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    How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System?

    Contents

    How Long Does It Take To Feel The Effects Of Meth? & How Long Do The Effects Of Methamphetamine Last?

    What Is Methamphetamine?

    Methamphetamine is a powerful and highly addictive illegal stimulant (amphetamine drug) that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is commonly known as meth or crystal meth. It takes the form of a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. An estimated 0.6% (or about 1.5 million people) had a meth addiction in the past 12 months. In 2019, approximately 16,167 people died from an overdose involving psychoactive drugs with abuse potential other than cocaine (primarily methamphetamine). Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug in the United States, meaning that it has a high potential for misuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. [1]

    Meth is swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked. Users often take higher drug doses to intensify the effects, take it more frequently, or change their intake. It is combined with fentanyl, also known as speedballing which increases the risk of meth overdose and can be fatal. What does meth feel like? Determining how long does a meth high last and how long methamphetamine is detectable in the body depends on many variables, including the type of test used, the method used, and a person’s unique physical characteristics. Methamphetamine can be detected for a shorter period with some lab tests but can be visible for up to three months in others.

    how long does meth stay in your system
    One of the main reasons to be aware of “how long does meth stay in your system” is the risk of overdose. Read this article to learn more.

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    How Long Does It Take To Feel The Effects Of Meth?

    How long does crystal meth high last? The effects of methamphetamine begin rapidly after intravenous use or when it is smoked. The primary effects last four to eight hours, with residual effects lasting up to 12 hours. Amphetamine (a methamphetamine metabolite) is detectable in drug tests long after the person feels back to normal. How long does the high from meth last? The duration and effects vary widely between prescribed therapeutic doses compared to dosages usually used by people who misuse meth. Prescription doses of 10mg to 30mg can improve:

    • Reaction time
    • Relieve fatigue
    • Enhance cognitive function testing
    • Increase subjective feelings of alertness
    • Increase time estimation
    • Increase euphoria

    Unfortunately, a larger dose of meth can cause the following effects:

    Permanent Damage of Meth

    How.long does meth high last? Methamphetamine addiction doesn’t just affect users in the short term. Meth use also has lasting and permanent consequences that can change the rest of the user’s life. Thankfully, seeking treatment for meth addiction as soon as possible after an addiction develops can help the individual avoid these lasting consequences. But unfortunately, the truth is that the longer meth is used, the more likely and more severe these consequences will be.  The consequences of meth addiction affect all aspects of the body, including the mind, body, and appearance. To learn more about the permanent meth effects, keep reading. 

    Meth Damages the Brain Permanently

    For 20 years, scientific evidence has shown that long-term use of meth depletes dopamine supplies by damaging dopamine receptors in the brain. Studies indicate that this brain damage can be permanent. Long-term meth users may develop life-long problems with memory and verbal skills. They may even develop Parkinson’s disease, an incurable nervous disorder with trembling hands and extreme muscle stiffness symptoms. [2]

    Meth Damages the Heart Permanently

    Long-term use of meth can cause irreversible harm to the heart. These heart problems are the third most common reason meth users seek medical attention. Chronic use of meth can lead to severe heart conditions, including heart failure. In addition, research has found that regular meth use may be linked to blood vessel spasms, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, muscle tissue death, and fibrous tissue formation in the heart.

    Determinants Of How Long Crystal Meth Stays In Your System

    What are the determinants of how long does the meth high last? It is difficult to confine the precise duration of its effects and presence because so many factors influence how fast you break down and metabolize it. Some calculations suggest a half-life for this drug of 12 hours. 50% of the meth will still be leftover compared to when first taken. However other sources say 8 to 24-hour periods are more accurate and about when full withdrawal symptoms appear. Meth withdrawal symptoms can last up until ten days. More considerations like an individual’s weight class will also impact how long does meth stay in your system and how long does a crystal meth high last.

    Symptoms Of Abusing Meth

    Methamphetamine Intoxication is a group of symptoms caused by illicit or medicinal use of methamphetamines with predominant sympathomimetic clinical effects. Methamphetamine intoxication looks different in each person, but users often seem agitated, aggressive, or very high energy. It isn’t possible to tell which drug a person is using based on symptoms alone, but here are some signs of meth intoxication effects:

    • Agitation
    • Depressed reflexes
    • Inability to focus attention on divided attention tasks
    • Inability to follow directions
    • Inattention
    • Increased reaction time
    • Motor excitation
    • Poor balance and coordination
    • Restlessness
    • Time distortion

    How Long Does A Meth High Last?

