How Long Does Methamphetamine Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Methamphetamine Stay in Your System?

Methamphetamine, or meth, is one of the most insidious threats to public health. It is highly addictive, easily accessible, and readily available in most areas. Because of its prevalence, employers, probation officers, and others now routinely test for it in various situations.

It’s important to know how meth interacts with your body chemistry, how it affects the health of your liver and kidneys, and how long injecting meth or smoking meth will show up in a test. Below, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions.

How Long Will Meth Show Up on A Drug Test?

Typically, meth will show up on a drug test for about 72 hours after dosing. However, there are mitigating factors here that will change that number. For instance, if you use meth regularly, it will be detectable in your urine for much longer – up to a week in some cases. 

Another factor will be the testing method. If the employer uses saliva or blood testing, the intervals are much shorter. With hair testing, it can show up as long as 90 days from the last dose, although this will vary from hair test to hair test.

How Long Does Methamphetamine Stay in the Body?

The average half-life of meth is 10 hours, meaning that it takes at least 10 hours for 50% of the drug to leave your system. Just because a drug test might not detect meth in the body after a few hours, that does not mean the drug is gone.

The problem is that it can take multiple half-lives for the remaining 50% to leave. It is also problematic because this is only an average. The half-life of meth runs between nine and 24 hours. Some of the factors that affect how long meth stays in the body include:

  • Ingestion Method: The ingestion method – snorting, injecting, smoking, rectal insertion, etc. – affects half-life because it dictates how quickly meth reaches the brain and bloodstream. 
  • Amount: The amount of meth consumed will also affect how long it stays in the system. The more ingested at one time, the longer the half-life of the dose.
  • Usage History: The more often you use meth, the longer it will stay in your system overall.
  • Age: Your age will affect meth metabolism.
  • Physical Activity: The less physically active you are, the longer meth will remain in your system.

There’s a catch here. While the majority of people will not have meth in their bloodstream within 25 hours of the dose, it doesn’t mean that the drug vanishes from the body. Instead, it collects in different areas and can be detectable for a very long time.

How Long Does Methamphetamine Stay in Your Urine?

In most cases, someone who used meth 3 to 5 days ago can still fail a urine-based drug test. However, some tests may only detect it up to a day after use. It varies considerably from test to test.

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How Long Does Methamphetamine Stay in Your Hair?

You can fail a hair test up to 90 days after using meth. Meth can stay in your hair at detectable levels for a very long time. In most cases, all that is needed is a half-inch of hair for testing.

How Long Does Methamphetamine Stay in Your Blood?

Meth can show up in blood testing for roughly 25 hours after your last dose. Blood testing is very accurate, but it has a shorter window than hair testing.

How Long Does Methamphetamine Stay in Your Saliva?

Unlike blood testing, saliva can be used to detect use for up to 2 days after taking the drug. Thus, saliva is another highly accurate testing method.  

How Long Does Crystal Meth Stay in Your System?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long crystal meth stays in your system. Instead, it will vary based on many factors, including your metabolic rate, the amount used, your usage history, and even the health of your internal organs. 

How Long to Get Methamphetamine Out of Your System?

It can take many days for meth to leave your system naturally. Even then, it will remain in your hair and be detectable for up to 3 months. Cleaning and even dying your hair will have no effect – the meth will still be detectible. 

How Does Your Body Metabolize Methamphetamine: Meth Half-Life

The average meth half-life is 10 hours, which means it takes that long for your body to eliminate 50% of the drug. However, the second 50% is eliminated much more slowly. Other factors also play a role here.

For instance, smoking meth, injecting meth and taking it orally all lead to different metabolic times. The way the body metabolizes meth is unique. Peak uptake occurs in the lungs and kidneys, followed by other organs, such as the stomach, spleen, and pancreas. The liver also plays a role here. The lowest uptake levels are in the heart and brain. 

Meth clears fastest from the lungs and the heart and lasts the longest in the brains, stomach, and liver. Ultimately, it accumulates over time and does not leave the body. According to a study published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, it accounts for its high toxicity and mortality rates.

Get Help for Methamphetamine Addiction at North Star Treatment Services

Meth is a destructive substance. Highly addictive, it can wreak havoc on your life and body. However, it is possible to break the cycle of abuse and withdrawal. Call North Star Treatment Services today to take the first step toward a new life.