Methamphetamines Drug Test

What are Methamphetamines?

The highly acclaimed Netflix TV series “Breaking Bad” provided quite an education on methamphetamines.  Watch season three and four to see a “Super Lab” in action producing mass amounts of methamphetamines. 

Methamphetamine production uses pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in some over-the-counter cold medicines like Sudafed.  In the television program Breaking Bad, the chemist used methylamine as an alternative. Consequently, it has become harder and harder to purchase Sudafed in any substantial quantity.  

Methamphetamine affects the central nervous system; it is a schedule II stimulant, which makes it legally available only through a non-refillable prescription.  The parent drug is amphetamine.  Medically it can be used as a short-term component of weight-loss treatments and for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Prescriptions for Methamphetamine are rare.

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant as it gets into the brain quickly, this drug is abused widely throughout the United States. The drug is a white, bitter-tasting powder or a pill. A form of the drug that looks like glass fragments or shiny, bluish-white rocks is called Crystal meth.  Street or slang names are chalk, crank, tina, quartz, crystal, ice, meth, and speed.  The drug is taken as a pill, smoked, snorted or injected.  

Use of Meth crosses all demographics.  Meth addiction has no boundaries of age, race, income, gender, and ethnicity.  It has been reported that Lindsay Lohan has smoked meth.  In 2000 Robert Downey, Jr was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and cocaine.  A military report stated Adolf Hitler was regularly prescribed a pill which contained crystal meth. Understanding the details of a methamphetamines drug test is essential for employers and employees alike.

Methamphetamines Powder

What are the Effects of Methamphetamines?

Methamphetamine causes increased activity and talkativeness, decreased appetite, and a pleasurable sense of well-being or euphoria.  It creates a false sense of happiness and well-being—a rush (strong feeling) of confidence, hyper-activeness, and energy.  This causes a strong desire to continue using methamphetamine.    

A highly addictive drug, when people stop taking methamphetamines, withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, fatigue, severe depression, psychosis, and intense drug cravings. Meth burns up the body’s resources, creating a devastating dependence that can only be relieved by taking more of the drug.  Stroke, heart attack, or organ problems—such as kidney failure—caused by overheating are causes of a methamphetamine overdose.  Death can be a result of these severe effects.  Users have reported addition after one use.

Methamphetamines Short-Term Effects

  • increased wakefulness and physical activity 
  • decreased appetite 
  • faster breathing 
  • rapid and/or irregular heartbeat 
  • increased blood pressure and body temperature

Methamphetamines Long-Term Effects

  • increased risk of contracting infectious diseases  
  • use may worsen the progression of HIV/AIDS and its consequences 
  • severe dental problems (“meth mouth”) 
  • anxiety, confusion, paranoia 
  • Hallucinations and addition

Methamphetamines Drug Test Overview

Since the early 1980s, drug testing programs have expanded across the United States.  A methamphetamines drug test was added about five years ago to the standard 5-panel drug test primarily used by employers.    This five-panel drug test includes marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine / methamphetamine, opiates, and PCP and is also used for probation drug testing and court-ordered drug testing.  Typically, every drug test panel includes a test for methamphetamines.  Another common drug test utilized is the ten panel drug test with expanded opiates, which includes:  AMP-Amphetamines (MAMP-Methamphetamine, MDMA-Ecstasy), COC-Cocaine, PCP-Phencyclidine, THC-Marijuana, BZO-Benzodiazepines, BAR-Barbiturates, MTD-Methadone, PPX-Propoxyphene, Meth – Methaqualone, OPI-Opiates (including heroin, codeine and morphine), and expanded Opiates which adds Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone and Oxymorphone.  Of course, when ordering a ten-panel drug test, methamphetamines will also be included. 

Crystal Meth

With urine drug testing, methamphetamines break down to the metabolite, and this is detected in the drug screen.  Methamphetamines are detectable in urine within six to twelve hours and for a period of two to four days.  A drug test for methamphetamines should be performed by a professional service using a laboratory certified by the Federal government.  Initial screening and confirmation testing should be included.  Beware of an instant rapid drug test for methamphetamines that may show a false positive result for methamphetamines. 

As it relates to a meth drug test, how long methamphetamines stays in the system is not the same for each user.  There are determining factors such as frequency of use, the amount ingested, body weight, metabolism, and the type of methamphetamines drug test.  A single use can be detected with urine for 2 – 3 days with a urine drug test for methamphetamines whereas this single use might not be detected with a methamphetamines drug test using hair. A methamphetamines drug test is interesting as the drug available in two forms called “d” and “l”.   The “d” form is a prescription stimulant and appetite suppressant. The “l” form is available over-the-counter as the active ingredient of the Vick’s inhaler and is a metabolite of certain prescription medications.  A special d & l isomer confirmation test is available to determine how much of each form is present in a specimen.  This special lab test may determine the specimen contains more than 20% d-methamphetamine present, indicating illicit methamphetamine use.