    Several variables can affect how long does meth high last. The length of a meth high might vary depending on the user’s current crystal meth high stage, although it typically lasts between four and sixteen hours. How long does a crystal meth high last? The duration of methamphetamine effects often depends on when and how the user ingested the substance. The effects of a meth high also come in waves, with an initial surge followed by a crash.

    How Long Does Crystal Meth High Last?

    Estimates of the exact length of a crystal meth high vary widely. Some researchers have found that the drug’s stimulant effects last approximately six to eight hours. The National Institute of Justice report states that they can last 12 to 14 hours or longer. Other sources report that the high can lasts up to 24 hours. [3]

    Long-Term Effects Of Meth

    The long-term meth effects can be more severe than other illicit stimulant drugs, and some of the meth effects can be irreversible. One of the adverse consequences of meth abuse is developing an addiction to the drug. Individuals who become addicted to meth will continue compulsive drug seeking and drug use despite adverse meth effects due to brain changes that alter the person’s reward system.

    Tolerance & Withdrawal

    Like any other drug addiction, people who repeatedly use meth eventually develop a tolerance to the drug, needing a higher dose to get the same meth effect. They experience meth withdrawal symptoms when the drug leaves their system. 

    Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

    • Anxiety: 30% of people going through meth withdrawal experience symptoms of an anxiety disorder
    • Depression: People often experience a depressed mood as they withdraw from methamphetamines. This often lessens after a few weeks but may continue for a more extended period for some people.
    • Fatigue: While meth often causes people to feel energized and hyperactive, withdrawal from the substance can cause severe sleepiness and fatigue.
    • Intense Cravings: As with many other addictive substances, people frequently experience intense drug cravings as they go through withdrawal.

    National Institute on Drug Abuse research has shown that the brains of individuals who abuse meth long-term are rewired to the point that they may find it hard to experience any pleasure other than that given by the drug. This change may provoke even further drug use.

    In addition to being addicted to meth, individuals who use this drug for a long time may show symptoms that can include significant confusion, anxiety, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior. A person struggling with meth addiction also may exhibit several psychotic features, including visual and auditory hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions—for instance, the sensation of insects creeping under the skin, also known as skin picking disorder. 

    how long does meth stay in your system and what are the symptoms? Psychotic symptoms can sometimes last for months or even years after quitting the drug. Stress has been shown to cause spontaneous recurrence of meth psychosis in people who use the drug and have previously experienced psychosis. Many have suffered the repercussions of meth abuse, leading to tooth loss and decay (meth mouth). 

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    Duration Of Effects From Meth Abuse

    Other factors when questioning “how long does a crystal meth high last?” include the timing of multiple stages after use. After taking meth, they often experience several stages of a meth high before crashing. The duration of these effects can vary. However, they generally occur in a predictable order as your body gets exposed to the drug and starts to break it down.

    How Long Do The Effects Of Methamphetamine Last?

    1st Stage: The Rush

    The first stage occurs after you initially ingest meth and is referred to as “the rush.” This occurrence results from a sudden dopamine flood into the brain. During this time, your heart quickens, pupils dilate, and your blood pressure and metabolism increase. The first stage can last up to 30 minutes.

    2nd Stage: The High

    After the initial rush, you will experience the second stage: the high. The high from meth can last from four to 16 hours [3] and is characterized by hyperactivity and rapid thinking patterns. Other visible side effects of someone who has used meth and is experiencing a high include:

    • Aggressive or obsessive-compulsive behavior
    • Confusion
    • The lack of ability to form coherent sentences
    3rd Stage: The Binge

    It is common for someone who abuses meth to go through the next stage, binging, to avoid crashing when the high wears off. Binging can last from three to 15 days[3], during which the person often avoids eating. In a recent study of meth users, 67% used meth several times a week, and 23% tried never to leave their binge by using it multiple times daily.

    4th Stage: The Tweak

    The last stage of meth intoxication, sometimes considered the most dangerous[3], is tweaking. During tweaking, the high has worn off, and side effects like itching are common. Further, a person can become increasingly frustrated, paranoid, and unstable after several days without sleep. Can’t sleep after meth? People going through this stage are typically unpredictable. Some individuals develop meth psychosis and are at higher risk for self-harm.

    5th Stage: The Crash

    During a meth crash, the body finally shuts down after being overstimulated from the meth high. This stage can last one to three days[3] and involves excessive fatigue and sleep. Crashing also occurs when you stop taking meth. Most meth users experience their crash within the first ten days of quitting.

