How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

Those who use cocaine have probably wondered about the amount of time that cocaine can be detected in the body. Cocaine or its metabolites are typically present for 1 to 4 days after the last use, although it can last in your system for a couple of weeks in some people. The detection times for cocaine depend upon a variety of factors, such as your metabolism, weight, dosage, form of cocaine used, and frequency of use.

The effects of cocaine will typically begin almost immediately. If you ingest cocaine powder orally, either by snorting it or gumming the substance, you will feel the effects within 1 to 3 minutes. If you smoke or ingest crack cocaine, you will feel the effects of the drug in a matter of seconds. The difference in time is due to the speed at which it enters your bloodstream. 

The form of cocaine used will also determine how long the effects last. Cocaine powder will typically last from 15 to 30 minutes, while smoking or injecting the substance will lead to a high that lasts around 10 to 20 minutes. The length of the effects is also dependent on the severity of your cocaine abuse, as frequent cocaine users will feel more short-term effects, which leads to increased abuse of the substance and creates the cycle of cocaine use disorder.

When cocaine is leaving your system, those who struggle with cocaine addiction will begin to feel the effects of cocaine withdrawal during this period. This form of substance use disorder can lead to emotional and physical symptoms such as trouble sleeping, irritability, anxiety and depression, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite, and restlessness when the drug is leaving your system. If you experience these symptoms, you may require cocaine addiction treatment.

The half-life of cocaine is roughly one hour, meaning that it takes about an hour for the body to eliminate half of the cocaine currently present in the bloodstream. However, long-term and frequent substance abuse can lead to longer elimination times, which can allow certain tests to detect the drug in your system for a greater period of time.

Cocaine or its metabolites can typically be detected in blood and saliva tests for up to 2 days after the last use, but it may be detectable in a hair sample for anywhere ranging from months to years. Its metabolites are usually detectable in urine for up to 3 days, though they can remain in the system for as long as 2 weeks in those with heavy drug abuse.

The length of time that cocaine stays present in your system can also depend upon how well your kidneys function, as impaired function can affect the amount of urine you produce or your kidneys’ ability to filter substances, leading to a longer elimination rate of the drug. Another factor that may influence your cocaine half-life is your water intake, as dehydration will cause longer substance elimination times.

Other factors that can influence the amount of time that cocaine stays in your system are whether you combine the drug with other substances, as well as the purity level of the cocaine you ingest. Cocaine often contains contaminants or other substances, which can affect how long it stays in your system. Combining cocaine use with alcohol consumption can also lead to a variety of negative effects.

This combination can worsen cognitive function in frequent substance users and cause increased heart rate. In addition, using cocaine with alcohol or after drinking alcohol can lead to up to a 30% increase in cocaine levels in the blood, which means that the drug will last much longer in your system. The combination can also produce a metabolite called cocaethylene, which may enhance the toxic effects of cocaine and alcohol, leading to heart problems.

If you are struggling with cocaine abuse and are suffering from withdrawal symptoms when the drug is exiting your bloodstream, then you should consider receiving addiction treatment. At Fusion Recovery we offer programs such as medical detox and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in addition to our counseling and behavioral therapies. While ending your cocaine dependency can be a struggle, it’s not one you have to go through alone.

To begin treatment at Fusion Recovery, contact our admissions counselors by sending a message on our website or calling our phone number to get started. We believe that everybody deserves high-quality and compassionate care, as well as an effective treatment to help overcome substance use disorder.

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