HOW LONG DOES COCAINE STAY IN YOUR SYSTEM?
Cocaine (also known as, flake, snow, and coke) is known to stay in your system for a period of 12-72 hours depending on the dose. However, its main metabolite, Benzoylecgonine, which is the indicator in drug screenings, takes much longer to get eliminated. Many factors determine how quickly it gets cleared from the body. This compound is also used medically as a topical analgesic and muscle relaxant.
When a person takes cocaine, it’s metabolized in the liver to form the metabolite benzoylecgonine. This metabolite is then excreted out of the body through urine. The presence of this metabolite in urine is a certain indicator that a person has consumed cocaine. Therefore urine test for benzoylecgonine is the most common drug test performed to determine cocaine usage.
How Long Does it take to get rid of Cocaine from your body?
As we mentioned earlier, many factors determine the rate at how fast the benzoylecgonine gets eliminated from the body. Some factors that determine how long cocaine stays in your body are:
- The quantity of drug taken.
- The frequency at which you are taking it
- Individual body weight and height.
- Your overall metabolism rate, which is also dependent on your levels of activity and lifestyle.
How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System and Urine?
Cocaine is normally eliminated via urine in about 12 hours. However, if the dose is heavy, it may take up to 72 hours, after which it is rarely detected in urine. However, if cocaine is consumed with alcohol, it takes an even longer time to get eliminated, approximately 5 days. In addition, it leads to the formation of the metabolite Cocaethylene.
Benzoylecgonine, the cocaine metabolite, takes even longer for your body to metabolize. Even if the quantity of cocaine consumed was very little, the minimum time for its elimination is 4-5 days. In the case of heavy use, it may take about 2 weeks. For the regular users, elimination time is around 20 days to 1 month, even if the dose was minimal. Additionally, if alcohol is present, then the complete elimination is longer, ranging from 25 days to even one and a half months.
Most notably, drinking a lot of water helps in speeding up the process of elimination while alcohol and caffeinated drinks delay the elimination process by slowing your metabolism down.
Threshold Value for Detection
2 ng/mL levels or more indicate a positive drug test result.
Cocaine Drug Testing Methods
The testing methods applied to detect benzoylecgonine metabolite, may be in the following forms:
- Blood test
- Hair sample test
- Saliva test
- Urine test
A blood test is a test that is likely to be employed to determine if an individual is under the influence of a drug. It is an invasive form of testing and a medical laboratory is required to facilitate the test. Due to its requirements, this is an expensive type of test, however, it is the most accurate.
This test involves taking a small sample of hair. This method is more expensive than conducting a urine test. The average cost being $100-$150. Moreover, an individual is more likely to test positive on a hair test than on a urine sample. A hair sample test detects the presence of the drug fast and effectively. However, since the tracers move up and down the hair shaft, it isn’t reliable when one needs to find out how long the drug was used. A hair test can reveal cocaine use up to 3 months after use.
Detection in Saliva
Saliva tests are increasingly becoming popular for detecting illicit drug use, more so, because they are clinically non-invasive and less expensive compared to the first two. Cocaine is detected in saliva 24 hours after use. However, this test lacks nationally adopted standards and the test results vary with the brand selected for the test making it less reliable than other available options.
The most popular choice for cocaine testing. A urine test is inexpensive and has the potential to detect recent (usually a week) drug use as well as long-term (25-30 days) exposure to the drug. These tests are also available for in home testing as well. However, the results require verification by a laboratory technician. Along with testing the sample for cocaine and its metabolite benzoylecgonine, a testing facility may be required to also run other fundamental tests on the sample to determine pH levels and creatinine concentration.
People wonder if there are ways to cheat a drug test, in case they are asked to submit to one. There are some stories on the internet on how some people have done so, like switching urine samples, or drinking a concoction that promises a “detox” or even drinking large amounts of water to dilute their urine or increase urination frequency to eliminate the drug faster, but they are not proven methods and usually don’t work.
Habitual users of cocaine develop an addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction, there are many places you can look for help.