    6th Stage: The Hangover

    A meth hangover often follows the crash. After sleeping for several days after getting high, the person often suffers[3] from dehydration, hunger, and mental and physical exhaustion. This stage lasts for up to 14 days. During a meth hangover, a person may attempt to take more meth to feel better.

    7th Stage: Withdrawal

    Meth withdrawal can be a slow and ongoing process for up to 90 days[3] before a person begins recognizing their symptoms. Withdrawal is linked to symptoms like depression, lack of energy, and lack of pleasure. Cravings are also common, leading many people to continue to make meth. The vast majority (95%) of participants experienced cravings for up to seven weeks, so most people expect their desires to calm down in the first or second month after stopping meth use.

    The half-life of methamphetamine is an average of 10 hours. This means it takes about 10 hours for half of the ingested dose to be metabolized and eliminated from the bloodstream. 

    When taken orally, concentrations of methamphetamine peak in the bloodstream between 2.6 and 3.6 hours, and the amphetamine metabolite peaks at 12 hours. However, if meth is taken intravenously, the elimination half-life is slightly longer at about 12.2 hours[2]. 

    Methamphetamine is metabolized by a liver enzyme and is excreted by the kidneys in urine. It is metabolized (or broken down) into amphetamine and 4-hydromethamphetamine.

     You may be wondering how long meth stays in your system, particularly if you are ready to rid your body of the drug.
     You may wonder “how long does meth stay in your system?” To better understand the effects of the drug, speaking to an addiction specialist can help!

    How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System? – Average Meth Detection Times By Type Of Drug Test

    Since many people combine meth with other substances, that can affect ” how long does meth stays in your system” and how you feel when you take the drug. Various testing methods have different estimated ranges of times or detection windows, during which meth can be picked up after a person has taken the drug[2].

    How Long Does Meth Stay In Your Urine?

    The kidneys are primarily responsible for discharging methamphetamine from the body. They will excrete hydroxymethamphetamine, the body eliminates the byproducts of methamphetamine metabolism, 37-54% of methamphetamine in the form of urine.

    Urine testing is the most popular and cost-effective method to screen for meth use. This is because meth and its primary metabolite, amphetamine, will show up in urine within an hour of ingesting the drug. Samples of urine obtained from occasional meth users will test positive one to three days after the last use. A chronic meth user might still test positive seven to ten days after using the drug.

    How Long Does Meth Stay In Your Blood System?

    Substances are immediately metabolized and broken down in the bloodstream. As a result, while meth can be discovered using a blood drug test, the period for detection is narrow compared to other methods. How long does meth stay in your blood system? Blood tests can detect the presence of a substance up to 2 days after the last dosage.

    How Long Does Meth Stay In Your Hair?

    Hair gives the most prolonged detection period for meth. Methamphetamine can be detected in hair follicles as soon as seven to ten days after an individual has used it. How long does meth stay in your hair? The substance stays in the hair for up to ninety days. However, hair tests are usually expensive compared to other testing types. Illicit drugs such as cocaine, opioids, and meth tend to adhere more strongly to hair with darker pigments. Unfortunately, environmental contamination has been proven to cause false positives.

    Tests using the hair sample are best suited for detecting heavy meth use. However, it won’t necessarily identify one-time use of the drug. A hair test will show what substance entered the body when it first entered and when it last entered it. Tips like dying your hair, baking soda bombs, or drinking too much water do not help. The only way to help you achieve a clean drug test is not taking drugs long enough before the test.

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    How Long Does Meth Stay In Your Saliva?

    Like most drugs, crystal meth can usually be detected in saliva or oral fluids for one day. However, in some cases, it can be detected up to three days later. Saliva samples are often collected by placing an absorbent swab between a person’s gums’ lower cheek. The swab is left in place for several minutes before the sample is sent to the lab for testing. How long does meth stay in saliva? Like blood, saliva tests offer one of the shortest detection windows by detecting meth up to 48 hours after the last use. This factor is because substances like meth are immediately metabolized and eliminated from the membranes and secretions of the mouth, making it harder to identify them.

    Factors Determining How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System

    Because there are many factors, how long meth stays in your system can vary. While typically, the meth high lasts less than a day, methamphetamine stays in your system for longer. As the body metabolizes meth, the effects wane, and the user experiences meth withdrawal, but some of the meths remain. It generally takes about half a day for the body to metabolize half of the meth in its system, but in some cases, traces of meth may even be found in your system months later.

