Crystal meth is a highly addictive drug, and one that can wreak havoc on the lives of those who are addicted to it. One of the questions that many users have is about how crystal meth can impact the body. Understanding more about the effect of crystal meth might be the first step toward getting help for addiction, completing a detox and seeking rehabilitation.
What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal meth, the abbreviated name for crystal methamphetamine, is the white, crystallized version of a drug from the class of amphetamines. Crystal meth may go by a number of different names, including meth, chalk and speed. Whatever name it goes by, however, it delivers a sudden rush of confidence and elation as well as a significantly reduced appetite.
Crystal meth can be snorted, smoked, injected or taken orally. Whatever method of consumption is used, it can become immediately addictive and cause an array of medical problems to the user. Like any addiction, it can disrupt life, cause financial and legal concerns and harm meaningful relationships.
Duration of a Crystal Meth High
One of the reasons that crystal meth is such a popular and widely-used drug is that it delivers a relatively long high. On average, users who take crystal meth feel symptoms for six to eight hours. However, it isn’t unusual to experience a high lasting a full 24 hours when the dose is large or the user is just beginning to take crystal meth.
Over time, however, the duration of the high begins to lessen. This means that those addicted to crystal meth need increasingly frequent doses to prevent the withdrawal symptoms from kicking in after a high recedes. The more crystal meth people use, the more their tolerance grows. This creates a dangerous cycle where individuals are constantly trying to source and take more of this addictive substance.
Half Life of Crystal Meth
The half life of a drug refers to how long it takes for the concentration of the substance in the human body to reduce by approximately half. Generally, the half life of a drug signifies the time when the high has worn off completely.
In the case of crystal meth, the plasma half life is anywhere from 12 to 34 hours. The danger of this, in part, is that the half life of crystal meth is longer than the high in many cases. For instance, a person who uses crystal meth and experiences an eight-hour high might be eager to take another dose a few hours later. However, there is still a significant amount of crystal meth in the body.
This extensive half life contributes to the large number of crystal meth overdoses that happen every year. As crystal meth lingers in the blood, but individuals take a second dose by snorting, smoking or injecting, they are adding to the stress within the body. This can overload the body’s systems, creating an overdose that has the potential to be fatal.
Crystal Meth and Drug Tests
Many individuals are interested in learning about how long crystal meth lasts in the body because of concerns about upcoming drug tests. Whether a drug test will reveal the individual’s drug use will depend heavily on the type of test being administered as well as the typical dosage.
In a urine test, crystal meth will appear in the urine about two hours after use and for up to five days afterwards. For a saliva test, crystal meth will appear in the saliva ten minutes after consumption and for approximately four days afterwards. Similarly, a blood test will reveal blood tainted with crystal meth two hours after consumption and for at least three days afterwards.
Hair tests are far more sensitive and can reflect crystal meth use for significantly longer than blood, urine or saliva tests. Even a basic, inexpensive home hair drug test can identify crystal meth use in the past 90 days. Professional lab exams can pick up on crystal meth consumption even further back. Rather than trying to beat the system and dupe a drug test, individuals addicted to crystal meth should strongly consider seeking help in the form of a recovery program.
Consumption Method Impacts Duration on the Body
The length of time that crystal meth stays in the body can be influenced by a number of different factors. Metabolism, longevity of use, tolerance levels and amount may also play a role in the drug’s duration within the body. However, one of the most overlooked factors is consumption method. How crystal meth is ingested may impact how long the drug stays in the body.
Snorting crystal meth results in the shortest impact on the body. Although still incredibly dangerous and addictive, snorting may only cause the drug to stay in the body for one to four days. Smoking crystal meth elongates the time the drug is in the body, averaging three to five days. Using crystal meth intravenously, through injection, means that the minimum the drug will stay in the body is 72 hours, but with the potential to last for much longer.
How to Completely Rid the Body of Crystal Meth
There’s no effective way to rid the body of crystal meth without confronting the addiction head on. This is because even though the body might be rid of most traces of crystal meth three, four or five days after use, it’s unlikely that those addicted to the drug will go that long between doses. In fact, many crystal meth users are daily consumers.
In addition, the body can hold onto toxins as a result of crystal meth addiction for far longer than the half life of the drug. A complete detoxification, and then sobriety, is the only truly effective way to rid the body of its harmful dependence on crystal methamphetamine.
Crystal meth delivers a lasting high and an even longer half life, contributing to its addictive appeal and its dangerous nature. Ridding the body of all crystal meth and related toxins requires commitment to a recovery program and targeted addiction treatment.