Amphetamines are stimulants that people take either recreationally or with a prescription. Most people are aware that amphetamines give an energy boost but are not aware of how incredibly addictive they are. They can also be very dangerous when taken in recreationally. Although some people are fine on them, others become over confident, confused, or euphoric. These feelings make driving, operating machinery, and other activities extremely difficult.
This is why if someone suspects that you are taking amphetamines they will ask you to take a urine test. Urine tests are the easiest and least expensive way to test for amphetamines. When asking the question how long do amphetamines stay in your urine there are several things to take into consideration.
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What are Amphetamines?
Amphetamines are manufactured stimulants. Doctors use them to treat:
- chronic fatigue syndrome,
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),
- obesity, and
- to improve brain development.
Amphetamines improve many of these conditions, unfortunately they are not without their risks and problems. Amphetamines:
- are highly addictive,
- can cause overconfidence,
- can cause agitated and aggressive behavior, and
- disorientation among other things.
Depending on how much you take and how long you have taken them for, these drugs can affect you for days and sometimes weeks afterwards.
Reasons for Urine Testing
There are many situations where you might encounter a urine test for amphetamines. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these situations include:
- as part of a school drug prevention program,
- as a pre-employment drug screening,
- after an accident at work,
- after an accident or incident at school,
- as a random screening for at work or school,
- when dealing with Department of Children and Families,
- when you are on probation,
- when the court tells you that you need to, and
- during random screenings due to legal difficulties.
Companies that employ you, hospitals courts, and schools all have the authority to order a urine test. Testing is sometimes scheduled and sometimes random. Some companies will even order a urine test if you act jittery, agitated, or in an unusual manner.
Hospitals almost always do a urine test if you come into the emergency room. Amphetamines are usually included in these tests.
How Long are Amphetamines Detectable in the System?
How long Amphetamines are detectable in the body depends on the type of test as well as several other factors. The factors depend on the type of test. The amount of time that amphetamines are detectable is:
- Urine – as little as 2 to 5 hours after use and for up to 2 to 4 days.
- Saliva – as little as 5 to 10 minutes after use and for up to 3 days.
- Hair – as little as 5 to 7 days after use and for up to 90 days.
The most popular test for amphetamines is the urine test. These tests detect even trace amounts of amphetamine in your urine. Most of these types of test detect the actual drug rather than something produced by the drug. It is very easily detected and very difficult to mask.
Factors that can Impact Urine Tests
There are factors that extend the amount of time that amphetamines are detectible in urine. These factors are:
- amount of drug use – if you use a lot of amphetamines, they stay in your system longer,
- length of drug use – if you use amphetamines regularly for a long period of time, they stay in your system longer,
- hydration – if you are well hydrated they stay in your system an average amount of time. If you are dehydrated they stay in your system longer and if you are overly hydrated they might stay in your system less time,
- body size – amphetamines stay in the system longer in larger people than they do small ones,
- metabolism – if you have a fast metabolism it shortens the time the amphetamines are in your system, a slow metabolism has the opposite effect,
- method used to take the amphetamine – pill form takes the longest to enter and leave your system particularly if the pills are extended release,
- percent body fat – it stays in the body longer if you are overweight or have a high body fat index, and
- age – as you get older your body does not flush things as fast as it does when you are younger. This includes amphetamines.
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Potential Faults with Urine Testing
Several factors cause a urine test to go wrong. According to the National Library of Medicine, a false positive might result from someone who is taking cold medicine, inhalers, and antihistamines. Some antidepressants might also cause a false positive. It is always important to list all of your medications before taking a urine test for any drug including those for amphetamines. Around 5 to 14 percent of tests result in a false positive. If you take medication for narcolepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, or ADHD you will test positive.
There is sure way to beat a urine test for amphetamines. If you have taken them in the last 24 to 48 hours you probably will test positive. If you are worried about testing positive, talk to your doctor. If you test positive for amphetamines and you are sure you haven’t taken any, ask for a retest. If you have a problem with amphetamines, your school, employer, or the courts might send you to a drug treatment facility to get off them.