Meth, which is known scientifically as crystal methamphetamine, is a designer stimulant drug capable of causing rapid addiction and serious health consequences. A significant problem surrounding the drug is connected with the duration the substance remains in one’s system after ingestion.
This drug is often synthetically concocted in places like self-constructed labs. Once taken, meth increases the amounts of dopamine circulating throughout the user’s brain. Dopamine is a chemical called a neurotransmitter. This substance influences mood and creates a sense of euphoria and invincibility.
However, over time, the brain grows accustomed to such highs and the individual must ingest larger quantities of the drug to produce the desired feelings. This vicious cycle eventually results in dependency.
How Long Does Does Meth Last Inside The Body?
The answer to this question depends on several underlying factors including:
- The user’s weight
- How fast the ingesting subject’s metabolic rate is
- How much of the drug was taken
- How long the user has been taking the drug
- If the user has associated health conditions
- The method by which it was administered
- How effectively the user’s kidneys and liver are functioning
In most cases, however, it typically takes the body significantly longer to rid itself of meth than other drugs.
Researchers maintain that the chemical possesses a half-life of anywhere from nine to 24 hours. Half-life refers to the time the body needs to clear half of what was ingested out of the user’s bloodstream.
That said, traces of the drug can still be found in one’s urine anywhere from one to 10 days after ingestion, the bloodstream for up to three days, saliva for as long as four days, and hair for up to an astounding 90 days.
Systemic Effects Of Meth Usage
The extended period of time meth can last inside a user’s body could prove problematic because the substance is quite potent and possesses the ability to cause appreciable health concerns.
Once dopamine levels drop, imbibers experience what is known as a crash. During this stage, they might encounter any number of untoward to potentially serious symptoms such as:
- Itchy skin
- Anxiety and agitation
- Inability to remain still
- Decreased cognitive functions like memory and concentration
- Declining reflexes
- Poor coordination and balance
Chronic ingestion could precipitate far more serious worries including weight loss, poor nourishment from not eating, deteriorating dental health, potentially dangerous mental health problems like paranoia and hallucinations, and violent tendencies.
Moreover, consistent, heavy users stand at an elevated risk of overdosing. Symptoms of this potentially fatal outcome include chest pain, increased pulse rate, low blood pressure, breathing struggles, significant abdominal discomfort, a high fever, and an intense state of agitation.
Those overdosing on meth might also suffer heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, seizures, and possibly even coma. Any of these conditions require prompt medical and aggressive medial assistance.
Should one become addicted, they face the prospect of experiencing withdrawal. This occurs when they stop using the substance for a prolonged time frame.
Meth withdrawal is capable of producing physical and mental manifestations such as:
- Digestive issues like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation
- Headaches and body pain
- Cold and clammy skin
- itchy, watery eyes
As withdrawal progresses, the stricken individual might experience more serious and possibly life-threatening maladies like breathing difficulties, heartbeat irregularities, severe depression, and psychotic episodes.
Addressing Meth Usage
It is worth reiterating that meth is a highly addictive and dangerous drug capable of hooking users after as soon as their first or second time ingesting the product.
In an appreciable percentage of cases, users need professional assistance to stop. Typically, such aid will need to be undertaken in a licensed treatment facility staffed with individuals versed in meth treatment.
The first stage of treatment will usually involve medically supervised detox overseen by healthcare providers skilled in carefully and gradually weaning an addict off meth. This will often be followed by an extended stint inside an inpatient treatment center where the patient will undergo a variety of psychological and behavioral therapies.
Our Wilmington, Delaware facility is well-equipped to handle meth dependencies. Anyone who has an addiction to this drug or knows someone who does and wants help getting clean, please reach out to us at 302-842-2390.