Cornerstone of Southern California Drug and Alcohol Rehab
How Long Do Amphetamines Stay in Your System?
Author: Cornerstone of Southern California
Published: December 21, 2023
How Long Do Amphetamines Stay in Your System?

Amphetamines can be detected in urine for up to four days, in blood up to 48 hours, in saliva for around 60 hours, and in hair follicles for up to 90 days after use.

Amphetamine detectability depends on many factors, including the type of drug test, frequency of drug use, amount of drug use, types of amphetamines used, metabolic rate, and the individual’s overall health.

Learn more about the types of drug tests and how long amphetamines stay in your body below.

Getting Treatment for Amphetamine Abuse

If you have tests coming up and are wondering how long do amphetamines stay in your system, it might be time to make a change. With the help of an addiction treatment center offering you support, medication, and mental health therapy, you can began a better life in long-term recovery with support from our addiction counselors, alumni, and peers going through recovery too.

At Cornerstone of Southern California, we measure our success by the quality of care and support we provide to you, our most important person. We specialize in stimulant addiction treatment, including amphetamines and meth detox programs.

At our community-focused addiction and mental health treatment center, we’ve built an environment where long-term recovery is the goal of our team. To get back to your best self, talk with a addiction counselor today. Your new, amphetamine-free life begins at Cornerstone.

See the Steps to Amphetamine Addiction Treatment at Cornerstone of Southern California for additional information on our addiction treatment process.

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What Are Amphetamines?

Amphetamines are central nervous system stimulants that speed up your body’s system. The government lists them as Schedule II substances because they have medical uses but also a high potential for addiction.

Risks of Amphetamine or Speed Addiction

Misusing amphetamines puts you at risk of developing dependency and addiction, creating a negative cycle of addiction, drug abuse, and withdrawals. This exposes you to significant health risks, the risk of overdose, and the risk of overdose. In addition to these dangers, amphetamine abuse can cause severe mental and physical health problems such as panic attacks, poor cardiovascular health, and lowered immunity.

It is against professional medical advice to take amphetamines when you don’t have a prescription. They not only pose a danger to your health but can also prevent you from carrying out your job or fulfilling other responsibilities. For this reason, many employers carry out routine drug testing.

Illicit Forms of Amphetamines & Street Names

Illicit amphetamines, found in various forms and known by numerous street names, pose significant risks due to their unregulated and often adulterated nature. You may come across illegal amphetamines in pill, powder, or crystal-rock form. You may also encounter prescription medication amphetamines being sold illicitly.

Below is a list of these illicit amphetamine drugs and their common street names:

  1. Speed: Often found as a white or pink powder, speed is one of the most common street forms of amphetamines. It’s frequently mixed with substances like paracetamol, sugar, or laxatives, increasing its potential for harm.
  2. Methamphetamine (Meth): A potent form of amphetamine, meth is usually sold as crystals (commonly known as crystal meth) or in a powdered form. It’s known for its high addiction potential and severe negative impact on health.
  3. Base Amphetamine (Paste): This sticky, paste-like substance is less common but can be more potent. It’s sometimes referred to as ‘base’ on the streets.
  4. Tablet Form (Bennies, Black Beauties): Illicit amphetamines in pill form, often resembling prescription medication but sold illegally. These can be referred to as ‘bennies’ or ‘black beauties’ among users.
  5. MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly): Although structurally different, MDMA is often categorized with amphetamines. It’s commonly found in pill form (ecstasy) or as a powder (molly).
  6. Adderall (Study Drugs): When sold illicitly, prescription Adderall is often termed ‘study drugs’ due to its use among students.
  7. Dextroamphetamine (Dexies): Another prescription medication, when sold on the streets, is known as ‘dexies.’
  8. 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, Molly): Commonly used in the party scene, these are often in pill or powder form.
  9. 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA): Similar to MDMA, MDA is another derivative with similar effects and risks.

Licensed medical professionals can prescribe drugs containing amphetamine to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is a major ingredient in ADHD medications such as Adderall XR, Adderall RX, and Dexedrine. For narcolepsy, medications like Adderall and Dexedrine help in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, thereby improving wakefulness and reducing sudden sleep attacks.

It’s important to note that these medications should only be used under the guidance and prescription of a healthcare professional, as they can be habit-forming and are strictly regulated due to their potential for abuse and dependence.

Why Are Amphetamines Addictive?

Types of Drug Tests for Amphetamines

There are various methods to test for amphetamines, each with different detection windows. The test type, frequency of usage, dosage, individual metabolism, and overall health can all influence how long amphetamines stay detectable in the system.

Types of Amphetamines Drug Tests Include:

  • Urine Drug Tests for Amphetamines
  • Saliva Drug Tests for Amphetamines
  • Blood Drug Tests for Amphetamines
  • Hair Follicle Drug Tests for Amphetamines

Urine Drug Test for Amphetamines

Urine testing is a common method for detecting amphetamines. This test can identify amphetamines in the system from four to six hours after use and typically for up to four days. For heavy users, the detection window may extend to a week.

