How long does cocaine stay in blood, hair, or urine?

Cocaine generally stays in your system and can be detected in urine for 2-4 days afer use. However, heavy or chronic cocaine users may have an extended detection window of up to a week or 10 days. More here on cocaine in the system.

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Cocaine generally stays in your system for about 2-4 days. In fact, this is the detection window for urine for most casual users. However, chronic or heavy cocaine users may have a much longer detection window.

If you want to learn more about cocaine drug testing and your chances to pass a urine, blood, hair, or saliva drug test, continue reading. Main cocaine uses, detection time frames and other aspect of cocaine use here. And if you still have questions about cocaine in your system, you are more than welcome to ask them in the comments section at the end.

How do you take cocaine?

The principal routes of cocaine administration are oral, intranasal, intravenous, and inhalation. Snorting cocaine occurs when the cocaine powder is inhaled through the nose. There, cocaine is absorbed through the nasal tissue to the bloodstream.

Injecting cocaine, or IV cocaine use, releases the drug directly into the bloodstream and heightens the intensity of its effects. Smoking involves inhaling the cocaine vapor or smoke into the lungs. The absorption after smoking cocaine is as fast as by injection.

Main cocaine uses

Cocaine is used mainly for recreational purposes to increase alertness, relieve fatigue, feel stronger and more decisive. Often, cocaine is abused for its intense euphoric effects.  Rarely or seldom is cocaine used as a topical local anesthetic for ear, nose and throat surgery. Traditionally, the coca leaves are chewed or brewed into a tea for refreshment and to relieve fatigue.

Peak levels and half life of cocaine

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant.Cocaine has a short half-life of about 0.8 to 0.2 hours. The half-life of benzoylecgonine, the main cocaine metabolite though is 6 hours.

However, the most important factor for cocaine performance in the body is the route of administration. For example, snorting 160 mg of cocaine results in peak levels at 30 minutes; the peak of benzoylecgonine, is around 3 hours. After oral administration of 140 mg cocaine, peak levels occur in plasma concentrations at 1 hour. And while a single dose of 32 mg IV injected cocaine produces peak plasma concentration within 5 minutes, smoking reaches the peak at 45 minutes.

Cocaine drug testing: How long does cocaine stay in the body?

Cocaine is extensively metabolized to a variety of compounds which are centrally inactive. Most of it metabolizes within 4 hours. But cocaine is still detectable on most drug tests up to a week later and can be “visible” for up to three months in other specific kinds of drug testing.

How long does cocaine stay in blood?

Small part of a cocaine dose may stay in the system and be detected in blood for 48 hours after use. Many users may develop cocaine tolerance, and the changes in cocaine concentrations in storage are also crucial for blood testing. Unlike other drugs, cocaine has a large overlap between toxic, lethal and therapeutic concentrations. There are cases when no cocaine presence in the blood was measured, even after prolonged use.

How long does cocaine stay in hair?

As with other drugs, cocaine concentrations in hair are visible for at least 90 days after dosing. However, cocaine does not leave its marks at the root of the hair, but to specific areas. That means that it is there until the hair falls out or is cut off.

How long does cocaine stay in urine?

As with other drugs, there is no exact window of detection for cocaine in urine. Cocaine metabolites may be excreted in the urine for up to several weeks after use.

Very low concentrations may be detected during the initial few hours, however, benzoylecgonine persists in urine at detectable concentrations from 2-4 days.  Chronic, heavy use of cocaine can result in detectable amounts for up to 10 days following a binge use.

How long does cocaine stay in saliva or sweat?

Saliva elimination of cocaine has a half-life of 2 hours, while some cases have reported cocaine concentrations in the saliva even after 19 hours. Generally. the peak level of cocaine concentrations in sweat is at 4.5 to 24 hours.

Cocaine and addiction

People often underestimate how cocaine can be addictive. Defined as a desire for more of the drug despite the negative consequences, cocaine addiction happens very often to drug users, including all routes of administration.

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Problems with cocaine?

Are you using cocaine and experiencing some problems, strange symptoms or extended side effects? Maybe you want to know more about the cocaine testing procedures?

Please feel free to ask your questions about cocaine use here. We will do our best in giving you a personal and prompt answer.

Reference Sources:
U.S. Department of Justice – Drug Enforcement Administration
National Center for Biotechnology Information
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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