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Meth In A Body System: How To Prepare For The Ice Drug Test?

doctor taking meth drug test

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Methamphetamine is a drug with an active stimulant potential. Therefore, this makes it an addictive, illegal drug, without any medical value, which triggers the elevation of dopamine levels. (Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which orchestrates body movement, pleasant sensations, motivation, etc.)

Additionally, the Controlled Substance Act classifies meth as a Schedule II substance. Crystal meth has no medical use, and it it vital to say that non-medical use of it is considered an abuse and can be legally prosecuted.

Right after meth enters the person’s bloodstream, the body starts to metabolize it. Continually, some of the methamphetamines are then quickly converted into amphetamine. The liver and kidney then process Methamphetamine and amphetamine. Finally, the drug will finally make its way to urinary tract for excretion from the body.

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Table of Contents

Period For Meth Stay in the Body

It is hard to determine the precise duration of meth’s presence in one’s system since factors which influence the speed of meth metabolism are numerous. However, some approximate calculations suggest that meth has a half-life of 12-34 hours in the blood, and its effects can last between 8-24 hours. Furthermore, meth takes between 12 to 34 hours for there to be a reduction of concentration in the blood. Sometimes it can take up to 10 days for meth to entirely leave the body.
Crystal meth is a white crystal or powdered form of methamphetamine. Some ways of how people use it can range from injecting, snorting and smoking. Performing a urine, blood, saliva and hair test can show various time spans of Crystal Meth’s presence in one’s system:

How Long Does Ice Stay In The Blood?

As the half-life of the drug is around 12 hours, the time Ice needs to be reduced by half will be 12-34 hours. Ice can stay in the blood for up to 72 hours, while in dense users – up to 10 days.

How Long Does Ice Stay In The Urine?

When Ice leaves the system, the drug is cleared by the kidneys, and an enormous amount of metabolites can show in one’s urine. Urine tests can detect Ice use for up to 3-5 days.

How Long Does Ice Stay In The Saliva & Sweat?

Our bodies are full of fluids. Therefore, Ice can show up in one’s saliva and sweat. Swab tests can detect the drug for up to 1-2 days (sometimes even four days). Note that the saliva contains more of the drug, not its metabolites.

How Long Does Ice Stay In The Hair?

As our body is one whole system, Ice can be found in the hair as well. No matters how much one washes or cut the hair, tests can detect crystal meth for up to 90 days after the last dose.

Factors That Influence the Period Of Meth Detection

Meth use concept image.
There are some factors that influence the length of time Meth is detectable in the system:

  • One’s frequency of meth use.
  • The amount of one’s last dose.
  • The functionality of one’s kidneys and liver.
  • The type of test (urine, blood, hair, saliva) used to detect the drug.

According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, “the United States government reported in 2008 that approximately 13 million people over the age of 12 had used methamphetamine—and 529,000 of those are regular users.” Meth abuse is an urgent global problem that causes myriads of deaths every day. If someone is dealing with meth addiction, do not hesitate to seek professional help.

Meth and Drug Testing Information

Meth is a potent drug, which stays for long in the System. Various tests can detect Ice:

  • Blood tests are some of the traditional ways of testing that work great in detecting new consumption. They can be effective as soon as 2 hours after use and can identify the drug for up to 1-3 days.
  • Hair tests are something that users fear as they show some details about the history of abuse. In fact, they can detect the drug for up to 90 days after the last dose. Hair tests can be used 7-10 days after the last intake. The cut-off level or when the drug can show positive is 300 ng/ml.
  • Saliva tests are also popular: they are ideal for home use or occasions when the tester shouldn’t invade the personal space of the user too much. Swab tests are perfect for 5-10 minutes after use and can detect Meth for up to 72 hours. The cut-off is 50 ng/ml.
  • Urine tests are one of the most used forms of drug testing. Urinalysis can detect Meth 2-6 hours after use and for up to 3-5 days. The cut-off of the initial urine test is 500 ng/ml

No matter how long Meth stays in the system, the drug is potent and life-threatening. To be on the safe side and pass these tests, stay away from it!

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  1. Chang L, Ernst T, Speck O, Grob CS. Additive effects of HIV and chronic methamphetamine use on brain metabolite abnormalities. Am J Psychiatry. 2005;162(2):361-369.
  2. Farst K, Reading Meyer JA, Mac Bird T, James L, Robbins JM. Hair drug testing of children suspected of exposure to the manufacture of methamphetamine. J Forensic Leg Med. 2011;18(3):110-114.
  3. Jonathan M. Oyler, Edward J. Cone, Robert E. Joseph, Eric T. Moolchan, Marilyn A. Huestis. Duration of Detectable Methamphetamine and Amphetamine Excretion in Urine after Controlled Oral Administration of Methamphetamine to Humans. Clinical Chemistry, 2002.
  4. Caldwell J. The metabolism of amphetamines in mammals. Drug Metabolism Reviews 1976;5:219-280.
Medically Reviewed By Michael Espelin APRN
Isaak Stotts

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.


