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Meth Drug Test and Screening

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Meth, also known as methamphetamine, is a highly addictive stimulant substance. Stimulants, like meth, speed up the central nervous system and body. Meth is a Schedule II substance, meaning that it is illegal to use recreationally, but it can be used for medical purposes. (1) Medical meth, or methamphetamine hydrochloride, is a prescription medication used to help treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity. Prescriptions for methamphetamines are rare. Meth is a bitter and odorless powder. Crystal meth is a form of meth that resembles bluish-white rocks.

Individuals of all demographic backgrounds engage in meth use. In 2021, approximately 2.5 million individuals reported engaging in meth use within a 12 month period. (2) Approximately 1.6 million individuals were diagnosed with methamphetamine use disorder the same year. (3) With meth specific detoxification services, Guardian Recovery can help individuals experiencing meth addiction and dependency in beginning a sober lifestyle in a safe environment. Our trained clinicians will help you or a loved one develop life skills techniques and psychoeducation to not only learn adaptive coping strategies but also an understanding of substance use as well. Contact us today to learn more information and to get started on your recovery journey.

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What Is Meth Drug Testing?

Meth use can be detected by a drug test. There are different types of ways to test for meth in an individual’s system. A meth drug test is usually administered by a professional laboratory service that is certified by the federal government, though home test kits can be purchased over the counter.

Who Requires Meth Drug Testing?

There are many reasons why an individual may need to complete a drug test. Most companies require drug testing during their new employment process. Any city, county, state, and government institution will require a drug test during their hiring process. Some students,  athletes, or individuals who have recently been released from prison may need to complete a drug test as well.

What Are the Different Types of Meth Drug Tests?

There are different types of drug tests used to help identify the presence of meth in an individual’s system.

Meth drug tests options include:

  • Hair test
  • Saliva test
  • Blood test
  • Urine test

How Accurate Are Meth Drug Tests?

Meth drug tests are accurate in terms of detecting meth in the body. As long as the test materials are stored correctly, there should be no issues or discrepancies with the results.

What Is the Difference Between a Urine Test & a Saliva Test for Meth?

Urine and saliva meth drug tests differ from one another. For a urine test, an individual must provide a urine sample, while a swab of the mouth is taken for a saliva test. Urine tests detect the meth metabolites that are in the body. Meth is able to be detected in the urine within 6 to 12 hours following last use and for a maximum of 2 to 4 days. (4) Meth can be detected in the saliva for 1 to 2 days.

What Is the Difference Between a Hair Test and a Blood Test for Meth?

For a hair test, the hair follicle is removed and tested. In some instances, meth can be detected in the hair for over 90 days. Though approximately 16 percent of those who engage in regular meth use can have meth be detected in their hair for about 120 days. (5) For a blood test, the blood is drawn in order to determine if meth can be detected in the body. Meth can be detected in the bloodstream for up to 72 hours.

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What Factors Can Affect the Accuracy of a Meth Drug Test?

There are various factors that can affect and impact the accuracy of a meth drug test. Additionally, the exact time that meth stays in an individual’s system may also vary depending on different factors.

Factors that can impact the accuracy of a meth drug test include: (6)

  • The frequency that the individual engaged in meth use
  • The amount of meth that the individual ingested
  • The purity of the meth that was ingested
  • The individual’s body weight
  • The individual’s metabolism
  • The individual’s overall health
  • The specific type of methamphetamine drug test that is being administered

How Can People Prepare for a Meth Drug Test?

The best way to prepare for a drug test for meth is to stop all meth use. This can be difficult if an individual engages in meth use chronically or daily. Techniques such as drinking a lot of water to help get meth out of one’s system have not been found to be effective if meth use has been engaged in recently.

What Is the Effectiveness of Home Drug Test Kits for Meth?

Drug tests for meth can be purchased over the counter. Home drug test kits may not be as reliable as one completed by a laboratory company, however, as long as the instructions are followed, there should be no problems with the results. Home drug tests kits for meth are convenient if an individual needs to receive rapid results

What are the Possible Results of a Meth Drug Test?

The results of a meth drug test are either positive, negative, or inconclusive.

If an individual only uses meth once, it may be detected in their urine for 2 to 3 days. (7)  While a single use of meth may not be detected in drug tests using the hair. With varying detection times, it is understandable why results of a meth drug test may vary.

What Should You Do if the Results of a Meth Drug Test are Positive?

If the results of a meth drug test are positive, treatment may be beneficial. If the results of a meth drug test are positive despite an individual not engaging in any meth use, the test may need to be readministered.

What Are the Legal Implications of Failing a Meth Drug Screening?

Depending on the reasoning for the drug test, a failed drug test may have negative repercussions. Depending on the contract or agreement terms between the individual completing the drug test and the entity requesting it, an individual could lose their job, violate their probation, or violate their contract terms.

Are There Any Alternative Tests to Detect Meth?

Urine, hair, blood, and saliva tests are the best way to identify if an individual has engaged in meth use or if meth is present  in their body.

Resources Available to Those Who Have Failed a Drug Screen for Methamphetamines

Those who fail a drug screen for methamphetamines may be experiencing a methamphetamine use disorder.

Resources available for those who have failed a drug screen for methamphetamines include:

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Here at Guardian Recovery, we can offer you or a loved one evidence-based and comprehensive treatment to help with the treatment of meth use and dependency. Contact us today in order to speak with one of Treatment Advisors who will help guide you through our simple admissions process. A free, no obligation insurance benefits check can be provided upon your request. Recovery and sobriety are possible with the right tools. Begin your wellness  journey today with Guardian recovery Network.


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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.


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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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