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How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

The lifespan of cocaine within your system depends on a number of factors. Normally, traces of the drug can be found in the body after three days of use.  In some cases, this time period can be longer.

If an addict abuses coke or crack-cocaine regularly, for example, the drug can stay in the system for up to a week after the last use. This length is determined by other aspects of the user such as their health or diet and the severity of their habit.

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What Factors Affect How Long Coke Stays in Your System?

There are a variety of things that will make cocaine take longer to break down in your body. These factors include the amount you use, your general health and the method of testing.

How much you use: When it comes to drug testing, those who use large amounts are obviously more likely to show signs than those who take very little. Of course, a “large” dose is relative to the size (height, weight, BMI) of the user. A small person who uses large amounts of coke is more likely to find the drug in their system than a large person who does the same amount.

How often it’s used: Addicts and regular users are likely to accumulate the drug in their system over time. Cocaine can take weeks to filter through the system completely. Adding more of the drug into the body makes it tough for the liver to break down.

Method of testing: Whether or not coke shows up on a drug test depends on the method used for testing. If the hair is tested, for example, cocaine may show up years after the person stopped using drugs. If the urine is tested, however, the body can stop showing signs of use only days after the last dosage.

Health: A healthy liver helps your body flush cocaine out of the system. If your liver is working properly, it will work quicker to remove the drug from your body. An unhealthy liver, though, needs to work harder to do the same job. Therefore, coke can stay in your body much longer.

What is the Half-Life of Cocaine?

The amount of time it takes for a drug to break down in the body is called its “half-life”.  The term “half-life” comes from the fact that, with every substance, there is a certain amount of time it takes for the body to reduce the amount that can be found in the blood. 

When it comes to coke, there are two different numbers. The half-life of cocaine, crack and similar substances is different in your urine than it is in your blood. The amount of cocaine in your blood is reduced by 50% every 90 minutes. However, the amount of cocaine in your urine is reduced by 50% every 19 hours. Therefore, the time period depends on which method is being used for testing.

How Long Cocaine Stays in the System

Does Alcohol Have an Effect on Cocaine’s Half-Life?

Yes. Alcohol increases the half-life of cocaine within the body. Those who drink and use coke or crack at the same time will have traces of the drug in their system for a longer duration. 

This is due to the fact that the two substances, when combined, create a new chemical. This chemical is called cocaethylene. This chemical can have negative effects on the liver and other organs.  It also has a much longer half-life than either alcohol or cocaine.

Cocaethylene, produced by the mixture of alcohol and cocaine, has a half-life of around 4 hours. Essentially, this means that the amount of the chemical found in your bloodstream will be reduced by half every four hours after using. If you are an addict or heavy user, therefore, the chemical can stay in your system for days or even weeks.

If you are being tested for cocaine, crack or other substances in your system, the lab will be looking for cocaethylene. It is a clear sign of drug use and is therefore helpful in finding the drug within someone’s body. The chemical, after all, is not produced in the body without the introduction of a toxic substance like coke.

Common Cocaine Questions

Depending on the severity of the user’s problem, cocaine detox can take many weeks. Those with a strong habit can experience withdrawal symptoms for two or three months. Most users, however, are able to detox from coke in a week or two.

Vary degrees of cravings will be experienced during the detox period. The most severe cravings will diminish between three days and a week after the last use.

Usually, coke will stay in your urine for between 1 and 3 days, depending on the amount you used. Remember, the half-life of cocaine in urine is around 19 hours. Therefore, it takes much longer for the drug to stop showing up when you go to the bathroom. As your body works to flush chemicals out of your system, your urine will show less and less of the drug. However, chronic users can show small traces of cocaine in their urine for up to a month after they stop using.

Because the half-life of cocaine in plasma is relatively short (around 90 minutes), the drug dis-appears from the bloodstream somewhat quickly. In most people, signs of the drug will be erased from plasma within two days after the last use. Of course, this time period will increase for regular and habitual users.

Clear signs of cocaine use can be found in the hair for 90 days after using.  However, your hair is like a time capsule of drug usage. Most drugs leave long-lasting traces in the hair. This means that your hair will store coke, crack and other substances for years upon years. They won’t be found in every single strand, but only in tiny parts of individual hairs. As a result, the drug can only be erased entirely if your hair falls out or you shave your head. 

It does take almost one week for signs of coke use to show up in the hair. This is due to the fact that drugs are not stored in the hair until completely broken down.

Coke can, in fact, be found in your sweat. It can also be found in saliva. As the liver attempts to detox your body, it will expel cocaine through the sweat and salivary glands. Cocaine can be found in saliva for almost two days after using.

Regular users often sweat more while under the influence, or when withdrawing from cocaine. This is, in part, due to the fact that the body is trying to detox itself. As the liver works hard to rid your system of coke, it floods your sweat glands with the chemicals it doesn’t like. As a result, sweat will show signs of the drug for several days (and sometimes weeks) after you use it.

What is the Most Common Drug Test Method?

The type of drug test used depends on which organization is administering it. Most often, however, urine tests are used to test for cocaine. This is among the most cost-effective ways to test for drugs. It is, therefore, pretty popular with companies trying to keep their budgets down.

Courts, for example, almost always use the urine-testing method. In certain cases, they may also call for a hair or blood test to be administered. Companies who test their employees for cocaine or other drugs usually use urine, as well. Because hair and blood samples are somewhat costly, they are rarely administered by employers.

Saliva tests are popular with only some institutions. They require very little equipment and give results quickly. It can take less than 20 minutes to process a saliva sample. However, the technology hasn’t been perfected yet, so it doesn’t produce the most actuate results.

Even if you only use cocaine once, it can still show up in your system. Your body, after all, needs a few hours to break down the drug before you can test clean. If you’ve only done coke one time, the drug has not accumulated in your system yet. It will be erased within a day or so. It will most likely show up if you’re tested within 12-24 hours of using.

Does Someone You Know Use Cocaine?

Cocaine can be a difficult drug to detox from. The drug and its byproducts can remain present in the body of an addict for several days or even a week. Cocaine withdrawal can produce some painful symptoms. However, kicking the habit is a surefire way to remove the drug from your system entirely.

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