How Long Does Cocaine Stay In the Body?

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How Long Does Cocaine Stay in the Body?

Cocaine or its metabolites typically show up in a blood or saliva test for up to two days after its last use.

In a urine test, it usually shows up for three days and in a hair test for several months or even years.

If you use cocaine frequently and in high doses, it takes your body longer to eliminate the substance. A heavy cocaine user can test positive in a urine test for two weeks. Other factors also extend the elimination time, including metabolism, weight, and mixing it with alcohol.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In the Body? Overview

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerful and addictive stimulant drug derived from the leaves of the coca plant.

Cocaine produces feelings of alertness, confidence, and euphoria in the user, and can be snorted, sniffed, smoked, or injected.

Cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance, and possession is illegal under United States law. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Doctors may administer cocaine for certain medical purposes but are subject to severe restrictions.

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What Are the Short-Term Effects of Cocaine?

You feel the effects of cocaine almost immediately, and they can last from a few minutes to an hour.

Small doses of cocaine may make you feel euphoric, energetic, alert, and hypersensitive to your surroundings.

Some people report increased cognitive abilities after using cocaine, while others say it has the opposite effect.

Cocaine has several short-term side effects, which include:

  • 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
  • Tremors, vertigo, and muscle twitches

How Cocaine Is Detected in Drug Tests

When you take cocaine, it quickly absorbs into your blood plasma.

Enzymes in the blood and the liver metabolize cocaine, transforming it into various metabolites, including benzoylecgonine which leaves the body in your urine. Your blood also deposits cocaine and its metabolites in your hair as it grows.

Drug tests can detect cocaine and its metabolites in your blood plasma, urine, and hair.

Blood and Urine Tests

The length of time that a substance is detectable in your blood or urine depends on its half-life. The half-life of a substance is the amount of time it takes for the concentration of the drug to reduce by half.

The average half-life of cocaine in blood plasma is around one and a half hours. You can usually test positive in a blood test for roughly two days after last use.

While the average half-life of cocaine in urine is about four and a half hours, the half-life of its metabolites may be much longer. The metabolite benzoylecgonine typically shows up in a urine test for forty-eight to ninety-six hours after use.

Research suggests that repeated use of cocaine results in a buildup in your body. This may increase the amount of time that cocaine and its metabolites stay in your system. A heavy user may test positive in a urine test up to two weeks after last use.

Hair Follicle Test

Hair follicle tests aim to detect cocaine use within the past three months, although they can often detect the presence of cocaine past this. Cocaine and its metabolites are detected via blood deposits in your hair. However, your environment may also deposit cocaine on your hair, which may lead to false positives in follicle tests.

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What Factors Can Affect How Long Cocaine Remains in Your Body?

Several factors affect how long cocaine remains in your body and the length of the detection time. These include:

  • Dosage
  • Frequency of use
  • Urine pH
  • The concentration of urine
  • Kidney or liver impairment
  • Body mass
  • Type of drug test conducted

How Does Your Body Metabolize Cocaine?

Enzymes in your liver and blood metabolize cocaine, and benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester are the main metabolites present in urine.

Urine drug tests usually detect benzoylecgonine because it has a urine concentration up to one hundred times greater than the concentration of cocaine.

Does Cocaine Stay in Your System Longer When You Combine It With Alcohol?

When you use cocaine and alcohol together, your liver makes a new metabolite called cocaethylene.

Cocaethylene has a plasma half-life that is three to five times longer than that of cocaine. Cocaethylene can contribute to liver damage, seizures, and impaired immune system functioning.

Taking cocaine after drinking alcohol can increase cocaine blood levels by up to 30%. This results in a longer elimination time of cocaine from the body and a longer detection window in a drug test. Mixing cocaine with alcohol is also extremely dangerous. Your heart rate increases and becomes higher than when you just take cocaine and may lead to more violent behavior.

False Positives

False positives in blood and urine tests are rare.

If you believe you have a false positive, you can verify it with another kind of test, like a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

False positives in hair tests are more common. Cocaine particles and metabolites may diffuse into your hair from the environment and show up in a drug test. The risk of false positives may be reduced by properly washing the hair sample before testing.

Avoiding A Positive Result

If you are reading this, there is a chance you are worried about an impending drug test.

If cocaine affects your life negatively, but you are unable to stop, you may need treatment.

The only way to avoid a positive test result is to stop using cocaine. If you are struggling with a cocaine addiction, recovery may seem scary or even impossible. However, with commitment and support, anyone can overcome addiction.

Recovery from cocaine usually involves detoxification and then rehab treatment.

Cocaine Detox

Cocaine detox is the process of removing a substance and its toxins from your body.

When you stop using cocaine, you may experience a range of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms as your body readjusts to functioning without the drug.

In severe cases, you can develop depression, psychosis, and suicidal ideations. 24-hour medical supervision is essential to prevent harm.

At Cirque Lodge, detox takes place in luxury, specialized facilities under the constant supervision of medically trained professionals. Our expert staff caters to your every need and make the process as comfortable as possible. Our medical team may prescribe medication to help ease withdrawal symptoms if required.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

While detoxification may help you remove cocaine from your body temporarily, long-term recovery usually requires further treatment.

Addiction treatment involves identifying and overcoming the causes of your addiction through various medical and therapeutic treatment options.

At Cirque Lodge, we offer an individualized treatment program that combines different evidence-based approaches, including behavioral therapies, experiential therapies, and support groups. The world-renowned 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous underpins our program, and we offer a holistic healing experience that helps you grow as a person and make a new start in life.

Your privacy and comfort are our highest priorities. Our state-of-the-art luxury facilities offer a range of amenities so you can relax and fully engage in your treatment. Our compassionate and professional staff is available at all times, and the spectacular Rocky Mountains surrounding the center nurture spiritual development and provide the perfect place to heal.

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Cirque Lodge offers a combination of experiential, behavioral, and group therapies to provide a holistic and enriching treatment experience.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, please contact us today. We can help.