How long does crystal meth stay in your system?

Meth is one of the most notorious drugs – frequently in the news, it destroys individual lives and communities due to its addictive properties.  Meth has made the cover of major magazines like Time and Newsweek more than once. It is important for someone wanting to drug test to know exactly how long meth stays in the system.

This is a largely misunderstood area, and a tricky question, because drugs can be detected in different parts of the body for different lengths of time.


Methamphetamine is a synthetically created stimulant drug of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class. Crystal meth normally comes in the form of a white bitter tasting crystals or powder often known by other names such as crank, ice, meth and crystal meth and other names. Crystal methamphetamine works by stimulating the central nervous system. Crystal meth can be ingested by snorting, injecting, smoking and sometimes through use of a suppository. Methamphetamine is a strictly illegal drug with no legal medical use and is classed a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substance Act.

Related article: Drug Test 101 Know Your Rights

How long does crystal meth stay in your system?

In reality there can be no definitive specific answer for how long crystal meth stays in your system. There are several factors that alter how long it takes for the crystal meth to completely leave your system:

  • The amount the user has consumed; the more one has consumed then the it’s is likely to stay in the user’s system.
  • How frequently/consistent use has been; methamphetamine will not leave the body’s system if there is a continuous flow of intake, therefore the more frequent someone has been using then the longer it’s likely to stay in the user’s system.
  • The individual’s metabolic rate; a metabolic rate refers to how fast the individual’s body metabolizes everything that comes into the body. Such as food, drinks and drugs like crystal meth. The slower the individual’s metabolic rate then the longer the meth will stay in the system. A person’s weight, age and general health all contribute to their metabolic rate.
  • The individual’s tolerance to methamphetamine: this refers to how frequent the user has ingested crystal meth and their general physical health at the time. Consistent drug users are normally found with higher tolerances.
  • The manner in which it is ingested: different ways of ingestion take different amounts of time for the body to process the methamphetamine. Snorting typically takes one to four days. Smoking crystal meth can take anywhere from three to five days to leave your system. When users use crystal meth intravenously, the drug will typically stay in their system for a minimum of 72 horus.

Crystal meth, as with other drugs stays for different amounts of time in different areas of the system that are normally tested. The four main forms of tests are:

1. Urine: normally stays for 3 to 5 days starting 2-5 hours after use. 2. Blood: normally stays for 1 to 3 days starting (depends on form of ingestion) 2 hours after use. 3. Saliva (swab test): normally stays for 1 to 4 days starting 10 minutes after use. 4. Hair: normally stays 90 days on standard consumer hair test. Longer when lab test.

Related article: DRUG TEST: (How to) Beat a drug test (for Dummies)

Those suffering from crystal meth addiction may find that once they decide to quit, enduring the withdrawals can be intolerable. Crystal meth is a stimulant that increases heart rate, blood pressure, hyperactivity and other neurological activity. The high can last anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours depending on the dose, the body’s response, and the individuals tolerance.

Meth detox is the removal of the chemical toxins from the body. The long-term physical effects of crystal meth greatly damage internal and external organs.These include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Malnutrition
  • Skin disorders
  • Ulcers
  • Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Risk for HIV
  • Mental illness
  • Suicide
  • Psychosis

The severe neurological damages that can result from heavy and long-term methamphetamine use some will never recover from. But through healthy diet, exercise and therapy, one can overcome meth addiction.

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  1. I have a subject that has been willing to be a control subject for how long meth stays in system
    The subject used on a Saturday and by Wednesday the subject is still testing positive. The Subject smoked approx 3-5 hits so the person said. I used the Home Urine test you can buy for about $10.00 at any pharmacy. So Wednesday would be Day 3 of abstinence.

  2. If I been clean for 3weeks and I smoke 20. Dallors worth how long will it take to leave my body if I smoke 8:30 tonight and stop using @ 3 hours later will it be out of my system if I smoke it out of a pipe?

  3. So many people in this entire parish are using meth and it’s just unbelievably soeasily accessible. Once upon a time, the entire parish or damn near was addicted to crack cocaine. What’s next people?? Heroin?? It’s simply unbelievable!!!

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