Methamphetamine, or meth, can be detected by urinalysis drug tests 1-4 days after use. Chronic use may extend the detection period. Find out more on how meth detection works and how long the drug can remain in the system.
Meth is a highly addictive stimulant which affects the central nervous system. Small doses may be legally prescribed for limited medical use but most recreational use of meth is manufactured illegally. Meth is typically taken in powder form, as a pill, ingested, snorted or injected. Meth may also be smoked in a rock form known as ‘crystal.’
Classified as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meth is allowed for limited medical use. Medical professionals may issue a non-refillable prescription of meth as treatment for many conditions including narcolepsy, attention deficit, and obesity. Meth is used as a stimulant which, when ingested or snorted, can produce a long lasting high (half a day). Euphoric feelings do not last which causes the user to continue taking meth to achieve the high which can, over time, lead to tolerance of the drug and, eventually, addiction.
Peak Levels and Half Life
Blood concentrations of meth vary depending on the amount taken. Meth may be prescribed by medical professionals which ranges from .02-.05 mg/L. Recreational use may range between .01-2.5 mg/L. Concentrations above .2 mg/L are associated with abuse. Meth levels reach peak blood concentration differently depending on the mode of administration. The half-life of meth can range greatly between 10-12 hours. When ingesting meth, peak concentration may occur within three hours. Smoking and snorting may reach peak concentration within two to three hours.
The exact amount of meth which can stay in the body depends on numerous factors including pH levels in urine, amount taken, how frequently the drug is used, body mass, rate of metabolism or other circumstances. Methamphetamine stays in the system longer than other drugs with a half-life of nearly twelve hours. The drug remains in the system in additional places in the body as well:
- Blood samples test meth approximately 24-48 hours later
- Meth may be found months or years later in hair samples
- Urinalysis turns up positive results for meth within 1-4 days
- Salivary tests show meth for approximately 1-2 days
- Sweat tests detect meth within two hours, sometimes over a week
Meth is a highly addictive substance. Use of meth releases a large amount of dopamine into the brain which triggers the reward center. The large amount of dopamine depletes the brain’s supply and leads to a ‘crash,’ including a depressive phase. Individuals who are addicted to meth will seek more of the drug to recreate euphoric feelings which leads to a cycle of addictive behaviors which may be difficult to stop without help.
Meth addiction is challenging but not impossible to recover from with the right help and support. The Villa is here with you every step of the way. Call us to find out how we can partner with you on the journey back to being clean and sober.