Do Drug Tests Detect Meth Use?


When a drug test is conducted, biological specimens—such as urine, blood, saliva, or hair—are collected for technical analysis to detect the presence of trace minerals and/or chemicals in a person’s system which will reveal if they’ve been using drugs, and what kind.

The Hows and Whys of Testing for Methamphetamine

Meth metabolites will show up in most urine-based test 2-3 days after use. However, there is no guarantee that meth testing WILL detect the metabolites. Usually a positive urine test is only positive because another drug was used too; however, the detection period can vary dependent on the drug class, how much and how often the drug is used, the user’s age and overall health.

Methamphetamine Drug Detection Windows

  • Within 12 hours of use, metabolites can be detected in blood and oral fluid
  • 2 to 5 days after use, urine tests can show positive
  • For up to 3 months (90 days) tests done on hair follicles can detect metabolites

The most common types of drug screens for methamphetamine include:

Blood tests can link drug concentrations to behavioral impairment, but are typically restricted to recent consumption and do not provide an accurate history of drug use. Hair tests can show evidence of previous consumption. However, the detection window is limited to the amount of hair collected; an average specimen can only show 90 days of past meth use since hair grows approximately a half inch per month. Saliva tests are useful for private testing, in particularly if parents suspect their kids have abused meth. Saliva tests are accurate, easy to use, and take about five minutes to detect traces of the actual methamphetamine itself, rather than metabolites. Urine testing is well established as meth and it metabolites are detectable in urine for several days after the drug has been used. Whether you’re going to self-test or have a professional do it, be sure to be thorough. At Banyan Pompano, we can help you arrange testing, or if you’ve already confirmed a meth problem in your home, then we can help you and your family find the way to recovery. Learn more about our meth addiction treatment in Pompano.

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