Leave a comment

  • Slkrthn
    these articles are a big help thank you for making me stop, family, and many acquantances makes it worst, and harder for me to stop I’m glad I try to stay away. I hope they get the help they need also, drugs are bad even if they cure at times, some people don’t know but medications are, “drugs”. Just tossing my cents out there hopefully it makes a dif. I’ve been a user for to long and I hate what outcome it has brought my cognition, and personal relations ect.o and you can’t beat a hair follicle test on point.
    • Ciara
      I love that comment I truly truly did I’m a recovering addict from pills nicely I got on them very very bad I mean clean for nearly six years but years ago I was on meth for a few years but as soon as I realized I was pregnant I stopped. However what people need to know and I know you already know this once you do it and you know it changes from person to person but a lot of people and you sound a lot like me you know once you do it 45 times you might not like it the first one or two times but I want you to do it for fun times man it is so hard to put down I was lucky I was able to put it down but the problem is I still have it in me not always but just every once in awhile you know it’s like putting a lollipop in front of a baby it’s just completely irresistible to me so I will occasionally f**k up scuse my language. But I have finally got to the point in my life that it makes me feel such extreme guilt that oh well I tell myself I would never mess up again and I’m talking in the last 7 years I messed up twice and the last time we were talking the most minimal amount you can probably imagine. But the problem is it didn’t matter how much it was the guild is still there. Anyway did not mean to go on and on I just liked your comment I really did I am there man I understand 100% what you’re talking about. And I like to shout out to anybody else that is never tasted unless you really want to f**k your wife up don’t touch it. Cuz it’s like a monster that grabs ahold of you and will not let go you got to be really really strong to get out of the grips of that damn monster. So if your already content with your life and on the flip side of the coin and if you aren’t Batman thinking to do anything but make it worse I promise you. First hit man 5th or 6th hit which I get into your most of y’all they will come you’re stuck for a while. And in my belief you might can stay away from it or you can stay away from it but the desire for it will always pop up every once in awhile for most people. I guarantee that. meth is the worst d*mn thing you can pick up and try but it’s also actually easy to put down a lot easier than the other *amn drugs I’ve done like pills which I’ve been clean for 5 years and 7 months I may have already said that but still that little devil pops up in my head every once in awhile saying that I want that s**t but anyway I’m done stay the f**k away from that d*mn meth.
    • James Todd
      My friend,how right you are.I worked at Toyota Mtr.Mfg. of Kentucky for 20+ years , and they do all methods of drug testing from urinalysis,swab,& hair testing randomly.You never knew when you were going to get called up for a drug test, and when you did get called up you never knew what type of drug test they were going to do . It just depended on what the computer selected,just in the same way it selected your name,it also selected the type of test they would do on you.The only time you knew in advance they were going to do a drug test on you was on your birthday every year ,it’s guaranteed you’re gonna have. a drug test & physical.If you told the company before hand that you had scheduled illegal drug in your system,they would not terminate you,what they did was set you up with counseling with a drug psychiatrist & in a drug rehabilitation program.They would also give you 2 weeks off to get your ducks in a row which means getting yourself into rehab + the counseling you needed.Those 2 weeks they gave you off to get going in your drug rehab + the first drug psychiatrist appt. counseling done,they paid you the whole time you were off setting those things up & starting them.However they did not let you return to work until your urine came back clean.In a nut shell they tested you every 2 weeks until your drug test came back negative.I’ve seen people not be able to return for a month or so because of the time their drug of choice stayed in their bodies.I think everyone is different in the sense of how one’s Body metabolizes drugs or illegal drugs,such as street drugs & prescription drugs.Perscription drugs were treated by TMMK the same as street drugs unless the team /member or employee had a perscription for the medication.Toyota had 0 tolerance for illegal drugs being used by its team/members or salaried employees,but they had compassion if you had a problem & the fact is they truly care & wanted to help.TMMK(Toyota Mtr.Mfg.Ky. was not just a good company to work for ,they are a great company to work for.One more thing, they(TMMK-personal) would also approve anxiety & stress leave) with pay(65%) of your salary.A lot of team/members from time to time took stress leave because the work is very stressful(can be) which can in turn cause a team member to see his personal Doctor & try to get nerve & anxiety meds to help keep them calm.Those are legal for TMMK employees if they have a perscription. Some team/members were injured outside of work & were given pain meds by their primary care Doctor, & those were legal as long as there was a legitament perscription.You see TMMK was not just fair to their employees, they would go above & beyond to help their team/members whom they had invested in heavely!!!! But the bottom line is “Don’t do illegal drugs while employed by TMMK,you will eventually get caught, or tell them before hand & you will not lose your “High Paying Job” , that’s the best manufacturing job in the state of Kentucky. Sorry about my response to your comments bro , but you are right & I had to get it out there that Toyota Mtr.Mfg.Ky. is not this monster certain employees & ex-employees portray it to be.They are a Great & caring company to work for, I mean they care for each & every team member out there.You are an investment to them(TMMK) & they treat you accordingly.Not many,if any company goes that extra mile to help their team/members who are struggling with an addiction.I say “ KUDOZ” to TMMK in Georgetown,KY.
