How long does Cocaine stay in the system?

Cocaine is a drug recognized as one of the most dangerous drugs in existence. It comes in powder or crystal form that may be sniffed through the nasal tissues, ingested by rubbing onto the gums, or even injected into the bloodstream. Once an individual starts taking the drug, he experiences a euphoric feeling that cannot be replicated without the drug. To produce the same effect, the user tends to use cocaine more frequently or in higher dosages.

Cocaine stay in the system
Image by D. Sinclair Terrasidius

In the streets, cocaine is known as coke, crack, candy, snow or flake. Due to its rampant abuse, cocaine has become a multibillion dollar industry with its users surpassing across economic levels, occupations and ages. If you suspect a loved one to be taking cocaine and you wish to give assistance, the best way to do it is to get a cocaine drug test.

Before conducting a drug test, it is important to know the best time to perform the test. It is possible to test positive for cocaine and its metabolite chemicals for up to 3 days as this is the amount of time it stays present in the human body. But for chronic cocaine users, traces of the drug may be detected in a longer span of time.

There are several ways to conduct a drug test for cocaine in the body. Each of these drug tests has its own corresponding number of days on how long cocaine may be detected. The different tests include:

  • Saliva – 12-48 hours
  • Blood – 12-48 hours
  • Urine – 2-3 days, 2 weeks for chronic users
  • Sweat – several weeks
  • Hair – a few months to years

The commonly preferred approach, especially in non-emergency situations, is urine testing because it makes use of a non-invasive approach and also has a wider window for detecting the drug.

These tests, called immunoassays, are intended to look for traces of benzoylecgonine in the body. To determine positive use of the drug, the test must show at least 300 ng/mL of the main metabolite. Even if a low amount of cocaine was used, it can already be detected in the urine after a few hours of taking the drug. In irregular users, the metabolite may be detected in urine from 2-4 days after use. Meanwhile, those who are chronic users or have binged on the drug may show a positive result in the urine up to 12 days of use.

However, it is important to remember that frequency is not the only factor being used to detect the presence of cocaine in the body. Other factors include how it was administered and how much dosage was used. An intravenous dose of 20 mg of cocaine may be detected in the body for up to 1.5 days. If this amount is administered in alternative routes, it may be detected up to a week. In instances wherein an extremely high dosage of the drug was used, it may be detected in the system for up to 3 weeks after the last instance the drug was taken.

If you’re looking to get a loved one tested for the drug, you may consider one of the testing options mentioned. Once the test returns positive, you may start providing assistance and care so he can get the treatment he needs.

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Jyotsna Ramani is a passionate writer and an avid globetrotter. She had a knack for writing since her early years, though that was mostly letters to her penpals and jotting her thoughts down in her "Dear Diary". Over the years, she realized how her hobby could turn into a full time career and she started writing web content, books and pieces for local magazines. There has been no looking back ever since. Follow Jyotsna Ramani at Google+

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