Do Drug Tests Detect Crystal Meth?

A crystal meth drug test does not always give a black-and-white answer. Meth residue remains in your blood and saliva for approximately twelve hours, in your urine for three to five days, and in your hair follicles for up to ninety days. You can have a positive test under one of these methodologies and a negative test under another.

Crystal Meth Drug Test Process

lab tech performs crystal meth drug test

A more critical consideration is the purpose of the test. If, for example, a court order requires you to take a drug test (typically in a criminal parole or probation situation), you will likely need to provide a urine sample as a preliminary screen for meth use. All meth residue might be out of your body within five days of your last use of crystal meth. However, if you’re a heavy meth user or your kidney and urinary excretion metabolic functions are impaired by other medical problems, you might have meth residue in your urine for seven or more days after your last ingestion of crystal meth. Your mode of meth ingestion will affect the meth residue in your urine. If you are ingesting meth orally, your urine will have a roughly two-to-one ratio of methamphetamines to amphetamines. If you are injecting meth. that ratio will be closer to six to one. Drug tests are sophisticated enough to detect these relative ratios. If your ratio is higher, the testing facility might suggest follow-up examinations to look for needle marks and other indications of intravenous meth ingestion.‍

Different Tests for Meth Abuse

Blood tests do not provide evidence of anything other than very recent meth usage. Labs rarely rely upon them for that evidence. Parents who are concerned about the potential use of meth by their children will often purchase inexpensive saliva test kits. These kits are effective to detect meth use within a previous twenty-four hour period, but their reliability drops off after that period. Some employers prefer hair testing for evidence of historical meth usage.

Hair testing requires the collection of a large quantity of hair, generally a one-inch square sample from close to a subject’s skin or scalp. Because hair grows slowly, crystal meth drug tests that rely on an analysis of a person’s hair might not detect meth usage from the immediate seven- to ten-day period before the lab takes a hair sample. Some individuals who have to give a hair sample might try to defeat the test by shaving their heads or bodies. The wisdom of this strategy is highly questionable.

Most drug testing is performed for purposes of employment, for compliance with a court order, or for confirmation that a person who is in a drug rehab facility is staying away from meth usage. An employer does not need absolute verification of meth usage to turn down an applicant’s job application. Suspicions of drug use will be enough to prevent an employer from extending a job offer. Shaving your head will raise suspicion quickly. Similarly, attempts to defeat probation requirements and drug rehab facility obligations rarely work. Your meth usage probably landed you on probation or in drug rehab in the first instance. If you scheme to defeat a crystal meth drug test, you’re cheating yourself and your rehab and recovery attempts.‍

Quitting Crystal Meth

You should understand that if you are using (or abusing) crystal meth, no amount of effort to hide that use will be 100% effective. Your meth usage will show up in some form or methodology of drug testing. A more intelligent approach to drug testing is to stay clean and avoid all use of crystal meth. Your rehab experience can make all the difference.

The counselors and therapists at the Last Resort Recovery Center, a Houston drug rehab can help you with strategies to detox and recover from crystal meth addiction. Please call us for information and consultation on how we can help you give a clean crystal meth drug test every time.