How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System (Urine, Blood & Saliva)
When cocaine is consumed, your body will begin to break it does in metabolites. It’s these metabolites that drug tests try to detect. These drug tests may focus on either your blood, hair, saliva or urine. The amount of time cocaine’s metabolites varies between these four different components.
- The hair: cocaine may be present in your hair up to 90 days after taking it. Because of the expense of conducting hair follicle tests, this method of detection is rare
- The Urine: cocaine may be present in your urine up to 4 days after taking it. Because the urine is easily extracted and tested, this is a common form of cocaine detection
- The saliva: cocaine remains in your saliva up to 2 days after taking it
- The blood: cocaine remains in your blood up to 2 days after taking it
Why the extent of your cocaine use matters
If you are an occasional cocaine user, cocaine typically remains in your body for around 2-4 days following consumption. The obvious exception is your hair. As stated above, cocaine may remain detected in your hair up to 90 days (three months) after taking it.
If you are a long-term cocaine user, then it’s difficult to say how long cocaine will remain in your system. The drug could, for instance, be detectable in your urine after 7+ days of non-use in your blood, urine and saliva.
The amount of time cocaine remains in your system is also influenced by how you consume the drug. Cocaine may be consumed orally, by inhalation, by snorting (intranasal) and intravenously (injecting). When cocaine is consumed intranasal, the drug is then absorbed into the blood via the nasal tissue.
When you inject cocaine, the drug is obviously allowed to directly enter the bloodstream. Injecting cocaine causes the user to experience heightened intensity when compared to snorting cocaine nasally.
If you smoke cocaine, the drug is vaporised. Vaporised cocaine enters the blood through the lungs.
Smoking cocaine is comparable to injecting in terms of the amount of time it takes to enter the bloodstream.
This means snorting cocaine is perhaps the most inefficient way of consuming cocaine in terms of the amount of time it takes to enter the bloodstream.
Where can I buy a cocaine detox kit?
You can buy an effective 4-day cocaine detox kit here
Why do people use cocaine?
The vast majority of people choose to consume cocaine for social and recreational reasons.
Cocaine keeps people alert and helps to fight off fatigue. This is particularly beneficial for people who want to continue to drink alcohol into the small hours of the night.
Cocaine is also a favourite amongst people who attend sex parties since the drug helps to improve their sexual performance.
Cocaine also allows the user to experience a sense of euphoria. This allows the user to forget all about his or her problems. This is why cocaine is highly addictive from a psychological standpoint.
Cocaine was originally consumed as a tea to relieve fatigue similar to modern day coffee. Also, people chewed cocaine as a means of relieving fatigue.
The half-life of cocaine
Cocaine is classed as a stimulant. Cocaine is manufactured from leaves of coca plants. Scientifically, cocaine’s ‘half-life’ is around 0.2 to 0.8 hours. This means the amount of cocaine in the bloodstream will half during this period until it is finally filtered out altogether.
Benzoylecgonine is the central metabolite (a byproduct) of cocaine. Benzoylecgonine is formed in the liver when cocaine is metabolised.
Benzoylecgonine is one of the substances that’s detected when you undergo a drug test. Benzoylecgonine has a half-life of 6 hours.
Another metabolite of cocaine is formed when cocaine is mixed with alcohol.
This metabolite is known as Cocaethylene. Cocaethylene has a longer half-life than benzoylecgonine and cocaethylene is also much more toxic.
How cocaine is consumed
The manner in which cocaine is consumed also impacts the amount of time cocaine remains in your system.
If you consume 140 mg of cocaine by snorting the drug, the amount of cocaine in your system will peak at 30 minutes and benzoylecgonine will peak at around 3 hours following consumption.
In contrast, if you consume cocaine orally, the same amount of the drug will peak at around one hour. If you consume cocaine intravenously, the amount of cocaine in your blood will peak at 5 minutes after consumption.
Should I worry about cocaine drug testing?
The answer to this question is a categorical YES!
If your employer carries out drug testing, it’s never worth the risk of getting caught.
