How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

Cocaine and Your Body

Cocaine remains one of the most popular drugs in the US. Thanks to this distinction, it’s one of the most commonly abused drugs as well. Due to cocaine’s potency, it is highly addictive. This leads to it being abused more commonly than other drugs on the market.

Its popularity raises the question of ‘how long does cocaine stay in your system?’ as one of the more common cocaine-related questions. The reason for people seeking these answers vary. Some might want to avoid a drug test, while others might want to know how long the effects last.

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There is no 100% accurate way to pinpoint how long cocaine stays in one’s system, but some things to consider can paint a clearer picture of the timeline. Read on to find out how to determine the length of time cocaine may stay detectable in your system!

Does Cocaine Take Effect Immediately?

If we want to know how long cocaine can stay in your system, it’s essential to know how long it takes for the effects of cocaine to kick in after taking it. How much cocaine is ingested and the method by which it is consumed are major factors in how quickly the body feels its effects.

A man abusing Cocaine

Cocaine is a schedule II controlled substance, essentially a rapid-acting stimulant that creates a short-lived high. it accomplishes this by attached to the central nervous system. The feeling of euphoria it produces can last from a several minutes to a several hours. There are several modes of ingestion that cocaine users may use, each leading to different outcomes. The most common forms of administration include:

  • Snorting – Effects occur within the first five minutes, with the total “high” lasting around a half and hour.
  • Oral ingestion –Oral ingestion will take 10-30 minutes before effects kick in, with the high lasting up to an hour or more. This takes longer than other methods but results in a more prolonged period of euphoria.
  • Smoking – When cocaine is smoked, effects typically trigger within 5-10 seconds. Like snorting, the euphoric feeling that the user gets typically lasts only 20 minutes.
  • Intravenous – Taking cocaine through this method may also result in almost instantaneous feelings of euphoria, with a high that persists for 20 minutes.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System?

Several factors impact whether a test can detect cocaine in someone’s body. Typically tests vary in their detection time, between a matter of days to as much as two weeks or more. Some of cocaine’s popularity as a drug comes from the belief that it doesn’t stay in the human body as long as other substances that offer similar feelings. Unfortunately, that’s not a strictly true statement.

Depending on how it is ingested and tested, cocaine or cocaine’s primary metabolite can remain in the system for quite a long time. Let’s look at the most common ways cocaine is screened via drug tests and how long it will continue to be detected for each.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your Urine?

On average, cocaine can be picked up by urine tests for up to three days after the last use. However, for heavy cocaine users, it can continue to be seen in their urine for up to two weeks. A urine drug test remains the most popular method of screening by far. It is also the most accurate screening method due to the urine concentration of the drug.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your Hair?

Cocaine metabolites can be found in one’s hair sample for up to three months, according to some reports. Drug detection leads most people to think of blood, urine, or even saliva. Most people tend to overlook the fact that metabolites also settle in one’s hair.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your Saliva?

Cocaine can be picked up in a user’s saliva for up to two days after the using last. Testing in this way involves a particular device which extracts saliva from the mouth, then transfers the extraction into a tube for testing. A saliva test will confirm or deny if you’ve used cocaine recently.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your Blood

You can detect cocaine in the blood up to twelve hours after the last use. Blood tests are not commonly requested and are usually only done while the person is in a hospital setting.

Cocaine Screening and How Testing Works

Urine specimen for doping drugs test of cocaine. To detect illegal drugs in human body.

A cocaine screen is a test to determine when the last time you consumed cocaine was. Cocaine testing can occur with your hair, sweat, blood, saliva, or urine. The test is geared toward finding one or more one or more of the metabolites that cocaine leaves behind in your body.

The two most commonly found metabolites are benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester. Cocaine screening doesn’t take much time, and it’s not uncommon to get preliminary results back within minutes. Lab tests typically take longer, and if cocaine is detected, the final test may need verification by a lab before the results are released.

Cocaine Testing in Everyday Life

Some jobs require applicants to submit to a cocaine test prior to starting their employment with the company. Other companies don’t require a test before the commencement of work but do need employees to submit to randomized drug testing during their employment.

In some cases, law enforcement or social workers may request a cocaine test to ensure that a person on parole or probation isn’t violating the terms through continued drug use. Some insurance companies also have drug testing as a prerequisite for approving a policy. Medical personnel within a hospital may request a drug test if they suspect that a particular patient may be a cocaine user.

A blood or saliva test will return a positive result if cocaine’s metabolites are detected. Cocaine can stay in your system for a short time, but the leftover metabolites will remain much longer. Employers opt for a urine test or blood test as peace of mind that they’re hiring employees that meet the requirements of being sober on the job.

If they want to be responsible for their employees, these tests are necessary to ensure that their workers aren’t taking cocaine during their downtime.

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The Details of Testing for Cocaine

When you go in for a drug test for cocaine, you will be asked to donate a sample of your saliva or your urine, depending on the test. Urine is the most commonly used test to determine whether someone has been using the drug. Because of the trace metabolites in the user’s urine, the test may be accurate up to two weeks after the last use.

One downside of urine testing is that some individuals have learned how to cheat on the tests. Typically, this may involve adding one or more substances to the urine to create a false negative. Saliva testing is harder to cheat on since the person gives their sample with witnesses present. Unfortunately, the saliva tests are only viable for up to two days after the last use of the drug.

Blood testing is the most accurate method for drug tests to detect cocaine use. The downside of blood testing is that a lab must do the tests, and results will take much longer to get to the subject. They are also invasive and have the same time frame as a saliva test. They are, however, nearly impossible to cheat on. Blood tests are usually reserved for patients already within the healthcare system.