    Factors that impact “how long does meth stays in your system “may include:

    • Potency: The more robust the meth, the longer it will take to metabolize.
    • Tolerance: Those with a high tolerance will often take larger dosages and take longer to eliminate meth from their system.
    • Polysubstance Abuse: The presence of other substances may impact the body’s ability to metabolize meth.
    • Body Chemistry: A person’s body chemistry can heavily impact both how they react to the drug and how they can break down meth.
    • Route of Administration: Different means of administration may impact how quickly the body can start the meth metabolism process.
    • Dosage: Higher dosages generally stay in your system longer.
    • The Health of Liver and Kidneys: Because the liver and kidney play a vital role in the metabolism of meth when they are not working at their best, it will slow down metabolism.
    • Age: Generally, as people get older, their metabolism slows down.

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    Factors That Affect Detection Time

    How long does meth stay in your system? The timetable for detecting methamphetamine in the human body depends on the individual’s health, metabolism, age, physical activity, and frequency of use, making it difficult to determine how long meth will show up on a drug test.

    • Overall Health: Your overall health, including liver and kidney function, can affect how quickly meth is processed and cleared from your body.
    • Frequency of Use: People who use amphetamine frequently will have longer detection times than those who use the drug once.
    • Metabolic Rate: People with a high metabolism tend to process and excrete amphetamine quicker than those with a slower metabolism. Age, activity level, and overall health can all affect your metabolic rate.
    • Smoking vs. Injecting: Taking the drug orally or intravenously can impact detection time. Taking it orally will be eliminated slightly more rapidly than if you inject the drug. On the other hand, if you’ve been prescribed Adderall and take it as specified, the drug will likely remain in your bloodstream for extended periods.
    Determining exactly how long does meth stay in your system depends on many variables, including the type of test used and metabolism.
    Determining exactly “how long does meth stay in your system” depends on many variables, including the type of test used and metabolism.

    Symptoms Of An Overdose On Meth

    One of the main reasons you must learn how long a drug remains in the system is the risk of overdose. Here are some symptoms of an overdose on meth:

    • Chest pain
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Extremely high body temperature
    • Heart attack
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Kidney damage or failure
    • Paranoia
    • Seizures
    • Severe agitation
    • Stroke

    Getting Help For Meth Addiction

    How long does meth stay in your system? That often depends on the strength and volume of the drug taken and how it is used. Meth use can cause many health problems, far beyond those of users who can’t sleep after meth. First and foremost, if you think a loved one is abusing meth, you should research its drug and addiction to understand better what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle their addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. 

    Lastly, offer your support throughout the entire treatment process. In addition, prolonged meth use can have severe physical and psychological effects, so seeking treatment as soon as possible is essential. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you promptly get through the early stages of withdrawal. Meth can kill you. How long does meth stay in your system? Methamphetamine overdose can cause the body to overheat to dangerous levels. Death can result from a stroke, heart attack, or multiple organ problems caused by overheating. 

    Medically-Assisted Detox

    Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated withdrawal process but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

    Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient drug rehab helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.

    Psychotherapy 

    Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – It is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
    • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – It is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
    • Person-Centered Therapy – It is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
    • Solution-Focused Therapy – This therapy is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

    Medically-Assisted Detox

    Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated withdrawal process but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

    Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient drug rehab helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.

    Psychotherapy 

    Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
    • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
    • Person-Centered Therapy – is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
    • Solution–Focused Therapy – A treatment approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

    Medication-Assisted Treatments

    Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

    If you ask yourself how long does meth stay in your system or how long does meth high last? Then you’re either concerned about having too many drugs in your body or worried that you will test positive for the drug. Heavy meth users need to detox from the drug under the guidance of a medical professional who can safely supervise them through withdrawal and treatment.

    Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery medically. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

    how long does meth stay in your system
    How long does meth stay in your system? That often depends on the strength and volume of the drug taken and how it is used. Without meth addiction treatment, the long-term effects of meth can be deadly.
    Sources:

    [1] National Institute on Drug Abuse – Methamphetamine
    [2] Neurologic manifestations of chronic methamphetamine abuseNational Center for Biotechnology Information
    [3] Drug-Free World – https://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/crystalmeth/the-stages-of-the-meth-experience.html
    [4] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – April 2014 (Revised) Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheets
    [5] We Level Up New Jersey – Rehab » Meth Addiction Treatment
    [6] How long does meth stay in your system? – We Level Up New Jersey