how long does meth stay on your system

Your partner has a history of substance use. It’s something they’ve worked on several times during your relationship with them. You’ve been concerned about it in the past but over the recent months, it seems like they’ve been keeping their promise to you about staying away from meth.

That was, until recently. They’d gone out with friends the night before. They’d stayed the night with their friends because they hadn’t wanted to drive home late at night. When they came back home in the morning, they were acting oddly. You kept an eye on them throughout the day. With how their behavior has changed, you’re trying not to be more suspicious.

A few days after this, they seem on edge. Some of the changes are subtle but you notice they seem alert and hyperactive. Their eyes are moving about at a mile a minute and their hands have a slight tremble to them. You’ve been hanging out with them the past few days so you would’ve noticed if they’d take something, but it gets you thinking. How long can substances stay in a person’s system?

Substance use is a blanket term for something that can truly be unique from person to person. Here at San Antonio Recovery Center, we know exactly how much substance use can vary and the different ways it can present itself. As a facility that opens its doors to all members of the community, even at our alumni events, we strive to use our knowledge to provide educational content to anyone who needs it. Since 2018, methamphetamine has been a concern for Texas residents as one of the top drug threats across the state, reaching the number one slot for concern in many cities like Dallas and Houston. Today we’re going to look further at methamphetamines and answer the question - how long does meth stay in your system?

The Things You Need to Know About How The Body Metabolizes Methamphetamine

When it comes to metabolizing anything, our body is fairly efficient. Every substance, however, metabolizes differently and at different rates. For methamphetamine, commonly referred to as simply meth, this process begins upon consumption.

Many parts of our body help with the metabolizing process, but the area that plays the largest role is the liver. Depending on how much you consume, your liver starts to process it once it’s entered your system. While in your system, it also impacts your bloodstream, central nervous system, brain, and more.

What is the Half-Life of Meth?

The form of measurement used to determine how long a substance stays in the body is known as a “half-life.” The half-life of a substance is how long it takes for half of the substance to leave the body.

On average, the half-life of meth is 10-11 hours. This means that even if you’re no longer feeling the effects of meth, there is still some within your system.

duration of meth in the human body

The Key Factors That Impact How Long Meth Stays in Your System

The exact time it takes for your body to process any substance can and will vary depending on many different factors.

Firstly, your liver has a maximum capacity. It can only process so much at a time. So the quantity of substance you put in your body can impact how long it takes for it to leave your body. This time can be additionally impacted if you have multiple substances in your body at the same time, which is known as polysubstance use.

Next, things like your health and history of substance use impact how long it takes to leave your body. Just like how your health can impact your metabolism for food, so too can it impact your metabolism when used for substances and medications. Additionally, your history of substance use can impact your metabolism due to the side effects that come with substance use. If your liver is damaged, your heart is impacted, or your digestive system has scar tissue – all of these are examples of things that can alter the time it takes for meth to be metabolized.

How Long Can Meth Be Detected on a Drug Test?

Most commonly, the chemical compounds of meth will be left behind in things like your blood, urine, and even hair. This is how drug testing can determine if you’ve taken a substance within a certain period.

Each test has its time frame for effectiveness, depending on the substance. Let’s take a look at how long methamphetamine can leave an imprint on your system.

How Long Meth Stays in Urine

Urine tests are one of the most common tests primarily due to their accessibility and ease of use. They’re non-invasive and can detect a variety of substances with fair ease. The downside, however, is that many people have been known to “cheat” urine tests, which can make them less reliable as a whole.

Meth, on average, has a detection window of about 34-36 hours in urine.

How Long Meth Stays in Blood or Saliva

Blood tests and saliva tests both have the con of being taken on-site and directly from a person, making them more reliable because they can’t easily be “cheated.” The downside is, however, that both blood and saliva tests generally have a very short window when it comes to detection time for most substances.

Additionally, while saliva tests are generally noninvasive, blood tests are more invasive and tend to cost a bit more, too.

Both blood and saliva tests have an average detection time of 24 hours after the last dose of meth.

How Long Meth Stays in Hair

Hair has the shocking ability to showcase quite a lot of information about not only what’s been within our body, but also the general health of our body. Hair grows in sections, almost like the layers of a tree, and each portion can be indicative of a person’s overall health if you know how to look at it.

Because our hair grows slowly, this means that lots of time and information can be stored in your hair for long periods. On average, meth can be detected in hair for up to 90 days after your last use.

Are There Any Ways to Get Meth Out of Your System Faster?

Our body works like a well-oiled machine. It has set ways that it processes and runs things to make sure you’re as healthy as you can be. There is nothing that you can do to speed up the process of something leaving your system.

There are many myths out there about how to “sober up,” but they’re all simply that – myths.  The only thing chugging water will do is make your urine more diluted. In some cases, this can be a sign to those doing your test that you were trying to hide something in the first place.

The best thing you can do is to stop taking the substance. This is the only way to make sure it eventually gets out of your system and stays out of your system.

understanding meth elimination process

Finding Treatment for Meth Use Disorders in Texas

It can sometimes feel “easier said than done” when someone tells you to “just stop taking meth.” Methamphetamine use disorders aren’t developed on a whim. They normally stem from something, whether that’s life stressors, family members who participated in substance use, loneliness, untreated mental health conditions, or a variety of other things.

As we mentioned at the start, substance use disorders are varied and unique, and the same thing can be said about the individuals who are managing them. Finding a meth treatment program that works with you and cares about you and your individual needs can seem daunting, but there are options out there for you.

When it comes to starting the recovery process away from meth use, finding a program that offers medical detox programs as well as inpatient and outpatient services is important. Detox programs provide a safe space to go through withdrawals while surrounded by medical professionals who can help make you as comfortable as possible. From there, inpatient and outpatient programs allow you to work on your recovery journey either from the safe environment of the rehab facility or from the comfort of your own home.

If you’re looking for a place to start your recovery journey, our team here at San Antonio Recovery Center is here to help. With our 8 to 1 patient-to-staff ratio, we ensure that you get the hands-on care that you deserve. We also offer a robust alumni program to provide you with ongoing support and connect you to those who understand the journey that you’re on. There’s no wrong time to start, so give us a call today at 866-957-7885.

Strength. Acceptance. Recovery. Community.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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