You can use crack cocaine by smoking, snorting, or injecting the drug, and the method of use can even impact the effects of cocaine. But no matter how you use it, cocaine gets into your bloodstream on the way to your brain.
Once your body metabolizes cocaine, those components also remain in your bloodstream. But how long does crack cocaine remain detectable in your blood?
This may depend on a number of factors, from the severity of use, to the amount used, and more.
Blood Tests For Crack Cocaine
A blood test for crack cocaine drug use is one of the more invasive ways to check for cocaine or cocaine metabolites in your bloodstream.
Instead of needing just scissors for hair follicles (hair tests), a cup for urine (urine tests), or a cup to collect spit for a saliva test, you need a nurse to draw blood from a patient. It also takes more time to get the results.
Because of this, blood tests are usually done in a hospital setting. Additionally, blood tests have a relatively narrow window of detection.
Detection Time For Cocaine In The Blood
Crack cocaine can be detected in the blood for about 24 to 48 hours from the last use of the drug.
Specifically, cocaine can be found in the blood for about a day, and cocaine’s metabolite benzoylecgonine for about two days.
Half-Life Of Cocaine
The half-life of cocaine is about one hour. That means that it takes about an hour for you to metabolize half of the cocaine that you have most recently used.
Factors That Contribute To Cocaine Detection Times
There are factors that can affect the detection time of cocaine in your bloodstream.
These can include such things as how often you use cocaine and liver and kidney function. Read on to see what factors can alter the detection window.
Body fat is one of the things that widens the window of detection for cocaine in your bloodstream.
When cocaine is metabolized, the metabolites can be stored in fat tissue. So, the more fat tissue you have, the longer cocaine will remain in your system.
Frequency Of Use
The frequency of use of crack cocaine affects the time frame during which it will remain in your bloodstream.
Each time you add more cocaine to what you have already taken, this adds more time to the drug’s half-life.
For that same reason, the amount of crack cocaine you take will also affect detection times. The higher the dosage of cocaine, the longer it will take your body to metabolize and excrete the drug.
Kidney And Liver Health
One of the side effects of cocaine drug abuse can be liver or kidney damage, which can affect the length of time the drug remains in your system.
If your liver or your kidneys have been impaired by cocaine, they will process the drug slowly, which means they can lengthen how long cocaine stays in your system.
How Crack Cocaine Is Metabolized
Like everything we consume, crack cocaine is metabolized (broken down) into smaller components before it exits your system. This process is called metabolism.
Enzymes are key to metabolism. The enzyme that breaks cocaine down into smaller pieces is called butyrylcholinesterase.
Interestingly, this enzyme appears to have little other function than to break down cocaine or other drugs (no matter what type of drug) into its corresponding metabolites.
There are a couple of cocaine metabolites, but the main one that drug screens look for (no matter what the testing method) is benzoylecgonine.
Remember how cocaine’s metabolites stay in your bloodstream for about 48 hours? That metabolite is benzoylecgonine.
Treatment Programs For Crack Cocaine Addiction
Crack cocaine withdrawal and detox can have physical symptoms, but they are rooted in the damage your mental health has taken from the drug. The cravings you may experience are deeply psychological.
Because of this, addiction treatment programs for crack cocaine addiction focus on evidence-based therapy (unlike programs for opioid use disorder which incorporate medication-assisted treatment).
A treatment center for crack cocaine drug addiction can even help you manage withdrawal symptoms in an intensive outpatient setting.
Find Substance Use Disorder Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
At Bedrock Recovery Center in Massachusetts, we understand the unique challenge of crack cocaine detox and recovery.
That’s why we look at all the treatment options and create a treatment program that fits your needs. Call our helpline today and get the help that you or your loved one need.
Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.