Hair testing records cocaine use for up to two weeks after the person last used it. On occasion, hair tests may be used to determine if a person has ever used cocaine in their lives.

Factors That Impact How Long Cocaine Remains In your System

Body Fat

The metabolites of cocaine that tests focus on are typically stored in fatty tissue. Those with a larger body fat content tend to have cocaine stay in their system longer. They will also be more likely to get their use detected on tests.

Potency and Amounts of Cocaine Ingested

Repeated cocaine use and those with Cocaine Use Disorder tend to test positive more frequently on drug tests as there is more cocaine in their system at a base level. The potency and purity of the drug also affect this.


Proper hydration can help flush out your system and reduce the time metabolites remain within your system. If a person is dehydrated, those metabolites will stick around in their system for longer.

How It’s Ingested

How a user ingests cocaine plays a significant role in how long the system will retain the substance. Typically, cocaine tends to stay in the system for shorter periods the faster it gets into the system. Therefore, injecting or smoking it will result in the substance leaving the system faster than if you were to ingest it orally or snort it.

Mixing It With Other Substances

Drug addiction is insidious. When mixed with cocaine, certain substances can cause cocaine to remain in the body longer. Routinely drinking alcohol or coffee while smoking cocaine may result in it remaining in the system longer.

Dangers of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine Abuse Symptom

There are many ways that claim to “trick” the system and get cocaine out of your body faster, but the most reliable way is to stop taking it and let your body eliminate it. Taking water to help the body flush the cocaine out of your system can benefit you in some cases. However, scientifically, this suggestion has not been rigorously proven.

Cocaine addiction brings with it significant medical and health issues. Using too much cocaine can lead to a condition known as cocaine intoxication. Cocaine intoxication presents several symptoms including, but not limited to:


  • Damage to the kidneys
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shaking or Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • High body temperature
  • Aggravation of heart conditions
  • Hyperactivity
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke or seizure risk increases
  • Overdose and possible death


Do you know someone suffering from cocaine abuse or addiction? You should seek out help for them and help them change their lives to avoid these potentially deadly symptoms. Undergoing detox and rehab treatment are the most significant initial steps someone can take to break themselves from cocaine addiction and dependency.

Individuals who suffer from drug abuse and cocaine addiction often feel concerned and unsure about seeking addiction treatment. Unfortunately, these feelings, coupled with the stigma that exists around this topic, usually mean they don’t get the support they need to overcome their addiction. If you feel afraid or embarrassed to admit you have a problem, remember that you’re not in this by yourself.

At Find Addiction Rehabs, we offer several specialized services to our clients, including cocaine addiction. We’re here to lend much-needed support to those that want to take their lives back.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction withdrawal is a complicated process that a physician should oversee. While withdrawal symptoms tend to peak in the first week, they can last for months. In addition to the physical aspects of withdrawal, there are also behavioral changes that may occur.

For example, persons often become agitated and depressed until they begin to feel as healthy as they were before using cocaine. While each individual has personal drug use triggers, cocaine withdrawal symptoms generally call for a professional detox program that provides 24-hour monitoring so your loved one is protected from further injury during withdrawal.

Cocaine addiction can have several severe consequences, particularly in the brain. Chronic cocaine abuse causes progressive damage to the receptors in the brain that respond to dopamine, an important chemical that controls pleasure and reward. With repeated use, these receptors become overactive and, over time, become unable to regulate normal dopamine responses.

As a result, drug users experience an abnormally high level of dopamine in the brain when they take cocaine. This euphoria is short-lived, suddenly dropping dramatically when the substance is no longer active within the body.

How Does Cocaine Detox Work?

The process of cocaine addiction detox at a rehab facility is divided into two stages: acute and post-acute. Acute detoxification lasts from one to three days, during which an individual may experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Post-acute detoxification can last anywhere from one month to several months.

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Your Source for Cocaine Rehab Services

There’s no definitive answer to figure out how long cocaine stays in one’s system. Factors that could potentially affect this length of time include potency, frequency, and the method of ingestion. Using cocaine over long periods can be hazardous and even life-threatening.

Are you or someone you know suffering from cocaine addiction? We can help you or them. It is the goal of Find Addiction Rehabs to offer support and a road to recovery to each individual who comes through our doors. Our services include a wide range of treatments for addiction and dependency, including cocaine. Contact us today to learn more about our approach and how we can help you overcome your issues and live a long, healthy, and happy life out of the shadow of cocaine addiction.

FAQs on How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

How long does cocaine stay in your system?

The time varies from person to person and is based on several factors. As mentioned above, cocaine metabolites can remain detectable in the saliva and blood for up to forty-eight hours. Cocaine residue can be found in urine samples for up to seventy-two hours after the last use. Hair residue may persist for months or even years from the last use of the drug.

Is water a good way to flush cocaine out of your system?

Anecdotal evidence is the only proof we have of water being a good way to flush cocaine out of your system. Unfortunately, no scientific studies have backed up this claim and it remains unproven. Addiction treatment options offer a more long-term method of dealing with cocaine addiction.

Can urine tests determine whether you have taken cocaine?

You can test positive for cocaine through a urine test up to two weeks after your last use. However, the period metabolites that may show up in your urine may be less than this if you’re not a frequent user of the substance.

Is cocaine detox a long process?

Detox is the first step in substance abuse recovery treatment. The acute portion of the process typically lasts between one and three days. After this, treatment may continue under a mental health services administration for up to three months, to help you cope with the psychological hold the substance has on your body and mind.

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