Methamphetamine is an addictive drug that is used by millions of people in the United States each year. It can come in the form of a pill, powder, or rock-like crystal (crystal meth).
Drug testing may be ordered by a doctor, employer, legal entity, or athletic organization to screen for illicit or prescription drug use. One of the ways methamphetamine use can be detected is by analyzing a sample of hair.
Meth can be detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days after your last use.
If you or a loved one tests positive for meth, a doctor may recommend inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment.
What Factors Can Affect How Long Meth Remains In Your Hair?
Drug detection times for meth, or the amount of time meth is detectable in hair, can vary based on multiple factors.
Factors that may affect the detection window for meth:
- drug dependence
- amount of meth used
- frequency of use
- polydrug abuse
Dying, washing, or styling your hair won’t affect whether meth will be detected in your hair.
How Long Does It Take To Get Hair Test Results?
Negative test results may be available within 24 hours of getting tested, depending on the laboratory that is analyzing the hair sample.
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Positive test results may be confirmed within 72 hours of providing a hair sample, if performed in-person in a clinical setting.
Why Do Doctors Order Hair Tests For Meth?
Healthcare providers may order a drug test if someone is showing side effects of meth use or has a history of abusing addictive substances.
Common signs of meth use include:
- unexplained weight loss
- psychosis (e.g. hallucinations, delusions)
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- poor mental health
- violent or aggressive behavior
People who test positive for methamphetamine may be recommended drug abuse treatment.
Finding Treatment For Meth Addiction
Addiction to meth can make you do all sorts of things you wouldn’t normally do. Imagining a life without it may seem impossible.
Getting treatment for meth through an inpatient or outpatient program can help you reclaim your life.
Treatment programs for meth can offer detox assistance, behavioral therapy, and group counseling among other medical and behavioral health services.
If you or someone you know is using meth, one of our addiction specialists can explain your treatment options.
Call our helpline today to learn more about meth addiction and how to find addiction treatment near you.
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- Quest Diagnostics—Hair Testing FAQ
- Redwood Toxicology Laboratory—Laboratory Testing Reference Guide
- U.S. National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA)—Methamphetamine DrugFacts