Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is one of the most commonly abused drugs. It is an addictive stimulant drug that corrupts the user’s central nervous system. It belongs to the amphetamine class of drugs and is often produced illegally in clandestine laboratories using various chemicals and ingredients.
Methamphetamine can be taken orally, smoked, snorted, or injected, rapidly producing a euphoric and intense high. This guide discusses how meth gets absorbed into your body and how long it stays in urine and your system. Read on to find out!
What is meth?
Methamphetamine is a synthetic drug that stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward, in the brain. It increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine while inhibiting their reuptake, resulting in prolonged activation of the brain’s reward system. This leads to a surge of energy, increased focus, reduced appetite, and euphoria.
The production of meth involves combining various chemicals, including pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, or other precursor chemicals, with solvents and reagents. The process can be hazardous and poses significant risks to the environment and those involved in its production.
How does meth get absorbed in your body?
When meth is ingested or taken through other routes, it quickly enters the bloodstream and is distributed throughout the body. The absorption of methamphetamine depends on the route of administration:
- Oral ingestion: Methamphetamine can be taken in pill form. When swallowed, it passes through the digestive system, and the small intestine absorbs the drug. From there, it enters the bloodstream and is carried to the brain, where it exerts its effects.
- Smoking: Smoking meth involves heating and inhaling the resulting vapor. The lungs have a large surface area for absorption, allowing the drug to enter the bloodstream rapidly. Once in the bloodstream, it is transported to the brain, producing an intense and immediate high.
- Snorting: Meth can be crushed into a fine powder and snorted through the nose. The drug is absorbed through the nasal mucosa and enters the bloodstream, reaching the brain and producing its effects.
- Injection: Injecting meth involves directly introducing the drug into a vein. This method bypasses the absorption process and delivers methamphetamine directly into the bloodstream. It rapidly reaches the brain, resulting in an intense and immediate high.
Consequences And Effects Of Meth Abuse
The abuse of methamphetamine can have severe consequences on physical and mental health. Chronic use of meth can cause extreme addiction, making users have rapid cravings and compulsion to abuse the drug. Prolonged methamphetamine use can result in:
- Neurological damage: Meth can cause structural and functional changes in the brain, leading to impaired cognitive function and memory loss. It can also cause difficulties with decision-making and impulse control.
- Cardiovascular problems: Methamphetamine increases heart rate, blood pressure and can cause irregular heart rhythms, heart attacks, and strokes. The drug can also cause constriction of blood vessels, reducing blood flow to vital organs.
- Dental issues: Methamphetamine use is associated with severe dental problems, often referred to as “meth mouth.” The drug’s acidic nature decreases saliva production, and poor oral hygiene contributes to tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
How long does meth stay in urine?
So, how long does meth stay in urine? The detection time of methamphetamine in urine depends on various factors, including the dose, frequency of use, metabolism, and individual characteristics. Methamphetamine and its metabolites can be detected in urine through drug tests.
Meth typically has a half-life ranging from 10 to 12 hours. However, the presence of its metabolites, such as amphetaminil and amphetamine, can be detected for a longer period. The primary metabolite of meth, amphetamine, has a longer half-life, ranging from 10 to 34 hours. As a result, meth and its metabolites can be detected in urine for an extended period after use.
The detection window for methamphetamine in urine depends on the drug test used. In case you are wondering how long meth stays in urine, here are some general guidelines:
- Standard urine drug test: Methamphetamine can typically be detected in urine for 2-4 days after use. However, it can be detected for up to 7 days or even longer in chronic or heavy users.
- Extended urine drug test: Some specialized drug tests can detect methamphetamine for a longer period. These tests may be used in workplace testing or legal proceedings. They can detect methamphetamine in urine for 7-10 days after use.
Having known how long meth stays in urine, it is essential to note the various factors that can impact detection. Factors such as metabolism, hydration level, and overall health can influence the clearance rate of methamphetamine from the body. Other drug tests, such as blood or hair tests, can also be used to detect methamphetamine use. Blood tests are more suitable for determining recent use, as methamphetamine is typically detectable in blood for 1-3 days after use.
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
When meth user decides to quit or significantly reduce their intake, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. Meth withdrawal can be challenging and uncomfortable, both physically and psychologically. Some common meth withdrawal symptoms include:
- Fatigue and excessive sleepiness: Many individuals experience extreme tiredness and a strong desire to sleep for extended periods during withdrawal. Many people refer to this experience as a “meth crash.”
- Increased appetite: Methamphetamine suppresses appetite, so when a person stops using the drug, they may experience intense hunger and cravings for food.
- Depression and anxiety: When a user stops using meth, they could experience depression and anxiety. Individuals may feel emotionally low, experience mood swings, have difficulty concentrating, and feel anxious or restless.
- Intense drug cravings: During withdrawal, individuals may experience strong cravings for methamphetamine. These cravings can be intense and persist for a significant period, making it challenging to resist relapse.
Seek Help To Fight Meth Addiction
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that can have devastating effects on your health. The drug can be absorbed into the system via oral ingestion, smoking, snorting, and injection. Once absorbed, meth can stay in your system for up to days, depending on how it was taken.