How Long Does a Meth High Last? What You May Not Know

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How long does a meth high last? And what does it feel like? A meth high is a result of dopamine being elevated in the brain. Dopamine plays a role in movement, motivation, and reward or reinforcement of behavior. When someone smokes, snorts, or injects meth, they experience an increase in dopamine, which leads to euphoria and confidence. However, meth users often experience a crash after consuming the drug.

Meth’s effects can last up to 24 hours after taken. People take meth because of the intense “rush” they get. This rush only lasts for about 30 minutes.

What Does a Meth High Feel Like?

During a meth high, the user may feel very inspired, elated, and exceptionally confident because of the drug’s impact on a person’s senses and thought interpretation, memory, and focus. Physical aspects like breathing, body temperature, activity, and balance are also altered by meth. Typical effects of meth include:

  • Alertness
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased appetite
  • Rapid breathing
  • Grandiose sense of self
  • Feelings of invincibility
  • Paranoia
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Delusions
  • Increased blood pressure
how long does a meth high last

A meth user typically experiences several distinct phases of intoxication after taking the drug. The phases may vary depending on the method of ingestion, the dose taken, and whether or not the individual has an addiction to meth. The stages are outlined below:

Stage 1 – The Rush

A rush, or “flash” as it is sometimes referred to, is the intense euphoria experienced by meth users within seconds of injecting or smoking the drug. Upon taking meth, the pleasure chemical dopamine floods the brain, causing a rush. During a meth rush, a person’s heart rate speeds up, pupils dilate, blood pressure rises, and metabolism increases several notches. The intense phase lasts up to half an hour, but it usually lasts five minutes. Snorting or swallowing meth does not result in a flash.

Stage 2 – The High

The period of euphoria that follows the rush is usually short-lived and occurs as a result of a reduction in intensity. This phase, known as the “shoulder,” is characterized by hyperactivity and rapid thinking. People may exhibit argumentative, aggressive, or obsessive-compulsive behavior while high. They may seem confused and speak incoherently.

Stage 3 – The Binge

A meth binge lasts between three and fifteen days and makes an individual hyperactive as they work to maintain their high. Users may inject, snort, or smoke more meth during a binge phase and will experience a similar but briefer high until there is no high or rush. It is more difficult for users to experience the rush of crystal meth as a result of an increased physical tolerance, which leads to the use of higher doses and a greater danger of overdose.

Stage 4 – Tweaking

When a methamphetamine user is tweaking, they are at their most dangerous. After a drug binge ends, meth’s psychological effects take over due to exhaustion, starvation, and the inability to experience another high. When the bingeing phase has ended, users describe meth highs as being empty, lonely, and depressing. While tweaking, people may have cravings for meth and suffer from sensory overload.

During this phase, an individual and others around them are at increased risk of harm due to their increased hostility and irritability. Users may also believe that bugs are crawling in their skin, a condition also known as meth mites, and experience intense itching. Furthermore, because crystal meth addicts cannot sleep for days at a time, they may enter a psychotic state, in which they see and hear things that aren’t there.

Stage 5 – The Crash

A crystal meth user may crash or sleep for as long as three days after bingeing and tweaking. As a result of the intense negative side effects methamphetamine has on the brain and the large quantities they consume, the person becomes nearly lifeless. Even the most severe, long-term addicts become nearly lifeless as a result of the meth crash phase.

How Long Does a Meth High Last?

Crystal meth highs are said to last anywhere from six to eight hours, according to some researchers. A National Institute of Justice study suggests that the drug’s stimulant effects may last from 12 to 14 hours or longer. Other sources maintain that the high can last for up to 24 hours. The amount of time that one experiences the effects of meth after use varies, and is determined by a range of factors.

Factors that Influence How Long a Meth High Lasts

The following factors have a significant impact on how long the effects of meth will last.

Method of Use

Meth is typically injected or smoked and enters the bloodstream more quickly these ways resulting in an intense, euphoric rush. If swallowed or snorted, It may take longer for the effects to begin and the high might not be as intense.

how long does a meth high last


Meth made in clandestine laboratories is usually of poor quality and may vary greatly in potency. Because of this, the effects also vary in intensity.

Frequency of Use

Those who use methamphetamine heavily can become hooked on the drug. Within hours after their last dose, those who use meth frequently may develop strong cravings for more of the substance. When someone has a meth drug addiction, the substance can accumulate in their body, resulting in longer-lasting effects. However, because of this, the amount of methamphetamine required to experience the same effects will likewise increase.

