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Medically Reviewed

How Long Does a Meth High Last?

- 9 sections

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Methamphetamine–also known as meth–is a potent, highly-addictive stimulant drug. This illicit drug can cause severe short and long-term consequences. People who develop methamphetamine addiction require comprehensive drug treatment and ongoing support.

This article will explore the side effects of meth and how long they last. You will learn what to expect during detox and how long meth can be detected on a drug test.

If you or someone in your life requires meth addiction treatment, effective rehab programs are available at the Carolina Center for Recovery. Reach out to our intake specialists now to learn about starting a substance abuse treatment program.

Meth Abuse and Addiction: An Overview

Meth is a highly addictive illicit drug. People make meth in illegal, unregulated labs by mixing common chemicals, including ingredients in over-the-counter medications. Common street names for meth include:

  • Crystal meth
  • Crank
  • Blue
  • Hot ice
  • L.A. ice
  • Speed
  • Stovetop
  • Zip
  • Shards
  • Hawaiian salt
  • White

Meth is most commonly available as a pale, odorless, crystalized powder. Meth users may smoke, snort, or inject the drug.

Meth quickly reaches the brain and increases central nervous system (CNS) activity. It quickly increases levels of dopamine in the brain. People may feel a rush of energy and euphoria soon after taking it.

Some of the other side effects of meth include:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Appetite loss
  • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Poor coordination
  • Delusions

People who use meth for its stimulant effects can become physically dependent on it. Some long-term effects of meth abuse and addiction include:

  • Severe weight loss
  • Severe dental decay (known as “meth mouth”)
  • Skin infections and scars
  • Lung damage
  • Severe damage to sinuses and nasal passages

Meth addiction can be devastating and may lead to life-threatening or permanent damage. It is essential to seek treatment as soon as you recognize meth abuse.

How Long Do Meth Side Effects Last?

The stimulant effects of meth can last for a long time compared to other stimulant drugs. Meth’s effects last for 12 hours or more. Some research suggests that people may have lingering effects of meth for up to 24 hours.

Cocaine, crack, and other illicit stimulants have much shorter effects. The stimulant effects of cocaine last for about 15 minutes, and crack’s effects can disappear after just 5-10 minutes.

People who use meth may binge–meaning they use it for days at a time. During a binge, meth users may go without sleep. They may forget to eat. After a binge, they will “crash,” meaning that they sleep for long periods.

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

The effects of methamphetamine can last up to 24 hours. However, drug screening tests may be able to detect it in your system for longer periods.

Here is an overview of how long different tests may detect meth.

Urine testing

Urine testing is the most common form of drug screening in the United States. Medical professionals and employers may rely on urine testing because it is inexpensive and easily accessible. Urine testing may detect meth in your system for up to 3 days after you last use it.

Saliva testing

Saliva testing may be able to detect meth in your system for up to 4 days after your last use.

Blood testing

Blood testing has a similar detection window as saliva testing. It may be able to detect methamphetamine for up to 4 days after you last use it.

Hair testing

Hair testing is uncommon, but it is the most sensitive way to screen for substances in the body. A hair test may be able to detect methamphetamine for up to 90 days after you last use it.

Several factors affect how long meth remains in your body, including:

  • Age
  • Kidney and liver health
  • Metabolism
  • Frequency of use
  • Dose
  • Body composition
  • Other substances used at the same time

It is impossible to speed up your body’s detoxification process. If you have developed physical dependence on meth, you may need treatment to manage uncomfortable or dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

What Happens During Meth Withdrawal?

If you have become physically addicted to meth, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. Treatment, including medications and emotional support, can help you complete detox without a relapse.

Some of the most common meth withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Depression
  • Delusion
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Intense cravings

A medically-supported detox program can help you manage detox. During treatment, you will have round-the-clock supervision and access to medical care. You may also participate in mental health treatment and holistic therapies to soothe the mind and body.

After completing detox, you must transition into a comprehensive treatment program that will help you navigate long-term recovery and avoid relapse.

Get Help Now

If you or someone you love struggles with meth abuse or addiction, effective treatment is available at the Carolina Center for Recovery. Contact our intake specialists to learn more about our programs or to schedule an intake assessment.