Cocaine is an addictive substance that affects people of all age groups and incomes. 6% of people over the age of 12 abuse cocaine in one month in the United States. But how long does cocaine stay in your system?
If someone you love is struggling with a cocaine addiction, you probably have these and other questions. Let’s dive in and see how this incredibly addictive drug can wreak havoc on those you love and yourself.
Table of Contents
- What Is Cocaine And Where Did it Come From?
- Too Much Cocaine Too Often
- Consuming Cocaine
- What Are Signs of Addiction?
- How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?
- How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your Blood?
- How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your Urine?
- Where Else in The Body is Cocaine Detected?
- Moving Cocaine Out of The Body
- Cocaine Intoxication
- You Are Not Alone
What Is Cocaine And Where Did it Come From?
Cocaine is an illegal stimulant that affects the nervous system, and it takes effect on the body rapidly. Cocaine comes from the coca plant and has many nicknames such as coke, flake, crack, and snow.
Euphoria is the effect of cocaine, causing the user to experience a feeling of freedom from worries,(better known as ‘getting high’), which is what causes the addiction.
When cocaine is metabolized in the liver, it produces a by-produced called benzoylecgonine. Benzoylecgonine is what is detected during a drug test.
Cocaine was consumed as a tea and a chew to combat fatigue, as well as a popular party drug in the 70s and 80s and continues to be today. Since it’s a stimulant, it keeps people awake.
Too Much Cocaine Too Often
Using large amounts of cocaine too frequently can lead to many health problems:
- heart, lung, and liver damage
- tooth damage
- blood vessel deterioration
- brain impairments
Cocaine’s half-life in the body is very short. A half-life refers to how long a drug stays within the body until it is reduced by half of the original dose.
How cocaine is consumed has a great effect on its length in the body.
There are several ways to take cocaine:
- intravenously: injections, effects felt within 5 minutes and lasts 15-30 minutes
- inhaling: effects felt within 45 minutes and lasts 15-30 minutes
- intranasal or sniffing: effects felt within 30 minutes and lasts an hour
- ingesting: effects felt within 60 minutes and lasts almost 4 hours
What Are Signs of Addiction?
Addiction is a disease. Addiction happens when the reward center of the brain is hijacked and the brain recircuits and dependence on the drug or substance occurs.
If you suspect someone you love is struggling from a cocaine addiction, here are some signs to watch out for:
- dilated pupils
- going out of their way to get the drug
- removing oneself from close family and friends
- mood swings
- asking for money often, financial struggles
- burn marks on face and hands
- changes in habits or behavior, such as missing work, school, or meetings
- excitable demeanor
- craving the drug
Not everyone will suffer the same symptoms, but several of these symptoms can indicate a possible addiction.
People with mental illness are more likely to suffer from substance abuse and addiction.
How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?
Your system refers to your body or other body parts. Often, cocaine can peak in the body anywhere between 5-30 minutes depending on the method it’s consumed.
The person’s age, weight, health, hydration, and metabolism make it difficult to pinpoint exactly how long cocaine will stay in the body and be eliminated.
Generally speaking, cocaine can last in the body anywhere from 2-4 days after use.
Another factor is how often it’s consumed and the amount consumed. Social use of cocaine may be extracted from the body more quickly than someone who is addicted. If the amount consumed is large, then it lingers in the body longer.
Often with heavy users, cocaine can collect in the body tissues and often be present in several different tests.
The purer the cocaine, the longer it stays in the body as well.
How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your Blood?
Cocaine can linger in your blood for about 12-48 hours and can be seen in a blood test around 24 hours.
For an addict, however, sometimes they develop a tolerance, and there’s no detection of cocaine in the blood.
How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your Urine?
Cocaine can stay in urine for up to 14 days and can be detected in a urine sample 2-3 days after consumption.
If the consumption is large enough, cocaine can last up to 3 weeks in a urine sample.
Where Else in The Body is Cocaine Detected?
- Saliva, sweat, and hair can harbor cocaine as well.
- For saliva, cocaine can be present for 12-24 hours and will show up on a drug test anywhere from 1-10 days.
- For sweat, up to several weeks.
- For hair, it can be 90 days to several years.
Moving Cocaine Out of The Body
Besides the amount of cocaine used, there are other things that hinder the extraction of cocaine from the body:
- Alcohol: Mixing alcohol and cocaine is very dangerous. Alcohol attaches to the cocaine, making it difficult to release from the body. When both these substances are metabolized by the liver, it produces cocaethylene, which can build up in the body over continued use.
- Overweight: The by-product benzoylecgonine can be found in fatty tissue.
- Dehydration: Water helps move toxins out of the body.
- Lack of exercise: People who exercise often have a faster metabolism, so cocaine cannot be extracted as quickly in those who do not exercise
Cocaine intoxications happen when a cocaine user has consumed too much cocaine or taken it in extremely high doses. It also occurs if one has taken two drugs in tandem.
Here are some signs of cocaine intoxication:
- chest pain
- feeling of euphoria
- confused state
- excessive talking, rambling or seeming over excited
- enlarged pupils that do not dilate
- increased blood pressure
- increased heart rate
- breathing difficulties
- bluish skin color
A user could display all these symptoms for just a few, and they can sometimes lead to permanent damage to certain organs.
Cocaine consumed in exceptionally large doses is lethal.
You Are Not Alone
Using any amount of cocaine is dangerous. Regardless of how long cocaine stays in your system, it’s been proven to always do more harm than good.
Thankfully, there’s hope.
Recovery Resource Center is passionate about helping others overcome their addictions. They offer long-term and short-term facilities, with counselors and they’re staying up-to-date on the latest research concerning drug addiction.
Visit them today and begin on the road to recovery.