How Long Do Amphetamines, Speed, or other Stimulants Stay In Your Urine?

Amphetamines generally remain detectable in urine for one to seven days, depending on usage frequency and individual factors.

Typically, the detection time for the following amphetamine-type stimulants in urine is:

  • Amphetamine—three days
  • Ephedrine/pseudoephedrine—five days
  • Methamphetamine—three to seven days
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)—two days
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)—two days

If you are taking other over-the-counter or prescription medications, it’s possible that a false positive result will be indicated by an amphetamine urine test. The following forms of medication can lead to false positive results:

  • Antihistamines
  • Cold remedies
  • Nasal inhalers
  • Some forms of anti-depressant medication

Blood Drug Test for Stimulants and Amphetamine

Blood tests for amphetamines can detect the substance for up to 48 hours, influenced by the dosage and individual metabolism rates. Methamphetamine usually stays in plasma for up to six hours, while amphetamine salts and dextroamphetamine can be detected for about 60 hours

How Long Does Amphetamine or Speed Stay in My Blood?

Typically, amphetamines are detectable in blood for up to two days. Slow metabolizers may have a longer detection window. Blood tests can distinguish between prescription amphetamines and illicit stimulant drug use.

Hair Drug Test for Amphetamines or Stimulants

Hair follicle testing involves testing a hair sample and is often the go-to for testing for stimulant drug beyond a few days after use. It is used to detect amphetamines or other stimulant drugs from seven days after use to 90 days after your last dose.

How Long Do Amphetamines Stay in My Hair?

Hair drug tests for stimulants can reveal the presence of amphetamines for up to three months after your last dose.

While considered the most reliable form of amphetamine detection, a hair test is unlikely to reveal very recent or occasional use of the drug. In addition to length and color, your hair structure, rate of growth, cleanliness, and any hair cosmetics used can influence the detectable concentration of amphetamine.

How Long Does Amphetamine Stay in My Saliva?

Saliva Drug Test for Amphetamines

Saliva testing involves collecting and analyzing a saliva sample. This method is less invasive and can be performed quickly and easily. It’s particularly useful for detecting recent amphetamine use and is commonly used in both clinical and workplace settings for its convenience and rapid results.

Some organizations favor saliva tests for amphetamines because:

  • Saliva tests are easy to collect
  • Saliva tests are noninvasive
  • A saliva test can detect the parent drug’s presence rather than the metabolites it creates
  • In some cases, a saliva test will reveal same-day use

How Long Does Amphetamine Stay in My Saliva?

An oral saliva drug test for amphetamines is typically performed with a swab or pad. Usually, this form of testing will detect amphetamines in your saliva from 24 to 48 hours after you take the substance, and it remains detectable for approximately 60 hours. Methamphetamine is, on average, measurable for 55 hours in saliva.

Factors For How Long Speed Stays In Your Body

There are several factors that contribute to the length of time that amphetamines, or speed, remains in the system:

  • Type of Drug Test – The method of testing will determine how long detectable levels of speed stay in your system
  • Frequency and Amount of of Amphetamines Used – The longer and more Amphetamines that is smoked is determinant of how long it will take to metabolize.
  • Metabolism of Your Body – People with higher metabolisms will more quickly metabolize amphetamines.
  • Hydration, Diet, and Exercise – Amphetamines may be cleared from the system quicker if the user has a healthy diet, regular water intake, and routinely exercises.
  • Overall Health and Organ Function – Due to variations is overall health and how quickly the body metabolizing amphetamines, if the overall health and organ function is good, then the body often filters out amphetamines or byproducts more quickly.

Why Are Amphetamines Addictive?

If you use amphetamines recreationally, you run significant risk of addiction. This type of drug abuse can cause changes in your brain chemistry. Amphetamine abuse creates artificial feelings of reward and pleasure by increasing your levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

While this may enhance your mood and make you feel confident and energized, it can derail your brain’s natural reward system. Humans evolved this reward system as an evolutionary way to encourage behaviors beneficial for survival. The reasons we find eating, socializing, positive physical activity, and sex pleasurable are because of this well-balanced system.

Nature equipped our brains to release feel-good chemicals to motivate us to repeat beneficial behaviors. However, amphetamines will trigger your brain’s reward system in a far more potent way than occurs with healthy behaviors.  

As amphetamines enter your system, the flood of dopamine and other neurotransmitters gets you high and gives you pleasurable feelings. But each time you experience this, your brain becomes more accustomed to it and begins to take the increased levels of feel-good reward chemicals caused by amphetamine use for granted.

Over time, your brain begins to rely on the drug just to feel normal. Physical and psychological dependence on the amphetamines results and makes it hard for you to stop without suffering withdrawal symptoms.

