to detect it for longer.1 The effects of the drug last 8-24 hours.2,3

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.

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 = 10-30 hours. This means that by 10-30 hours, the concentration of meth in your blood will be reduced in half; in another 10-30 hours, that half is reduced by half, and so on.1,2
  • Time to leave the body = 2-10 days. Generally, the meth use, the longer it will take for meth to leave the body.
  • Effects of meth use = 8-24 hours.This time frame includes both the “high” experienced by users of meth and the short-term side effects they experience.
  • Detection in urine tests = up to 72 hours.1

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

In less than five minutes, see if your loved one—or you—may be addicted to crystal meth. Take our online confidential survey.

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

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

Metabolizing Meth

closeup of mans face in dark roomWhen 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.5

Health Effects

Immediate effects of methamphetamine abuse may include:5,6,7-13

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

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

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

  • Early death.
  • Heart disease.
  • Communicable diseases.
  • Neurotoxicity.
  • Methamphetamine-induced psychosis including paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions.
  • Cognitive deficits affecting memory, information processing, language, and motor skills.1
  • “Abstinence syndrome” including poor concentration, insomnia, irritability, psychomotor retardation, and anhedonia (being unable to feel pleasure).

What to Expect

man and his wife in therapyCrystal 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 those users are likely to 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:

The benefits of luxury

Changes in Priorities in Treatment PreferencesRecovery Brands sent out a survey in 2016 asking people leaving a rehab program what facility features they viewed as the most valuable aspects to take into account when looking for treatment. The highest-rated consideration was the center’s financial policies, such as insurance accepted, financial support, and payment options. They also prioritized clinic offerings (quality of housing, recreation, room quality, etc.) significantly more after experiencing treatment. People looking for treatment will want to look at a facility’s payment policies as well as the program’s offerings to assist them in their final facility choice. Read more

Types of Meth Rehab 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.


  1. Cruickshank, C.C., Dyer, K.R. (2009). A review of the clinical pharmacology of methamphetamine. Addiction, 104, 1085-1099.
  2. Desoxyn Drug Insert/Information.com. (n.d.).
  3. Desertnews.com. (n.d.). Methamphetamine.
  4. Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services. Facts about Methamphetamine. Adamhs Board of Cuyahoga County.
  5. Frontline. (2011). Frequently Asked Questions.
  6. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). DrugFacts: What is methamphetamine?
  7. 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.
  8. Kaye, S., McKetin, R., Duflou, J., Darke, S. (2007). Methamphetamine and cardiovascular pathology: a review of the evidence. Addiction, 102(8), 1204-11.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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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