How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

Methamphetamine abuse can devastate your health, relationships, and mental well-being. It is a highly addictive, illegal drug. People may become physically dependent on meth after just a short period of abuse. 

Treating meth addiction begins with detox. During detox, your body will work to remove meth from your system. Detox can be challenging, but it is the first step toward lifelong recovery. 

If you abuse meth, you might wonder how long meth stays in your system. This article will explore meth withdrawal, detox, and testing. You will learn:

  • The effects and risks of meth
  • How long meth stays in your system
  • What to expect during meth withdrawal
  • How long drug testing may detect meth in your system
  • Where to find meth addiction treatment

If you or someone you love require the support of an addiction treatment program to overcome meth abuse, you are not alone. Contact The Living Room specialists to explore our holistic rehab programs. 

What is Meth?

Methamphetamine (meth) is a potent, illicit stimulant drug. People create meth in illegal labs using a combination of dangerous chemicals.[1] The process of making meth is risky and unregulated. 

Meth increases central nervous system (CNS) activity. Some of the short-term effects of meth include:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Faster breathing
  • Fast heart rate
  • Heart attack
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Tremors
  • Violent behaviors

People may experience the dangerous effects of meth any time they use it–even after the first use. Combining meth and other substances, including alcohol or prescription medications, can increase the risk of dangerous complications. 

Long-term complications can occur after a period of heavy or regular meth abuse. Some of the long-term effects of abusing meth include:[2]

  • Aggression
  • Brain damage
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Heart issues
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
  • Paranoia
  • Skin infections or scarring
  • Thinning hair
  • Tooth decay and other severe dental problems (meth mouth)

Methamphetamine use can change the way your body and brain work. These changes can make it very challenging to stop using meth when you choose. It is possible to develop physical dependence after using meth for a short time. 

People who develop a methamphetamine addiction require comprehensive treatment, beginning with a medical detox program. 

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

Users typically snort, smoke, swallow, or inject meth. Once you ingest meth, the drug reaches your brain quickly. You may begin to experience the side effects very quickly. 

Your body begins to metabolize meth as soon as it reaches the bloodstream. Meth leaves the body through the urine. Meth has a half-life of about 12 hours, meaning it takes this amount of time for your body to eliminate half of the meth in your body.[3] 

The effects of meth may last from 8 to 24 hours. Crystal meth is a potent form of the drug that may produce effects for days. 

The length of time meth stays in your body depends on several factors, including your health, metabolism, and other substances used at the same time. 

How Long Can Drug Tests Detect Meth?

The length of time meth can be detected on drug screening tests can vary. The type of test, your overall health, and other factors can change the detection time of meth.

Here is an overview of how long various drug screening tests can detect meth.

Urine tests

Urine testing is standard because it is non-invasive and inexpensive. This type of test can detect meth in urine for up to 72 hours after your last use. However, factors like metabolism and general health can affect how long meth stays in urine. Some tests can detect meth in urine for up to five days.[4]

Blood tests

Blood tests typically have a longer detection window than urine tests. They can detect meth for up to 4 days after your last use.[5] 

Saliva tests

Saliva tests have a similar sensitivity as blood tests. They may detect meth for up to 4 days after your last use.

Hair tests

Hair testing is uncommon but has the longest detection window. This type of test may detect meth for up to 90 days after your last use. 

If you are worried about meth showing up on a drug test, it is a sign to seek treatment for meth abuse or addiction. There is no way to make meth leave your system faster. If you abuse meth, you must seek professional treatment to stop using this dangerous drug safely. 

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Comprehensive meth addiction treatment typically begins with a detox program. During detox, mental health and medical professionals will monitor your withdrawal symptoms and provide evidence-based treatment. Your treatment plan may include medications, mental health treatment, and round-the-clock supervision. 

After completing detox, you must continue treatment in a comprehensive rehab program. During treatment, you will participate in therapies that support long-term addiction recovery. These include:

  • Medical care and medications
  • Mental health treatment, including behavioral therapies
  • Individual, family, and group therapy
  • Education about relapse prevention and healthy coping strategies
  • Exercise, nutrition support, mindfulness, and other holistic therapies

If you or someone you love struggles with meth abuse or addiction, you must seek treatment to avoid severe, life-threatening complications. Contact the specialists at The Living Room now to explore our holistic treatment and support programs


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Methamphetamine
  2. NIDA: What are the long-term effects of methamphetamine misuse?
  3. National Institute of Health (NIH): Methamphetamine Toxicity
  4. NIH: A Method to Quantify Illicit Intake of Drugs from Urine: Methamphetamine
  5. NIH: Evaluation of blood lead level in methamphetamine users in Tehran

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