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How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System?

Published on January 5, 2021
how long does cocaine stay in your system cocaine drug test

Cocaine is a fast-acting central nervous system stimulant that can cause a short-term rush and euphoric high that lasts from a few minutes to less than an hour. However, the evidence of cocaine use will linger in your body for much longer.

Cocaine Drug Tests

Cocaine’s half-life (the period it takes for the body to eliminate ½ of a dose) is about one hour if alcohol has not been consumed. It usually takes four to six half-lives to completely eliminate a drug from the body, or less than one day.

Because cocaine is processed by the body so quickly, drug screens usually check for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine that can be successfully detected for a longer period than cocaine itself.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your Urine?

Urine tests are the most common drug testing method. Cocaine metabolites can typically be detected in urine toxicology screens 3-6 hours after the drug is ingested, and will continue to detect the drug for around three days.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your Blood?

Cocaine and cocaine metabolites are detectable in blood for up to 2 days after last use.

Saliva Tests

Cocaine and cocaine metabolites are detectable in saliva for up to 2 days as well.

Hair Tests

While somewhat less reliable than other methods, hair follicles and hair samples can reveal the use of cocaine for months if not years after last use.

Can You Flush Cocaine Out of Your System In 48 Hours?

There is no guaranteed method or miraculous strategy to force cocaine out of your system more quickly. No matter how much water you drink or how many antioxidant fruits and herbs you eat, ultimately your body has to metabolize the drug and eliminate it, and that process takes time.

Are False Positives For Cocaine Possible After A Drug Test?

Unlike opioids (which can be indicated by false positives after you eat poppy seed bagels), methamphetamines (certain cold medications), and benzodiazepines (certain antidepressants and painkillers) cocaine and its metabolites are highly distinctive and don’t resemble other common medications or materials.

This means that false positives or negatives for cocaine use are very rare.

Factors That Affect Cocaine Detection Times

Detection times following cocaine use will vary from person to person depending on a number of factors. 

If you are a frequent or heavy user of cocaine, the buildup of metabolites in your system will significantly extend the period when the drug can be detected. Urine screens following a period of heavy use may test positive for up to two weeks.

Other factors that can impact how long cocaine remains detectable on a drug test include:

  • hydration
  • metabolism
  • liver and kidney performance
  • body mass
  • whether you drank alcohol recently (cocaine appears to be eliminated from the body slower when alcohol is present in the body)

How Long Does Cocaine Last?

The onset and duration of a cocaine high depends on how the drug is taken:

  • if snorted, cocaine’s effects can be felt within 3-5 minutes and usually last around 20 minutes
  • if smoked, cocaine’s effects can be felt within 5-15 seconds and usually last around 10 minutes
  • if injected intravenously, cocaine’s effects can be felt within 5-15 seconds and usually last around 10 minutes
  • If taken by mouth, cocaine’s effects can be felt within 10-30 minutes and usually last around 90 minutes, with elimination and detection periods extended accordingly

During this period you may feel hyper-stimulated, confident, invincible, and alert and may become extremely talkative or sexually aroused with diminished inhibitions.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

If you are concerned about testing positive for cocaine use, it is critical that you seek substance use treatment as soon as possible.

Personalized treatment programs for cocaine addiction include:

If you or a loved one suffers from cocaine addiction, Ark Behavioral Health can help. Please contact us today for more information on our addiction treatment centers and healthcare resources.

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

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) - How is cocaine used?
U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Cocaine

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