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If you take methamphetamine, will it show up on a drug test?

At some time in your life, an employer, a family member or the government may ask you to take a drug test. It’s important to understand what drug tests can detect and what might happen if you fail one.

Methamphetamine will usually be tested for in hair, urine, saliva (spit) or blood. The timeframes in which meth can be detected in your body may vary depending on the size of dose you have taken and how long you have used methamphetamine for.

Generally, meth can be detected for 1–7 days in urine, 1–4 days in saliva, 1–3 days in blood and up to 90 days in hair.

If you fail a drug test, this may affect your employment, government support, court cases or official licences or registrations. At work, you may face legal consequences, especially if you have put the safety of others at risk.

The short answer is yes. Drug testing is not an 100% accurate science and will sometimes give a ‘false positive’ result. This is when a drug test says that a person has a drug in their system, when they do not.  In these situations, the positive result has been caused by something else like medication or food.

You can get a false positive result for methamphetamine if you have used decongestants like pseudoephedrine, some weight loss medication, ADHD medication like Ritalin, quinolone antibiotics and antidepressants like trazodone. These are not the only medications that can show a false positive for meth, there are many. However, not everyone who takes these medications will have a false positive for meth. If you are expecting a drug test for meth and are using the medications above or other medications you are concerned about, speak with your doctor or the test provider beforehand to discuss your next steps.

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