With "coke addiction" happening everywhere, searches for questions like "How long does cocaine stay in your system?" pop up more frequently. Transcend Recovery Community took this chance to further educate people by providing a comprehensive resource to help them learn more about this illicit substance.
Let us guide you every step of the way and continue reading to learn more.
How Long Does Cocaine Last in the Body and by Type of Drug Tests?
Drug tests are a way of finding out "how long does cocaine stay in your system." For instance, cocaine metabolites, such as benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester, are present in the urine. A drug test may also detect cocaine right away, depending on the type used. It's worth noting, however, that false positives may be present. And when people test positive, further confirmation must be done before concluding the results.
Cocaine in Urine Tests
Drug screens like urine tests can detect cocaine metabolites in urine concentration for four days. It's some of the most used options for mandatory drug testing in the workplace or school setting.
Cocaine in Hair Follicle Tests
A hair sample is taken for deliberation in hair tests. Hair testing allows for cocaine to be identified in hair follicles for up to 90 days or 3 months. It's one of the most reliable tests used compared to a blood or saliva test.
Cocaine in Saliva Tests
Traces of the substance can be found to linger in the saliva for up to 48 hours. It's relatively shorter compared to a hair test or urine test.
Cocaine Detection in Blood Tests
Similar to saliva, substance traces can be found for up to 2 days (48 hours) too. It has a shorter time than a urine test, making it the drug test used less for testing and detection. It's important to note that drinking alcohol or taking other chemicals may affect the result (i.e. test positive/receive false positives).
What are Cocaine and Crack?
Cocaine is described by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse as "a powerfully addictive stimulant drug." It is commonly used in South America dating back centuries, with coca, the plant source of cocaine, for its stimulating effects.
There are many ways of taking the substance. For instance, you can take it orally via a tablet, in liquid form, while others are seen smoking cocaine. Cocaine is known by different street names such as, "Coke, "Coca," "Rock," "Blow," and "Snow."
It has a short half-life of an hour since your last dose. People who abuse cocaine have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and organ damage. It's also extremely dangerous and classified as a Schedule II drug by US drug regulatory agencies.
Determining Factors on How Long Cocaine Stays in Your System
Cocaine stays in the body longer as influenced by many factors, similar to other drugs such as opiates. However, our systems are created uniquely and operate in different ways especially when you count things such as a person's weight, age, sex, and medical history.
These things dictate "how long does cocaine stay in your system," so to speak. Once you identify what those elements are, it will make things easier for your consulting physician and recovery specialist to better understand your cocaine abuse and how it will impact the treatment process.
Here are some of the common determining factors that influence the duration of how long drugs like cocaine stay in your system.
Organ health - The kidney is the primary organ responsible for filtering and taking care of the waste in your system, and so is your liver. Without the two organs, your body will weaken. People who have poor-functioning organ health (such as liver damage) will certainly have a longer time processing cocaine in their system.
Hydration level - as our bodies are made up of 60% water, getting properly hydrated plays a crucial role in flushing out toxins, including other chemicals in your body.
Body mass - people who are heavier, or are considered overweight or obese may experience longer times in processing drugs inside their bodies. Cocaine's metabolite called cocaethylene clings to the fat tissues of a person, making it harder for them to excrete cocaine.
Age - This factor plays a huge role as younger people with a faster metabolism understandably can process cocaine's metabolites typically better than, say, an old person who is above 60 years of age.
Urine pH - it's a proven and general rule that the more acidic your urine is, the shorter cocaine will stay in your pee.
How many times cocaine is used plus amounts of cocaine ingested - How long cocaine remains in the system can be traced down to the frequency and amount used. The more cocaine is taken in larger amounts, the longer the effects of cocaine staying in your body would be felt. Cocaine build-up is one main concern someone should pay close attention to. A heavy user is usually suspected of this factor.
Pre-existing medical conditions - people who are immunocompromised, such as those suffering from cancer, HIV, and other autoimmune diseases have weaker systems and cannot process cocaine well.
Cocaine use and half-life - Cocaine's half-life is estimated to be an hour, meaning this is the period your body can eliminate half of the drug currently in the bloodstream.
Proper medication management should be appropriately observed to ensure that the individual's cocaine addiction treatment is not overwhelming for them, as these factors affect long-term sobriety.
What Happens When You Stop Taking Cocaine?
Stopping cocaine use may be difficult, but it is necessary if someone to get better from their substance abuse problem. Once a person wishes to receive treatment, withdrawal may come with some painful and often uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Here are some of the common signs of withdrawal that you'd find people currently experience in drug addiction/cocaine drug abuse.
- Difficulty concentrating
- Slowed thinking
- Slowed activity or physical fatigue after activity
- Inability to experience sexual arousal
- Anhedonia, or the inability to feel pleasure
- Depression or anxiety
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Vivid, unpleasant dreams or nightmares
- Physical symptoms, such as chills, tremors, muscle aches, and nerve pain
- Increased craving for cocaine
- Increased appetite
People who suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms may find themselves in a hazardous situation and should receive immediate medical attention right away. They should talk to their recovery or rehab counselor to avoid any problems during withdrawal, such as applying relapse prevention should the need arise.
About Cocaine Misuse and Addiction Treatment
Cocaine misuse is rampant nowadays. People suffering from cocaine exposure may also suffer from other pre-existing mental health conditions such as alcoholism (when people abuse alcohol), or anxiety. To fully understand why this happens, you must first identify several factors that account for someone's addiction.
As both cocaine and other substances, like Adderall, are highly addictive and habit-forming, an individual's craving for drug use is deeply rooted in both emotional, mental, and physical triggers. Here are some of the known causes associated with cocaine addiction.
- Stress - A medical study has emphasized the correlation between chronic stress and drug use. Stress is considered to be a well-known factor in developing cocaine substance disorder within a person.
- Environment - People who live in a community or a neighborhood where drugs like cocaine can be conveniently obtained put them on a higher chance to develop cocaine dependence.
- Pre-existing mental health problems - As earlier mentioned, if you or someone you know has a problem, such as anxiety, PTSD, or trauma, there is a higher probability that they may engage in cocaine use—especially as a form of escape or short-term solution.
Fortunately, there are numerous treatment programs you can consider in combating the effects of cocaine through the help of an insurance provider and treatment centers affiliated with and approved by the mental health services administration. Some of these system-medically reviewed treatment options are the following:
- Therapy with support groups - Participating in a group aimed at providing relief and enlightenment about their cocaine dependence provides a safe space for recovering individuals. They can take it a bit further and have sober mentoring while they rehabilitate.
- Behavioral therapy - this treatment programs tackle the behavior associated with someone's relationship with their drug dependence— correcting these through time while also enforcing positive behavior and relationship towards their sobriety.
- Outpatient drug rehab - this is conducive for individuals who feel comfortable recovering at their own homes surrounded by the support and love of their family or friends.
How To Get Help from Cocaine Addiction?
Cocaine's effects are devastating and may change your life in an instant. Luckily, help through sober living is still underway as long as you know where to find it.
Transcend Recovery Community, together with its affiliate programs, combat the ill effects of cocaine and provides a chance for a better life for individuals who have fallen prey to drug dependency.
Just talk to Transcend Recovery Community's recovery counselors so that they can help you with the first step needed to work on your sobriety. Right off the bat, they'll discuss with you the options available and the best arrangement suited to your particular need.