Methamphetamine, also known as meth, crystal, or ice, is a Schedule II substance in the US and considered highly addictive. It’s known more widely as a stimulant and work by flooding the brain with dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which results in a sense of euphoria. Meth is metabolized slowly, which means a longer high and larger impact on the central nervous system. But how long, exactly, is meth in your system?
Various drugs can inhibit users and cause a number of psychological, physical, and emotional issues, but not always with the same effects. Meth, in specific, is known to be negatively impactful on all of the above categories. Since it is rapidly absorbed, users typically reach meth’s peak effect in 2 to 3 hours. With continued use, meth reduces the levels of dopamine in the brain and requires an increase in drug use to obtain the same sensations. Learn more about meth in your system below.
(FAQ) I want to get sober. What is the first step?
Battling addiction, regardless of the substance used, can be incredibly difficult. The process of getting sober may feel daunting or impossible, but there is hope.
AspenRidge Recovery helps clients throughout Colorado overcome substance abuse addiction with a proven methodology. As a dual-diagnosis center, AspenRidge helps to target specific substance use issues, and licensed staff members also work to address underlying mental health problems that may influence the impact of addiction. If you or someone you know is battling with meth addiction, it’s important to utilize resources that can assist in overcoming it. Often, the first step to take is making the phone call.
Call (855) 281-5588 for assistance with meth abuse and addiction. We treat individuals throughout the state of Colorado and offer a variety of programs that are tailored for individuals needs.
- Partial Hospitalization Program: 90-day PHP offers recovery residences for adults suffering from mental health, complex trauma, and substance use disorders. The program begins with a highly structured 30-hours of therapy a week focused on mental health, trauma-based therapies, and interventions.
- Intensive Outpatient Program: This program offers flexibility with scheduling and locations to find the help you need. IOP patients come to a facility around their schedule and receive the same level of services and care as PHP program.
- IOP for Working Professionals: Remain active in your daily life, and attend to work obligations while still receiving treatment. This 12-week intensive program for working adults delivers, individual, group, and family therapy in the evening.
- Online REACH IOP: Colorado’s first online treatment is AspenRidge’s REACH program. Our licensed therapists use private video counseling to help you attain sobriety and thrive in life.
- Outpatient Program
- Alumni Program
What is the Half-Life of Meth?
If you’re trying to overcome an ice addiction, you may be wondering how long meth stays in your system. The reality is that the amount of time the drug remains present in the body is different for everyone. In order to understand how long it stays present, then, it helps to first understand what the half-life of methamphetamine is.
“Half-life” is a term used to describe the amount of time it takes for the body to metabolize a drug. It gets its name from the fact that all drugs take a certain amount of time to be metabolized by 50%. Some drugs take several days just for the body to flush out half of the quantity of the drug that the user consumed. The half-life of meth is around 12 hours. This means that it can take up to 12 hours for the user’s body to metabolize half of the total amount that they took.
How Long Can Meth Be Found in Your Urine?
You may be wondering how long meth stays in your system because you’re being drug tested for a job. If this is the case, it is likely that your employer will take a urine sample. Methamphetamine is detectable in urine for around 72 hours after the last dose. This means that if your last hit of meth was less than 3 days ago, it is likely that your urine will show traces of the drug.
If you are a habitual user, this time period will be longer. As meth accumulates in your body over time, it takes longer for it to leave your system entirely. Serious meth addicts can show traces of the drug in their urine for weeks after they stop using.
How Long Does Meth Stay in Your Blood?
Meth has a similar half-life in blood and urine. Therefore, it is likely that you’ll find traces of meth in your blood for around 3 days after you stop using. Again, when it comes to habitual meth users and people who take large quantities of the drug, this time period will be much longer.
The problem is that methamphetamine users often use the drug in heavy doses. As you continue to use the drug over time, its chemical byproducts gather in your liver. Once you stop using, it can take quite a few days for your body to expel it entirely.
Traces of Crystal Meth in Hair
The relationship between drugs and human hair is quite interesting. Our hair, after all, stores many traces of the chemicals that we take into our bodies. These traces can remain there for months, even years, after we stop consuming those chemicals.
When asking how long meth stays in your system, therefore, it’s tough to answer if we’re talking about hair. Some experts say that meth will remain in your hair for around 90 days. However, it has been shown that small traces can show up several years after your last use. They may not be present in every single hair, but it is possible that they’ll be around for quite some time.
Factors that Influence How Long Meth is in Your System
There are quite a few factors that can affect how long meth stays in your system. Some of these factors include:
Quantity consumed: If you use large amounts of meth or consume the drug on a daily basis, you are likely to show evidence of methamphetamine use for a longer period of time. Folks who have only taken the drug once or twice will be able to flush it out much faster.
Liver health: The liver is the organ responsible for metabolizing drugs. If you have an unhealthy liver, therefore, you won’t be able to process methamphetamine as quickly as someone with a fully-functional liver.
Method of intake: Methamphetamine can be smoked, snorted or injected. Each of these methods has a different effect on the user. Additionally, these methods impact the drug’s half-life. Smoking any drug, for example, causes it to remain in the body for a longer period of time. An injection puts it directly into the bloodstream and therefore enables the body to break it down faster.
How to Get Meth Out of Your System
The key to flushing crystal meth out of your system is detox. If you’re wondering how long meth stays in your system, it is likely that you could be struggling with an addiction. Crystal meth, after all, is a highly addictive and dangerous drug. It is not usually something that people use recreationally.
Withdrawing from meth can be uncomfortable, painful and even dangerous in some cases. If you’re looking to get meth out of your body, professional detox might be your best bet.
Are You or Someone You Love a Meth Addict?
If you or a loved one is struggling with meth addiction, it might be time to get help. Meth addiction can lead to long-term consequences including heart damage, brain damage, and mental health problems. In severe cases, meth overdoses can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. Contact us directly at (855) 281-5588 or fill out a form here if you’d like to talk about your addiction or find help for a family member.