Often, when people ask this question, it is in the context of an upcoming drug test. Many businesses and government agencies require pre-employment drug screenings for persons working as drivers, operating machinery, handling firearms, or caring for children or patients in a health care setting. Individuals who have participated in drug rehab programs may also be required to participate in periodic testing. Drug testing is often a condition of parole for a person recently released from incarceration. Reasonable suspicion of drug use is another reason for mandatory testing. Employers may use random drug testing to deter workers from using illicit drugs.
How Long Does Meth Stay in the System?
People who have used methamphetamine and must take a drug test to get or retain a job may wonder, “How long does meth stay in your system?” The short answer is, it depends on the way an individual takes meth. It takes longer for meth to clear the body than most drugs. It may take 10 or more hours for the body to remove 50 percent of methamphetamine. With continuous use, methamphetamine can remain in the body indefinitely when a person is addicted or uses the drug for extended periods.
How the drug enters a user’s body can influence how long it remains there. People who use meth often take more of the drug before the first “dose” clears the body. Meth-addicted individuals frequently use the drug over many days, and during that time, they may forego other activities, including eating or sleeping.
The continuous use of meth is known as a “run.” With the half-life of meth being about 10 hours, it is easy to understand how using more of the drug before the remaining half leaves the body can affect the user, including increasing the likelihood of the drug remaining in the body for extended periods. A person undergoing a drug screening can expect a positive test based on meth’s tendency to remain in the body longer than other drugs.
Drug Tests for Meth
Depending on the type of test a lab uses to check for meth, evidence of the drug can show up three months after the last use. However, when a lab tests the hair, evidence of meth can be present up to three months after use. Blood and saliva tests are additional screening methods for meth.
Meth Detection in Urine
Urine testing is the most common way to check for drug use, including methamphetamine. A urine test is usually reliable in detecting the substance if an applicant has used it recently. If an employer refers an individual for a drug test, a person who recently used meth may ask, “How long does meth stay in your urine?”
The kidneys take meth out of the body. When a person has used meth in the last five days before the test, they should expect evidence of meth to be in the urine. Metabolites are drug residues that stay in the urine after the user no longer feels influenced by the drug. Typically, metabolites from meth are present in the urine three to five days after the last use.
Meth Detection in Blood
The blood test is another drug test for meth. Although the urine test is standard for drug screening, a blood test may be the logical option in some situations. When an employer or investigator suspects meth contributed to an accident, they may order the persons involved to get a blood test. Individuals who exhibit signs of drug use, such as extreme euphoria or agitation, may be candidates for the blood test. A blood test could reveal that a person is currently using meth.
Meth Detection in Oral Fluids or Saliva
Oral fluid or saliva tests involve swabbing the inner cheek to detect substance use. This testing method is primarily for immediate use since drugs clear oral fluids faster than they leave urine. Like blood testing, oral fluid screening may work better as a test for a situation where a user has been involved in an accident or exhibits behaviors consistent with current or recent use.
Meth Detection in Hair
When the employer or organization needs to assess an individual’s drug use history, the hair test can detect drug activity during the last 90 days. Testing the hair will not prove drug use based on current behaviors, but it can provide evidence of past use of meth. To test for meth using the hair detection method, the screener takes a sample of 90-120 strands of hair cut near the scalp.
Ways People Try to Alter Drug Test Results
The fear of being discovered as a meth user, violating parole, or losing a job opportunity are some reasons why people try to alter drug tests. However, attempting to change a drug test is a bad idea. Labs have ways to detect substances that individuals consume to mask drug use.
People may try substituting another person’s urine or synthetic urine for their own. They may use household chemicals or other substances to change urine and mask the drug. Drinking excessive amounts of water, diuretic drinks, and other concoctions are some of the ways people try to beat drug tests.
There are plenty of online businesses that scam people desperate to use any means to get a negative drug test result. Anyone considering this route should realize that lab technicians know about these deceptive practices. A few people may beat the test by cheating. However, the best labs use common sense and science-based strategies to detect someone cheating during a drug test. Eventually, the reality of their meth use will catch up to them, because an individual using meth cannot hide it forever.
Don’t Try to Alter the Results, Seek Help
Testing for meth and other drugs helps keep workplaces and other organizations safe. Meth addiction not only puts the user in danger, but it also puts employees, customers, patients, and others at risk.
How does a Person Pass a Drug Test for Meth?
Time is the only way a person can ensure that meth clears their system before taking a drug test. However, time without meth means not using, and for most meth users, that requires completing a rehab program.
To find out more about meth treatment and how to start living a life free from worry about drug use and job security, call us today at (866) 653-6220. We have a compassionate team of counselors standing by to take your call 24/7.