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How Long Does Cocaine Stay in the System?

young woman preparing to use Cocaine from a table

Cocaine can remain in someone’s system for some time. Depending on the method of detection used, cocaine can be picked up in a person for as little as 5 minutes or as long as 90 days. To better understand this we have listed the methods of detection and their effective times below.

How long do people act like they are on cocaine: When someone is experiencing the high of cocaine they are often restless, irritable and agitated. They may be talking faster than normal, their pupils will be dilated and they will likely have a runny nose. Other symptoms include hyperactivity and an increase in confidence.

These signs are often used as an initial test for cocaine in the system before any scientific means are employed. People who smoke or inject cocaine display these behaviours for between 5 and 15 minutes on average after use. People who snort or gum cocaine will exhibit these symptoms for an average of 15 to 30 minutes.

More accurate means of detecting cocaine in the system rely on something called cocaine metabolites. These are the by-products of your body’s metabolism breaking down the cocaine. All of the below tests rely on the detection of cocaine metabolites.

How long does cocaine stay in the blood: Cocaine stays in the bloodstream for approximately 2 days after the last use. This makes blood tests very accurate when trying to determine recent or frequent cocaine users.

How long does cocaine stay in saliva: Like blood, cocaine can be detected in saliva for up to 2 days. As saliva tests are easy to administer they are some of the most frequent testing methods used for detecting cocaine use.

How long does cocaine stay in urine: Metabolites stay in urine much longer than in blood or saliva. This means cocaine can be detected up to 4 days after your last use.

How long does cocaine stay in hair: A sample of hair can be used to detect cocaine up to 90 days after the last use. This is because hair can hold traces of cocaine whereas blood and other bodily fluids are regularly cleaned or expelled.

Other factors that can affect how long cocaine stays in the system are:

  • How much cocaine is consumed.
  • The more cocaine a person uses, the more evidence of its use builds up in the system.
  • How frequently the drug is used.
  • Frequent users will have more cocaine in their system which takes longer for the body to metabolise.
  • How you used cocaine.
  • People who smoke or inject cocaine are putting it directly into their bloodstream. This means it can start to be broken down faster. Cocaine that has been snorted or applied to the gums has to pass through the digestive tract before it is broken down. That means it stays in the system longer.
  • Using alcohol with cocaine.
  • People who drink when they use cocaine are likely to test positive for longer.
  • Weight and metabolism.
  • People with a slower metabolism may take longer to process cocaine which means it stays in their system longer. Higher levels of body fat also slow a persons ability to clear cocaine from their system.

It is commonplace amongst cocaine users to minimise the risks involved their use but cocaine use can be fatal. Lucy White, a student from Bristol was just 24 when she died in hospital after a line of cocaine triggered a heart attack and then a coma. Unfortunately, she is one of many whose time ran out and did not have the opportunity to address things until it was too late.

The staff at Help Me Stop have all had problems with drugs or alcohol in the past, so we know first-hand how easy it is for your drinking and use of drugs to get out of hand. Equally, we know as psychotherapists and through life experience how to beat it. As one of our former clients says, we have a programme that helps you deal with your drug addiction and alcohol issues and “deal with real life on life’s terms”.

Help Me Stop offers a free assessment for our cocaine outpatient treatment programme, which we can do face to face or online. We offer range of effective, intensive face to face and online treatment programmes. Call us now on 0208 191 9191, jump onto live chat or email us directly.

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