How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?
There are several factors to consider when figuring out how long cocaine stays in the body. Cocaine’s half-life is one of the main factors in how long it will take for cocaine to cycle through the body and get out of the system.
The half-life of cocaine is quicker than many other drugs, and it usually only takes about one hour to process out of the body’s system. 1
After approximately one to four days, all the cocaine in the body will be processed. However, cocaine in a drug test can be detected for up to two weeks or longer after the last use of the drug. 2
Factors that Influence Cocaine’s Half-Life
Other factors can also contribute to how long cocaine stays in the body’s system and the cocaine detection time. Individual factors such as overall health, activity level, genetics, diet, height, and weight can all contribute to the time it takes to process cocaine in your system. The type of drug test that is used can also affect cocaine detection time.
How Is Cocaine Detected?
Cocaine is detected from cocaine metabolites that can be found in the body. Typically, cocaine metabolites can be found in the blood, hair, saliva, and urine. The cocaine detection limit will vary based on the type of drug test for cocaine that is used.
Types of Tests for Cocaine Addiction
There are many different types of drug tests for cocaine that might be used. Common drug tests for cocaine include a blood test, urine test, hair test, and saliva test.
A cocaine blood test looks for cocaine in the blood’s plasma. The blood test for cocaine has the shortest detection window, which is typically a few hours for cocaine itself, and between five to eight hours for cocaine metabolites. This means that the blood test for cocaine is usually only used to detect if someone is currently under the influence of cocaine rather than if they have used it in the past.
Another way cocaine in a drug test can be found is through the hair follicles. Hair tests have the longest detection window. Cocaine can be detected in the hair for up to six months after the last use of the drug. 3
Cocaine can also be detected through saliva. Cocaine can be detected in saliva for one to two days after the last dose of cocaine.
Testing for cocaine in urine is one of the more common drug tests used. The detection window for cocaine itself in urine is around one to two days. However, cocaine metabolites may be detectable in urine for three days or more after the last use of the drug. Those who use cocaine more frequently will likely have more metabolites in their system, leading to a longer detection window for cocaine in the body.
What Factors Can Affect How Long Cocaine Remains in Your Body?
Several factors can affect how cocaine in the body is processed. Common factors that affect the amount of time it takes cocaine in your system to be processed include:
- Frequency of use
- The last usage of cocaine
- Urine pH levels
- Kidney or liver impairment
- Body mass
Symptoms and Effects of Cocaine Addiction
The effects of cocaine addiction can affect someone’s life in many ways. You can look for common symptoms to help determine if you or someone you know may be struggling with addiction. Common cocaine addiction symptoms and effects include:
- Panic attacks
- Intense mood swings
If you or someone you care about is displaying any of these symptoms, there are resources available that can help. Talking to your doctor or contacting a drug treatment center can be a good first step to getting the help needed to recover from addiction.
What Are the Short-Term Effects of Cocaine?
Cocaine can also have many adverse effects in the short term. Common short-term effects of cocaine are:
- Constricted blood vessels
- Dilated pupils
- Increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure
- Bizarre, erratic, and sometimes violent behavior
- Restlessness, irritability, anxiety, panic, and paranoia
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine?
Long lasting consequences of cocaine use can include:
- Increased risk of stroke and seizures
- Inflammation of the heart muscle
- Reduced ability of the heart to contract
- Increased risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Weight loss
- Loss of sense of smell
- Worsening of asthma
- Risk of HIV and hepatitis
How Is Cocaine Metabolized in the Body?
Cocaine metabolizes differently depending on how the drug is ingested. When cocaine is snorted, it will instantly enter the bloodstream, creating a more instantaneous high from the drug. If cocaine is taken orally, it will first go to the stomach and then be transferred into the bloodstream, which usually takes about thirty minutes to reach the bloodstream from the stomach. If cocaine is smoked, it delivers cocaine to the lungs first.
Once cocaine is in the bloodstream, it will be taken to the brain where the high from the drug will be created by affecting dopamine and other neurotransmitters. After fifteen or thirty minutes, it will be processed through the liver and finally excreted in the urine. 4
Can Other Substances Cause You to Test Positive for Cocaine?
Some prescription medications can cause a false positive for cocaine in a drug test. If you’re taking prescription medication, you should inform whoever is conducting the drug test so they can discern the difference between cocaine and your prescription medication.
Get Help with Cocaine Addiction at Great Oaks Recovery Center
If you or someone you care about is struggling with cocaine addiction, Great Oaks Recovery Center can help. Great Oaks has many evidence-based treatment programs to help you detox from cocaine and get on the right track toward recovery. During the detox and treatment process, treatment professionals at Great Oaks will be there with you every step of the way to ensure you get the best possible results. Contact us today for more information about how Great Oaks Recovery Center can help you.