How long does crack stay in your system?
The high from crack lasts only a few minutes. But how long cocaine stays in the system is much longer. Crack cocaine can be detected for days to weeks after use. Here, we’ll talk more about how crack works in the body and why habitual or heavy users have more to worry about than occasional users. Any questions about crack are welcomed at the end.
Main uses of crack cocaine
Some forms of cocaine are used as a topical, local anesthetic. In its unrefined form as coca leaf, cocaine is used as an herbal medicine in parts of Latin America. However, it is illegal to possess coca plants in the US. Furthermore, the crack form of cocaine does not have any legitimate medical uses – it’s used purely for its stimulant effects. Using crack can give a person a feeling or euphoria, a high, but it also restlessness, excitement, and related issues like tremors and paranoia.
How do you take crack?
Crack is a form of cocaine that’s been crystallized into a hard “rock” using baking soda. Unlike other forms of coke, which are snorted or injected, crack is heated to release cocaine vapor, which is then inhaled into the lungs. Crack is absorbed just as rapidly through inhalation as cocaine, which is injected directly into the bloodstream.
Peak levels and half life of crack
The half life of crack is very short – as low as 15 minutes. The high may only last 5-10 minutes total. The levels of cocaine in the blood depend on how much crack a person has smoked at one time, how tolerant they are to the drug, and how often they smoke crack. Typical peak levels in abusers are around 0.31 mg/L within five minutes of taking the drug.
Crack drug testing: How long does crack stay in the body?
Despite creating such a short high, crack can be detected in the body for a very long time, depending on the testing method used. While crack is absorbed by the body very quickly, very small levels of the drug can linger in bodily fluids or hair for days, sometimes even weeks. Hair samples are the most accurate way to judge past coke use, months after the suspected use of the drug.
Learn more on drug testing from our definitive guide.
How long does crack stay in blood?
The period crack can be detected in the blood is relatively brief. It’s typically no longer detectable after about 8 hours after use. In some people, this detection window for crach can be as little as 2 hours, if they’ve taken a smaller dose or have a very fast metabolism. For this reason, blood testing for crack is not normally done unless there’s a reason to suspect someone has taken crack within the past few hours.
How long does crack stay in hair?
Crack can be detected in the hair for months, even years, after it’s been taken. How long it’s detectable for depends on the length of a person’s hair, the amount of crack they’ve taken, and how frequently they use crack.
How long does crack stay in urine?
Cocaine can be detected in urine for 1-4 days after use. How long it remains in the body depends on the amount take, the size and metabolism of the crack abuser, and other factors. High doses of crack cocaine can show up a week later – and in a few very extreme cases, crack might be detected up to 3 weeks later urine.
How long does crack stay in saliva or sweat?
Cocaine can be detected in saliva and sweat, as well. This method can detect very low, trace amounts of the drug. Because of this, you can test positive for crack for several weeks after smoking it.
Crack and addiction
How fast can you get addicted to coke and crack cocaine? Repeated use leads quickly to addiction. And although everyone is different, crack is a very addictive drug. So if you are smoking crack and like the high, be warned. Habitual use has a number of negative side effects. Crack use and can cause:
- constricted blood vessels
- increased blood pressure
- increased body temperature
- increased heart rate
- paranoia or psychotic episodes
- overdose or death
Problems with crack?
Therapy has been shown to be effective for treating cocaine addiction and helping prevent relapse. It can’t be relied upon all on its own – treatment needs to be accompanied by a strong social support network and access to related services. There are no FDA-approved medications for treating crack addiction.
Questions about crack in the system
Do you still have questions about using crack or how long it stays in the system? Please leave us your questions or comments here. We will take the time to try to answer all of your questions with a personal reply ASAP.
Reference sources: NHTSA: Drug and Human Performance Fact Sheets: Cocaine
NIDA InfoFacts: Cocaine
Drug Enforcement Administration: Cocaine
NIDA: Sweat Testing May Prove Useful In Drug-Use Surveillance
Wisconsin Crime Laboratory System: Toxicology
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