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How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System

How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System?

Often, people struggling with meth addiction may wonder “How long does meth stay in your system?” This concern may arise when someone is trying to prevent meth from showing up in a UA, or urinary analysis drug test.

Meth addiction is a terrible problem that can affect people from all walks of life. Meth, also called crystal meth or methamphetamine, is a highly addictive stimulant and illegal drug. There are no health benefits to using meth. Long-term use can cause several mental and physical health issues. According to stats from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, around 2.5 million people age 12 or older surveyed in 2021 had used meth in the past year. 

Someone who uses meth may be wondering what meth rehab is like and how long meth stays in their system during the detox process. The answers to “How long does meth stay in your system” will depend on each individual and other environmental and genetic factors.

What Is Methamphetamine?

Meth is a potent stimulant with a high potential for abuse and addiction. It affects the central nervous system and releases a chemical called dopamine in the brain. People who abuse meth feel similar effects to other stimulants like cocaine. 

Common side effects of meth include:

  • Euphoria
  • More energy and alertness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Increased body temperature
  • High blood pressure
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation

What makes it so dangerous is that many people who abuse methamphetamines rely on suppliers who make the drugs at home using a toxic cocktail of over-the-counter medication, cleaning supplies, and other noxious chemicals. These “cooks”, as they are called, are often not interested in keeping things sanitary or creating a safe product. Their primary goal is to continue drug trafficking and get more “customers,” or people who struggle with methamphetamine use disorder.

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

According to statistics from the National Library of Medicine, the time it takes for meth to work once used and the time it takes to leave your body depends on several factors. 

The method of consumption is a primary factor in how long methamphetamine affects the body. For instance, people who take meth orally will feel peak effects between two and four hours after consumption. Those who smoke, inject, or snort meth will feel the effects in minutes. Someone’s physical traits, genetics, and family history can also play a role in how quickly the body expels meth.

When asking how long meth stays in your system, it’s helpful to look at something called a drug’s half-life. That means the length of time it will take for the drug to be reduced by 50% after ingestion. The half-life for methamphetamine is between 6 and 15 hours. That means traces of meth could remain in your system and trigger a positive drug test for up to four days after use.  

How Addictive Is Crystal Meth?

Crystal meth is highly addictive because it triggers the release of large amounts of dopamine in the brain. This flood of dopamine causes an intense feeling of euphoria that stimulates drug-seeking behavior and can lead to compulsive use of the drug. 

People who abuse meth may find they need higher doses to feel the same effects. This contributes to its high potential for addiction, as increased doses and frequency become necessary to achieve the same effect.

What Are the Symptoms of Meth Addiction?

Crystal meth addiction has a terrible effect on both physical and psychological health. People addicted to methamphetamine will often experience what is known as “meth mouth”. This is when the toxic mixture of chemicals in meth causes extreme damage to the mouth and serious tooth decay. It can be one of the most obvious signs someone is abusing methamphetamine. 

Physical effects of meth addiction can include:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Acne and skin sores
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Raised body temperature, tremors
  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth decay
  • Twitching
  • Chronic itching
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Impaired coordination 

Psychological symptoms of chronic methamphetamine use are also concerning. Many people become paranoid or suffer from delusions or intense hallucinations with prolonged use. Meth also increases the risk for other potential psychological effects of prolonged use can include memory issues as well as violent behavior towards others.

Psychological effects of meth addiction can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Poor memory
  • Paranoia (irrational distrust of others)
  • Homicidal or suicidal thoughts
  • Meth-induced psychosis
  • Violence
  • Hallucinations (seeing, feeling, and hearing things that aren’t real)
  • Changes in brain structure and function

According to research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some changes to the brain following meth addiction will return to normal. However, others will not. Some research even shows a link between meth abuse and the development of Parkinson’s disease.  People who abuse meth are at a higher risk than others for heart attack, heart disease, and overdose death.

If you are seeking help for stimulant use disorder, Royal Life Centers at Seaglass provides a wide range of therapeutic services during our residential meth addiction treatment program.

Stimulant Addiction Treatment Options

Royal Life Centers is a full-service substance abuse and drug addiction treatment facility serving those in Prescott Valley in Arizona. Our detox, residential, and aftercare programs locations in Prescott, Arizona offer methamphetamine drug abuse recovery to all. Using evidence-based treatments, Royal Life Centers can help someone stop taking meth or any controlled substance.

Royal Life Centers at Seaglass offers comprehensive addiction treatment services including:

  • 24/7 medical supervision
  • Evidence-based and holistic therapies
  • Medication management
  • Case management
  • Experiential activities
  • Gender-specific group topics

During treatment in our women’s residential treatment center, women begin to rebuild their sense of safety and develop new coping skills to sustain their sobriety after treatment.

Seaglass also offers aftercare services for men and women within a separate portion of our facility grounds. During aftercare, guests can participate in our aftercare programs including:

  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
  • Outpatient Program (OP)

Our other Arizona rehab facilities include:

  • Royal Life Detox, our Arizona detox facility, offers observational detoxification, medical detox, and medical-assisted treatment (MAT) services.
  • Royal Life Centers at Chapter 5, our men’s residential treatment center, offers gender-specific addiction treatment services.

Our levels of care help control withdrawal symptoms, prevent methamphetamine overdoses, and minimize the long-term effects of substance abuse. The goal is to prevent issues like meth mouth or permanent organ damage from causing even more harm in someone’s life.

Don’t let drug addictions control your life. Let Royal Life Centers help with your substance use disorders and chronic methamphetamine abuse by calling 877-RECOVERY today!


What is the scope of methamphetamine use in the United States? – NIDA

Patterns and Characteristics of Methamphetamine Use Among Adults — CDC

Methamphetamine Toxicity – StatPearls – NCBI

Methamphetamine DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse – NIDA

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