Furthermore, cocaine kills hundreds of thousands of people each year, so it’s never worth the risk because you could ultimately end up losing something much more valuable than just your job.
When cocaine is metabolised, it is transformed into a number of by-products that are entirely inactive and harmless.
The vast majority of cocaine is metabolised within as little as 4 hours after use. However, the remaining byproducts may remain in your body for days. In some instances, these byproducts may be detected many months after cocaine was last consumed.
How do cocaine urine tests work?
When your urine is shipped off to a laboratory for testing, the lab technicians will test for benzoylecgonine. Benzoylecgonine is one of cocaine’s many by-products. Put simply, if you have not taken cocaine, your urine will not contain benzoylecgonine. Thus, benzoylecgonine’s presence in your urine is an accurate means of proving that you have taken cocaine recently. Whilst cocaine leaves your urine within 2-4 days, benzoylecgonine may linger in your urine for much longer periods of time, and in some instances up to 14 days after cocaine was last consumed.
Once cocaine is consumed via injecting, snorting or smoking, cocaine travels to your liver for processing. Here, the liver process cocaine into several metabolites. One of these metabolites is benzoylecgonine. This process allows the body to purge cocaine from your system via your urine.
Benzoylecgonine is known as cocaine’s main metabolite. Benzoylecgonine remains in your urine for longer periods than other metabolites processed from cocaine in the liver.
Pro tip: Drinking alcohol and drinking cocaine will cause your body to store benzoylecgonine formed from the metabolisation of cocaine. If you are subject to drug tests and you consume cocaine, do not drink alcohol or caffeine as this will only slow down the process where benzoylecgonine is removed from your system via the urine.
Factors affecting how long cocaine stays in your urine
As stated above, if you are a heavy cocaine user, cocaine will remain your system for up to 14 days. This contrasts unfavourably to occasional cocaine users who will rid cocaine from their urine within 3-4 days.
Below, we list the factors that influence how long cocaine will remain in your urine:
- The length of time you’ve taken cocaine for
- The amount of cocaine you use
- The ability of your liver to metabolise cocaine into by-products
Due to the final factor, the amount of time it takes to remove cocaine from your system will vary from person to person. Often, colleagues will consume cocaine together. When these same colleagues become subject to a drugs test, it’s not unknown for some people to pass the test and for some to fail. Life is not fair at times, and perhaps this is an example of this concept in practice. If you wish to gain a guaranteed pass each time you take a drugs test, perhaps you should consider not taking cocaine in the first place.
Ways you can prevent cocaine or its by-products from staying in your urine
Below, we list a number of steps you may implement to prevent cocaine from entering your urine in the first instance:
- Don’t take cocaine in the first place
- Don’t drink alcohol or cocaine after you’ve taken cocaine because these substances prevent your body from ridding itself of cocaine’s main by-products
- Don’t take prescription drugs that are known to product benzoylecgonine, cocaine’s main metabolite. Such drugs include Esterom, a drug used to treat muscle pain. If you take prescription drugs, be sure to declare this to your employer before a drugs test is conducted
- Consider purchasing a cocaine detox kit. These are also known as ‘cocaine flushers’. This kit will help you pass a urine test, but it will not help if you are subject to a hair follicle test
How long does cocaine remain in my saliva?
Cocaine is eliminated from saliva after around 2 hours after use. For this reason, saliva testing for cocaine use is generally not commonly used for drug testing.
Below, we outline how long cocaine remains in your system in this visually appealing infographic:
Getting help for your cocaine addiction
If you feel you may be addicted to cocaine, get in touch with ADT Healthcare today.
When you contact us, we explain the signs of cocaine addiction.
We also outline the various treatment options that exist to help you achieve your abstinence goals. Cocaine addiction causes a loss of control. You will struggle to fight off the urge to continue to consume cocaine, despite the many negative consequences that arise from doing so.
About the author:
Jon writes for ADT Healthcare and a number of other websites. Jon graduated with a degree in psychology in 1992. Jon has been in recovery for 19 years.