How Long do The Effects of Meth Last?

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Meth (methamphetamine) is a potent stimulant known for its highly addictive properties. Effects of methamphetamine last for 6 to 16 hours, with the meth high progressing through several stages. The most intense and rapid effects of meth are felt by those who inject or smoke the drug. Read on to discover:

  • How long does a meth high last?
  • How long do meth effects last?
  • How long does it take for meth to wear off?

How Long Does Meth Affect You?

Methamphetamine, also known as meth or crystal meth, induces a state of intense euphoria and heightened energy that parallels the immediate effects experienced from cocaine use. The effects of meth last for longer, though.

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The euphoric sensation from inhaling cocaine is fleeting, typically dissipating within 15 to 30 minutes, while the effects of smoking crack are even more transient, lasting for less than 10 minutes. The euphoric and stimulating effects of meth, by contrast, can last from 6 to 16 hours.

The route of administration impacts the onset and duration of meth’s effects. Smoking or injecting meth delivers an almost instantaneous high due to the rapid absorption of the drug into the brain. Snorting meth or ingesting it orally, on the other hand, results in a delayed onset of effects. This delay is especially pronounced with oral consumption, as the drug must first travel through the digestive system before it begins to take effect.

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

Methamphetamine has an average elimination half-life of 10 hours, meaning that the concentration of meth in a person’s bloodstream decreases by half within this timeframe. It takes roughly five half-lives for a drug like meth to be eliminated from the system completely, meaning that the substance may be detectable in the body for two days or more.

The presence of meth can be detected in the body for varying lengths of time after its last use, influenced by the testing method employed.

  • Duration meth remains in urine: Meth can be identified in urine tests for up to 72 hours following the last use. Since methamphetamine breaks down into amphetamine, tests often show positive results for both substances. Generally, amphetamine-type stimulants can be detected in urine for 3 to 5 days after the last use. For those who use meth heavily or long-term, meth may be identifiable in urine for up to a week.
  • Duration meth remains in blood or saliva: Testing via blood or oral fluids can offer more precise detection of recent meth use, although these methods have shorter detection windows than urine tests.
  • Duration meth remains in hair: A hair test can detect traces of meth for up to 90 days after the last use, depending on the specific hair test employed. Hair testing is more commonly used in forensic or research contexts rather than for clinical or workplace purposes.
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How Long Does It Take to Come Down from Meth?

Coming down from methamphetamine ­involves a period of withdrawal that can vary significantly in duration and presentation, depending on the person’s usage pattern, metabolism, and overall health. After the effects of meth wear off, the person may experience an intense and unpleasant crash or comedown, characterized by extreme fatigue, depression, and increased appetite.

The initial comedown phase, where the euphoric effects rapidly diminish, can start within hours after the last dose. This phase can last anywhere from several hours to a few days. During this time, the person may feel lethargic, as well as mentally and emotionally drained due to the depletion of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain.

For those who use meth occasionally, the acute withdrawal symptoms, including the comedown and more intense cravings, usually resolve within a few days. For those who have been using the drug heavily or long-term, withdrawal symptoms can be more severe and protracted, lasting for up to 2 weeks, with some symptoms like depression and cravings potentially lingering for months.

Recovery times can vary widely, and some people may experience PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome) that extends for weeks or months after cessation. Symptoms of PAWS can include mood swings, anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure), and ongoing cravings.

How to Get Clean from Meth

Overcoming meth addiction requires commitment, support, and a comprehensive treatment plan. Here are some steps to streamline that process:

  • Seek professional help: The first step in getting clean from meth is to reach out for professional assistance. Addiction specialists can provide a tailored treatment plan that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of meth dependence.
  • Medical detoxification: Detox is often the initial phase of treatment, helping people safely withdraw from meth under medical supervision. Medical detox helps manage withdrawal symptoms, which can be intense and uncomfortable, and minimizes the risk of complications during early recovery.
  • Therapeutic support: Therapy plays a central role in the recovery process, offering people a space in which to work through issues that may have contributed to the addiction. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), motivational therapy, and group therapy are common approaches that help people develop healthy coping strategies and improve emotional resilience.
  • Peer support groups: Joining support groups like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) can provide a network of individuals with lived experience of substance abuse and recovery. Peer support is invaluable for maintaining sobriety and finding encouragement through shared experiences.
  • Lifestyle changes: Sustained recovery involves making significant lifestyle adjustments. This includes adopting a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, getting enough sleep, and finding new hobbies or interests that do not involve substance use.
  • Long-term rehabilitation programs: For some, long-term rehab programs offer the structure required to initiate sustained recovery. These programs provide an immersive environment focused on healing and often include individual and group therapy, skills training, psychotherapy, holistic treatments, and relapse prevention education.
  • Aftercare planning: Transitioning back into everyday life after treatment can be challenging. An aftercare plan, developed with addiction professionals, can outline strategies for coping with triggers, continuing therapy, and engaging with ongoing support groups.
  • Build a supportive network: Surrounding yourself with supportive family members, friends, and mentors who encourage your recovery can make a significant difference. A positive support network can offer both emotional support and accountability.

Recovery from meth addiction is a deeply personal experience that varies from one person to another. It requires patience, perseverance, and a willingness to embrace change. Remember, it’s not just about getting clean – it’s about building a healthier, fulfilling life free from addiction, thriving rather than just surviving in sobriety. Read on to learn more about treatment for meth abuse.

luxury bedroom at california detox representing effects of meth

Get Treatment for Meth Addiction at California Detox

If you or a loved one needs treatment for meth addiction, we can help you with this at California Detox in Laguna Beach, CA.

You can begin your recovery with supervised detoxification at our beachside facility in Southern California. With access to medications and continuous clinical care, you will withdraw from meth and address the issue of physical dependence before transitioning to ongoing inpatient treatment.

By choosing inpatient meth addiction treatment, you can tackle the psychological aspect of stimulant use disorder without distractions or triggers from everyday life disrupting your recovery. Due to the unique nature of all meth addictions, all California Detox treatment plans are personalized. You will engage with therapies, such as:

Call 949.694.8305 today and start living unconstrained by methamphetamine.


The effects of meth can last anywhere from 8 to 16 hours, but the duration can vary based on the amount used, the person’s metabolism, and other variables.
For those wondering how long is a meth high, the intense euphoria triggered by meth usually lasts from 4 to 16 hours. The exact duration can depend on the method of administration and the dose taken.


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