Amphetamine withdrawal is an unpleasant and uncomfortable experience, making it difficult to free yourself from the substance. If you develop an amphetamine dependency in this way and then attempt to stop using the drug, withdrawal symptoms such as depression, fatigue, and irritability can occur. This is the path that leads to amphetamine addiction.

How Do Amphetamines Affect Physical Health?

When you take amphetamines illegally, you run substantial health risks. Your pulse rate and blood pressure increase, sleeping patterns are disrupted, your appetite is suppressed, and the drug’s effects can lead to a state of exhaustion with poor cardiovascular health.

An amphetamine overdose is a potentially life-threatening event and requires immediate medical attention. If you overdose on amphetamines, you can experience intense agitation, a dangerous increase in your body temperature, hallucinations, and convulsions. If you suspect an overdose has occurred, contact emergency services immediately.

How Do Amphetamines Affect My Mind?

The mental impact of amphetamines is similar to that of cocaine. However, the onset time is slower than cocaine, and the effects have a longer duration. For example, methamphetamine will stay in your central nervous system for a prolonged period. A high percentage of the drug remains unchanged in your body, producing its stimulant effect for four to 12 hours.

Long-term amphetamine abuse can cause schizophrenia-like psychosis. The drug may cause you to behave in an uncharacteristically erratic or even violent way. With this mental health disorder, you might experience intense paranoia, a preoccupation with your thoughts, visual or auditory hallucinations, and begin picking at your skin.

Testing for Amphetamine Substance Abuse

Steps to Amphetamine Treatment

The journey to recovery from a amphetamine addiction disorder begins with an initial assessment, laying the foundation for a personalized rehabilitation plan.

Initial Assessment: Understanding Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

A comprehensive initial assessment serves as the foundation for creating a personalized rehab plan for speed, meth, or other amphetamines. During this crucial phase, our dedicated rehabilitation specialists provide a safe and non-judgmental space for clients to openly discuss their concerns and establish the groundwork for their path to recovery. This involves establishing the treatment setting and planning the steps for a personalized addiction treatment.

Personalized Amphetamine Treatment Plans

At Cornerstone, we recognize that each individual’s journey to recovery is unique. Therefore, we develop holistic treatment plans that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. This approach ensures that both amphetamine addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders are addressed simultaneously, increasing the likelihood of achieving lasting recovery.

Determining the Right Amphetamine Treatment Setting

Based on the results of the addiction and mental health treatment assessment, the most suitable treatment setting is determined:

  • Medical Assisted Stimulant Detox Treatment: If a client requires substantial assistance in managing amphetamine withdrawal symptoms, our experienced professionals guide them through a medically-supervised stimulant detox program, which may include the use of anti-craving medications.
  • Inpatient Amphetamine Rehab Program: For those in need of more intensive addiction support, our inpatient drug rehab program offers a comprehensive stimulant treatment program tailored to their needs, including mental health counseling.
  • Intensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Program (IOP): Clients who are already in recovery from an amphetamine addiction, but still need more substantial addiction support can benefit from our Intensive Outpatient Program, which provides a more flexible recovery support and therapy.

Post-Treatment and Ongoing Care for Amphetamine Addiction

Post-Treatment Ongoing Care at Cornerstone of Southern California is designed to provide continuous support and resources to ensure lasting recovery and help individuals manage the challenges of everyday life after completing an amphetamine addiction treatment program. This phase includes:

  • Sober Living Homes: Access to licensed sober living homes across Orange County, CA to facilitate a smooth transition post-treatment.
  • Extended Care Program (ECP): Additional support and guidance through our Extended Care Program (ECP) for amphetamine addiction, aimed at preventing relapse after the initial treatment phase.
  • Recovery Support Groups: Guided by peers who are on their own recovery journeys, these stimulant addiction support groups offer ongoing support, inspiration, understanding, and camaraderie in a compassionate community environment.
  • Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT): Utilizing cognitive-behavioral techniques, Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT) helps individuals identify potential triggers and equips them with effective coping mechanisms to navigate high-risk situations.
  • Alumni Program: Our alumni program connects former clients with a supportive network of like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of community and ongoing encouragement for continued recovery.

Free Yourself From Amphetamine Use at Cornerstone

At Cornerstone in Southern California, we offer detoxification, primary residential care, extended care, day treatment, day or evening outpatient programs, and licensed recovery homes.

Our professional team understands addiction’s complex nature and the inherent challenges in building a life free from amphetamine abuse. We know that, just as you are a unique individual, so too is your addiction. So we tailor our treatment to match your specific needs.

Your first step in overcoming amphetamine addiction is a detox program to flush amphetamines out of your system. By making your detox process as comfortable as possible, we put you on the best path to sustainable recovery. This will be followed by therapy to help you understand why you developed a drug problem and how you can stay sober in the future.

Get help today at our Mental health and addiction treatment center in Orange County Southern California.