Methamphetamine or popularly known as meth is a powerful synthetic central nervous system stimulant. It can generate short but rapid euphoric high, causing the user to seek more because of the sudden crash.
The drug contains extreme addictive properties and deadly effects on the body. For this reason, the Food and Drug Administration classified meth as Schedule II substance under the US regulations for drugs. Possessing and selling of the drug makes it highly illegal in the country.
Users usually smoke meth in a small glass pipe or prepare it for intravenous injection. Even though the two methods are different from each other, it can both reach the brain very quickly. Compare to smoking meth, injecting it directly into the bloodstream is the fastest way to get high, as it reaches the brain more rapidly.
When the drug rushes to the brain quickly it immediately causes euphoria. Along with this intense ecstasy sensation, users will often show signs of active energy. Some of the health effects of Meth abuse are as follows:
However, when long time users suddenly stopped or decreased their meth intake, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms. This can lead to intense cravings, where users need to take more of the drug, suffer ‘crash’ and do the cycle again. Sign and symptoms of withdrawal include:
There are several factors that play a vital role in detecting meth in the system. Usually, it takes about 2-10 days for the body to excrete all traces of the drug. However, these several factors can determine how fast the body can flushed meth or how long the meth stays in the system.
One of the most important factors for detecting meth is how the body metabolizes the drug. When users take meth, the body immediately starts to metabolize the drug. Here are the stages on how the body metabolizes meth:
Meth, a fast-acting stimulant does not linger in the system for very long. Depending on the dosage of the drug, it can last for about 8-24 hours. The user’s body chemistry can also affect the duration of meth in the system. The drug has a plasma half-life of 12-34 hours. This means that it usually takes 12-34 hours for the body to process meth by half in the user’s blood.
Urine test typically detects meth up to 72 hours from the last drug intake. But for heavy, long-term meth users can still linger in the system and the test can detect the drug up to a week. When users ingest the drug, the liver and kidney can immediately process it. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, up to 54% of the drug passes out of the body unchanged.
A saliva swab can detect meth from 1 to 4 days after the user’s last dose.
Synthetic drugs including meth can stay in the user’s hair for a longer period of time. The test can turn out positive for meth up to 90 days from the last use.
In summary, drug tests can detect meth in different ways which include:
Experts consider methamphetamine as one of the most dangerous recreational drugs. Any suspected addiction of your loved one to this drug should be treated immediately. Recovering from meth addiction is not an easy journey, but still possible.
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Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D, is the CEO of Detox of South Florida, Inc and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.
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