How Long Does a Meth High Last?

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Meth is a highly addictive stimulant drug. While it is available by prescription under the brand name Desoxyn, most people who abuse it are buying it off of the street. As a result, most people are abusing meth that is mixed with dangerous additives like household chemicals.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 2.5 million people reported abusing meth in 2021.

Meth can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Some people might swallow it as well, however, this is less common because it is bitter-tasting. No matter how meth is abused, it can be incredibly dangerous.

Meth causes both short and long-term effects. Some dangerous side effects include heightened blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate. People might also experience paranoia, hallucinations, or aggressive behavior.

If you or a loved one abuse meth, you might be wondering how long the high lasts. Meth intoxication can last between 4 to 16 hours. Since the high is so long-lasting, meth users might have a hard time coping with the adverse effects they experience.

What are the Effects of Meth?

The effects of meth can range from mild to life-threatening depending on the purity of the substance and how much you use at once. That said, most people who abuse meth experience increased energy, a rush of euphoria, and an inability to sleep. Due to the euphoria meth causes, misusing it can quickly lead to a substance use disorder.

The common effects of meth include:

  • Increased energy and attention
  • Lessened need for sleep
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • A rush of euphoria
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Heightened body temperature and sweating
  • Increased heart rate or chest pains
  • Anxiety or paranoia
  • Symptoms of psychosis such as delusions and hallucinations
  • Aggressive or violent behaviors

Meth is a stimulant, so one of the risks of abusing it is experiencing a heart attack. If someone you love has abused meth and develops symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath, contact 911 immediately.

How Long Does a Meth High Last?

The effects of meth can last between 4 to 16 hours. While most people begin to come down after 12 hours, some experience a longer-lasting effect. Sometime around 16 hours, most of the effects should subside.

Meth can cause lingering effects for up to 24 hours. Many people experience a “hangover” period that includes symptoms like fatigue, dehydration, or severe hunger.

If you or a loved one abuse meth, it’s time to seek professional help. Substance abuse treatment programs can help you overcome the mental and physical effects of meth abuse with a combination of detox and behavioral therapies.

What are the Phases of a Meth High?

A meth high can last for up to 16 hours. It can be helpful to understand the phases of meth intoxication. People who are addicted to meth usually abuse it to chase the initial rush they experience. However, this is short-lived, which often causes them to binge on the substance.

The stages of a meth high include:

Initial Rush

The initial rush associated with meth is most commonly experienced when you snort, smoke, or inject it. Usually, people who swallow meth do not notice a rush because of how the drug is metabolized.

The initial rush of meth is characterized by feeling a flood of dopamine and euphoria. Some people describe it as similar to experiencing an orgasm.

This period of a meth high usually only lasts between 5 to 30 minutes. As a result, some people begin binging on meth to chase this stage of the high.

Lasting High

After the rush passes, you will experience a less intense euphoria and increased energy. This high could last anywhere from 4 to 14 hours. You will also experience symptoms like hyperactivity, rapid thinking, and even obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

Depending on how long you have been awake, a meth high could include symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. For example, it is common to believe that bugs are crawling under your skin (“meth mites”). Some people might become aggressive or violent as well.

The Crash

The last two hours of a meth high are considered the “crash period.” During this time, all of the effects of meth are beginning to wear off. This might cause you to feel fatigued, leading to sleeping for long hours.

It is also common to experience extremely strong cravings for meth during the crash. As a result, you might begin to engage in a meth binge. It is common for meth users to use the substance for days on end, never sleeping or eating throughout the entire period.


Tweaking is considered the most dangerous stage of meth abuse. Once someone experiences the crash, they tend to begin binging. When you binge on meth, it is common to stay awake for days on end.

During a tweaking episode, the combination of not getting any sleep, being high on meth, and not eating can cause dangerous behaviors. You might engage in compulsive or obsessive behavior, act impulsively, and even become violent. It is also common to hallucinate and experience severe paranoia.

Tweaking is a state of meth-induced psychosis. If you or a loved one frequently engages in the tweaking phase of a meth high, you should seek addiction treatment.

Find Help for Meth Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from meth addiction, it’s time to seek help. Drug rehab centers can help you gain the tools and support you need to achieve long-lasting sobriety.

At New Jersey Interventions, we can connect you with a top-rated meth addiction treatment center in your area. Contact us today to learn how to get started.

Medically Reviewed: April 5, 2024

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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