How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your Hair?

Cocaine is a dangerous illicit drug that can stay in your system long enough to show up on hair drug tests for months. Cocaine use is a serious problem, but addiction treatment can help.

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Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.


Cocaine can be detected in the hair for up to three months after the last drug use. However, the results of a hair test for cocaine might depend partially on where the hair sample is taken from.

Cocaine itself is not actually detected by drug screening, except in the case of a blood test conducted within a few hours after the last use.

Instead, cocaine metabolites, called benzoylecgonine, are picked up by drug tests. These metabolites are a type of enzyme produced by the liver to process cocaine.

Cocaine Detection Time In The Hair

Cocaine detection time in the hair is about three months, though many factors can influence how long cocaine stays detectable in the body.

Hair tests usually use the hair follicle, the part that attaches the hair to the scalp, to test for cocaine.

The half-life of cocaine is about one hour, which is why drug tests look for metabolites rather than cocaine itself.

A drug’s half-life is the period of time it takes to eliminate one-half of the drug from the bloodstream. Since cocaine’s half-life is so short, the effects of cocaine do not last very long.

Other Factors That May Influence Cocaine Detection Times

Many things might influence the amount of time that cocaine remains detectable in the body.

Factors that affect cocaine’s detection window include:

  • drinking alcohol (alcohol can slow the body’s excretion of cocaine)
  • level of body fat (people with more body fat take longer to remove the drug)
  • hydration (water helps “flush” cocaine through the system)
  • activity level (people who are more active may have shorter detection windows)
  • method of ingestion (snorting cocaine will keep the drug in your body longer than injecting or smoking it)

Treatment Options For Cocaine Abuse

If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine use, cocaine addiction treatment can help.

Substance abuse treatment combines healthcare for physical and mental health, as well as behavioral health interventions.

Treatment may start in a detox center to manage withdrawal symptoms before moving to an inpatient treatment center, and finally to an outpatient treatment environment.

Find A Rehab Center For Cocaine Use Disorder

Bedrock Recovery Center is the east coast’s top treatment center. We can help with the abuse of stimulant drugs like cocaine, or even alcohol or opioid addiction.

Our state-of-the-art inpatient treatment center is the perfect place to begin your road to recovery. We offer evidence-based treatments in a beautiful and peaceful facility.

Are you ready to start your journey to recovery? Call our helpline today.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus
  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine: PubMed

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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