    • Jim Mahan
      I know that after working at TMMK(Toyota Mtr.Mfg. KY. In Georgetown,KY. that there were & are still a lot of team/members who use methamphitamine . They say it gives them the boost to perform well & keep up with the demands put upon them day in & day out.I understand about the demands that TMMK puts on a team member Dailey,however when they were going through the hiring process & testing for the job at TMMK,they were told of & about the demands this job begs of one.It’s not the same as working at the local “Costco’ or”Meyers” super-market or is it the same as working at the local “Procter & Gamble” Plant making peanut butter,it’s high paced & fast,one has to have his “A-game” on everyday,using all his senses that God gave us.Your eyesight ,your hearing,your smell & your own ability to think & decide(make decisions).There are those that “Think” mind you that they perform better while on “Methamphetamine” & it also improves their speed & alertness,but the fact is it does maybe speed you up,but while I was employed T TMMK my experience was when I witnessed one t/m speeding up ,that was generally when they did make a mistake…..The best practice is to abstain from using “Ice” or methamphetamine while on the clock at any job & for those of you who are reading this & are employed by TMMK.Trust me you are playing,” Russian Rulette” with your job.:and I know what reg. t/m’s make at TMMK, and if you get caught using meth. you my friend are going to go from $85,000.00 to $90,000.00 a year to $0.00 overnight.Think about it,please!! If you want a little spurge or purge(“Get up & Go”) drink yourself a “Red Bull” or a “Noss” Black-cherry drink or one of those (5hr. Energy drinks) in those little bottles by cash register at the Dollar General Store.In closing “ Please for God sakes please stay away from methamphetimine!!! If you do ,then you will finish your employment with TMMK with a good retirement…Ex-TMMK EMPLOYEES SAYING NO to methamphetamine to the newer generation of autu-Plant workers,hoping they will gain a lot of self confidence in there selves that they don’t need meth to acquire & win the JD POWERS AWARD,they can do it like we did by building quality into their process everyday w/o the use of meth,& giving TMMK 110% everyday.If you need. Boost use that 5hour energ drink in the small bottles found at Kroger store ,zeal Mart or Dollar General Store and the other one I can mention is “Red Bull” they help give you the boost one needs to perform & complete day(shift) on a positive note!!! Again from a former TMMK TEAM/MEMBER & TEAM/LEADER – “SAY NO TO METHAMPHETAMINE OR ICE””
  • Terrill Underwood
    I was off Meth for 5 years and then like a dumb I did a relaxed. I’m 67 years old and see and feel the after aftermath n it is not good. I will get on my knees n pray to God for keeling me alive. PLEASE: if ur doing drugs get help now. May GOD b with you
    • Ashley
      Coming off relapse here but my b*tt got a cps case and almost lost my kids but praying they keep me in improvement period… good luck god bless you
    • Cara
      This definitely touched my heart. May god be with you, and you find yourself again.
  • Kyle Barnidge
    i aint done it in 7 years and im sober and i feel good
  • Clearance Pugh
    Meth is one of the hardest drugs to get off. On the streets and even in prison when a person has been clean for any given time then desires to relapse for whatever reason it’s super hard to get back off it. I’ve seen people do crazy things for it outside and even worse things for it in prison. All I can say is please stay strong and if u relapse, dont be to hard on yourself buckle down and have another go at sobriety. God be with you.
  • Linda
    My daughter got in trouble with the law. Then under house arrest. Failed 4 drug test. On icy. She’s now in jail. What does this stuff do to your mind? Your way of thinking? From what ive been told she’s doen this for anout 5 years… She’s not the same daughter anymore. She thinks everyone is out to get her. She’s about to lose her 8 year old daughter to her xhusband that is an alcoholic. She’s denying she has a problem. Wouldn’t she be better off pleading guilty and asking for help? I dont know how to help her.
  • Bumble bee
    I failed a urine drug test for meth and amphetamine how can I talk my way out of it to my dr and say it was wrong that I never used those I looked up Zyrtec and Zantac and both of those said they can give a false positive test result. What is your opinion it’s the first time I ever failed for anything like that in six years of being his patient so I’m gonna try to fight it what’s your thoughts please help
  • Fred flintstone
    Mepps..!! Everyone is different, but for me use is very small, meth is a drug and as such needs to be used responsibley.. Too many people look to pills for a ‘high’.. I use them to keep pain at bay and that’s all.. As a matter of fact the only thing I DONT like about my pain pills are the dizzying effect and the negative moniker that comes along with ’em.. Am a 61 yr old and fairly healthy.. Heart is good, lungs clear, bp 106/78 at last visit.. I feel stable and alert to my surroundings and keep an even weight + or – 3 lbs, so why should I be punished if this was found in my system?? I consider it part of my drug regiment and to try to take it away is just silly.. I have stopped on my own several times without much trouble, but I like the ‘get me up’ in the morning feeling.. That’s my dilemma..