How Is Meth Used?

The different methods of using meth include intranasal administration, which involves:

  • Snorting the powder form
  • Smoking and burning the crystallized/rock form
  • Injecting a liquid solution of meth into the veins
  • Swallowing a tablet containing meth or mixing the powder into a drink 
  • Rectal administration involves putting meth into the rectum (also known as “booty-bumping,” although this method is less common than others).

How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System?

Methamphetamine (meth) can stay in your system for varying lengths of time, based on several factors, such as the frequency and amount of use, the individual’s metabolism, and the type of drug test used. Here is a breakdown of how long meth can be detected in different types of drug tests:

  1. Urine Test: Meth can be detected in a urine test up to 1-4 days after the last use. Chronic users can test positive for up to a week.
  2. Blood Test: Meth can be detected in a blood test up to 1-3 days after the last use.
  3. Saliva Test: Meth can be detected in a saliva test up to 1-4 days after the last use.
  4. Hair Test: Meth can be detected in a hair test up to 90 days after the last use. Hair tests can detect patterns of use over a longer period of time.

Short-Term Side Effects of Meth Use

Meth has a number of immediate consequences. It may alter a person’s character or attitude, cause weight loss, increase the risk of dying from heart attacks, and lead to other dangerous issues. Side effects from short-term meth use include:




Heartbeat abnormalities

Increased stamina

While short-term side effects are usually temporary, long-term effects can seriously impair your health. Because it is addictive, those who use it are likely to crave more of it and increase their doses over time. This may lead to more severe problems and a higher mortality rate.

Long-Term Side Effects of Meth Abuse

Chronic use of meth causes physical and mental harm, frequently resulting in an addiction that is exceedingly difficult to recover from without the assistance of a methamphetamine detoxification or treatment program.

Long-term crystal meth use can have serious mental health consequences and may cause some to develop symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions—which can persist for months or years after an individual quits taking the drug. In addition, methamphetamine misuse has been shown to increase the risk of contracting or transmitting HIV and hepatitis B and C. Individuals who inject the drug risk spreading it by sharing contaminated needles. Even those who consume it in other ways may be more likely to participate in unsafe sexual behavior and other risky activities while intoxicated.

how long does a meth high last

Other side effects of meth abuse include:

  • Memory loss
  • Tooth loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Changes in brain structure
  • Facial scars
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Mood disturbances
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations

It is reassuring to learn that some of the brain modifications triggered by methamphetamine may be reversed with abstinence. After a year or more of abstinence, one study found that some of the methamphetamine-related neurobiological effects returned to normal. Another study revealed that motor and verbal memory neurons recovered after 14 months of abstinence

Meth Overdose

An individual who uses meth can open themselves up to the risk of overdose at any time. Since meth is an illicit substance that must be purchased illegally, an individual can never be sure of its strength or purity, much less its safety.

A meth overdose may result in liver failure or lead poisoning from contaminants in the illicit drug, as well as hemorrhage or (in very rare cases) liver failure due to a sharp rise in blood pressure. Most meth-related deaths are caused by heatstroke, which leads to multiple organ failure.

If you know someone who is addicted to meth, recognizing overdose indicators may one day save a life. The following are some common indications of a meth overdose:

  • Hypertension
  • Chest pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Psychosis
  • heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Hyperthermia

The amount of meth an individual takes and the speed with which they receive medical attention determines their chances of recovering from an overdose. Coming back from an overdose is possible, but it is imperative that the person who overdosed receives medical attention right away. Addiction treatment should be provided once the individual is stable, since a meth overdose is a clear indication of an addiction problem.

how long does a meth high last

Meth Addiction Treatment in Asheville, NC

Are you or a loved one currently struggling with meth abuse or addiction? If so, Oasis Recovery Center in Asheville, NC is ready to help!

Oasis Recovery Center specializes in providing drug and alcohol addiction treatment and we can assist you or a loved one with overcoming this deadly addiction. Meth addiction can be treated through a variety of therapies and holistic modalities at our facility. Our specialists tailor a treatment plan to address your or your loved one’s unique treatment wants and needs. You no longer have to struggle with meth addiction alone. Contact Oasis Recovery today and let us assist you.


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