Cocaine is one of the most abused drugs in the United States, and there are several different ways you can test for cocaine.
Metabolites of the stimulant drug can stay in the system from a few seconds to up to three months.
How long the drug stays in your system also depends on ingestion and other factors. The detection times depend on the type of test used — urine, saliva, blood, or hair follicle tests.
How Cocaine Is Detected In The Body
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approved drug tests for cocaine are urinalysis, saliva, blood, and hair tests.
The tests detect the main metabolites of cocaine: benzoylecgonine (BE) and ecgonine methyl ester (EME).
Minor metabolites are norcocaine, M-hydroxycocaine, P-hydroxycocaine, pOHBE (P-hydroxybenzoylecgonine), and MOHBE (M-hydroxybenzoylecgonine).
Your doctor may recommend other newer tests to help detect cocaine metabolites in the body.
Cocaine Detection Times By Method Of Testing
The detection window for cocaine in the system will vary by the type of test and amount of time the user abused the drug.
Cocaine Detection Times In Urine
Cocaine can be detected in urine for up to four days after last use, depending on how much cocaine has been taken and how often.
For people who use cocaine chronically or in large doses, traces of the main cocaine metabolite, benzoylecgonine, can be detected up to one week after last use.
Cocaine Detection Times In Blood
Blood tests may pick up traces of cocaine one to two days after last use. However, the detection time may be lower or higher depending on the amount used and frequency of use.
The half-life of cocaine is about one-and-a-half hours in blood plasma on average.
Ultimately, the more you use the stimulant drug, and if you have a large amount of it in your system, it will stay longer in your blood.
If you are using crack cocaine, traces can show up for two days in your blood.
Cocaine Detection Times In Hair
Hair follicle tests are designed to detect cocaine metabolites within the previous three months, but they can frequently detect the presence of cocaine beyond this time frame.
On the other hand, your surroundings may deposit cocaine on your hair, resulting in false positives.
Cocaine Detection Times In Saliva
Cocaine can be detected in saliva up to two days after the last use.
This time frame is dependent on the duration of cocaine use, how much cocaine was used, and other factors as discussed below.
Factors That Influence How Long Cocaine Stays In Your System
People metabolize cocaine at different rates. People who use cocaine tend to excrete cocaine metabolites more quickly if they have a lower body mass index (BMI) and low body fat.
If a person who uses cocaine is overhydrated, their metabolism system slows down, thereby extending how long it takes for them to eliminate traces of cocaine.
Cocaine ingestion method may also affect the drug screening tests. Snorting or dabbing cocaine onto your gums may cause stay in your system longer than smoking.
Drinking alcohol at the same time as taking cocaine may also result in cocaine staying in your system for an extended period of time.
Treatment Options For Cocaine Abuse
Addiction treatment options for cocaine include detox, medications, and inpatient and outpatient rehab programs.
Effective cocaine treatment may start with residential care, including detoxification if necessary, followed by outpatient services.
In an inpatient program, you can find treatment to ease withdrawal symptoms, therapy for your drug addiction, support groups, and much more.
Find A Treatment Program For Cocaine Addiction
Bedrock Recovery Center offers various treatment programs for people with a cocaine addiction.
Contact Bedrock today to learn more about cocaine addiction treatment options if you or your loved one is facing an addiction.
Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.