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How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay In Your System?

Published on January 29, 2021
How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay In Your System?

The effects of crack cocaine last for about 5 to 10 minutes. However, crack cocaine can stay in your system for a much longer length of time, or anywhere between 3 to 7.5 hours after last use.

However, crack metabolites can be picked up by drug tests for even longer periods of time. Most drug tests can find out if you have used crack in the past 2 to 4 days, while some can check the past 90 days for crack use.

Half-Life Of Crack Cocaine

Half-life is the amount of time it takes for a substance to reach 50% of its maximum concentration in the body after it’s ingested. The half-life of cocaine and all its forms, including crack, is between 40 to 90 minutes.

After about 5 half-life cycles, most drugs are almost completely eliminated from the body. This means crack is likely to leave a person’s system after about 3 to 7.5 hours after last use. Several factors, such as body fat, diet, frequency of use, and drug tolerance can affect elimination times.

Metabolites

Metabolites are the parts of drugs that stay in the body as the substance breaks down or metabolizes. Crack and cocaine share many of the same metabolites because crack is a derivative of cocaine.

Cocaine metabolites include benzoylecgonine, norcocaine, and ecgonine methyl ester (EME). Smoking crack creates its own unique metabolite, anhydroecgonine methyl ester (AEME). These are mostly formed in the liver, where enzymes break down cocaine or crack.

Drug Testing For Crack

Drug tests try to detect various types of substance use, including cocaine use. These tests often look for unchanged cocaine, crack, and benzoylecgonine, cocaine and crack’s most prominent metabolite.

Excessive use of crack may increase your chances of testing positive for longer times after the last dose.

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay In Your Urine?

Urine is one of the most common testing methods for many drugs, including opioids, amphetamines, and stimulants. 

Less than 10% of crack cocaine can pass through the body unchanged and come out in the urine. Crack and benzoylecgonine can be found in urine for 3 to 5 days after the last dose.

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay In Your Hair?

Hair testing examines hair follicles for metabolites. They can find signs of drug use for a much longer timeframe than other forms of drug testing, because metabolites stay in hair follicles as they grow out.

Hair tests can find cocaine or crack metabolites for up to 90 days after the last dose.

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay In Your Saliva?

Saliva tests can involve either a cheek or tongue swab or a device used to extract saliva from the mouth. Unchanged cocaine or crack, as well as benzoylecgonine, can be found in saliva for up to 2 days after the last dose.

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay In Your Blood?

Crack is likely eliminated from blood plasma quickly. Blood tests can only detect crack and cocaine metabolites for 12 hours to 2 days after it was last taken.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Other Parts Of The Body?

Cocaine metabolites can be found in breast milk for much longer periods of time than other parts of the body, including for up to 36 days after its last use. 

This can put nursing infants at risk for dependence and withdrawal symptoms because they can drink the cocaine or crack along with the breast milk.

Crack Cocaine Addiction

Although the effects of cocaine and crack are intense but short-term, they are highly addictive substances that can harm your physical and mental health.

Additionally, both substances are illegal in the United States, and you may face legal, financial, or vocational consequences if you test positive for either of them.

Crack addiction is a serious issue that may require professional care at a healthcare facility. To learn about our substance abuse treatment options, please connect with us today.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.
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