How long does cocaine stay in your system? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. To figure out the answer, you have to consider how much coke was taken and for how long. Your weight, height, overall health and the method of consumption also factor in. A little less than 2% of people reported using cocaine in the past year in one report. Testing positive for this substance can cause you to lose your job, violate your parole or (in situations involving the Department of Children and Families) lose your children. If you have a drug test coming up, you may find yourself searching phrases online like “How long does cocaine stay in the urine?” You may also be looking for ways to flush this addictive substance from your system. We discuss the answers to these questions below.
What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is an illegal drug that’s known to be highly addictive. It’s classified as a stimulant, which means it’s an “upper” and typically gives you energy. Stimulants are also known to induce hallucinations, increase heart rate and raise blood pressure. Currently, cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug by the U.S. government, meaning usage carries a high potential for addiction and further abuse. However, there are a few rare instances where cocaine may provide medicinal benefits when administered by a doctor for legitimate medical purposes in a clinical setting.
How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?
Many factors influence how long cocaine remains in your system, as discussed below. Most people will test positive for cocaine for a few days after their last use — unless they’re heavy long-time users. In that case, a person may test positive for cocaine up to 2 weeks after the last use.
How Are Cocaine Levels in Your Body Detected?
How long you test positive will also depend on which testing method is used to detect drugs in your system. Standard testing methods include blood, saliva, urine and hair strand tests.
How long does cocaine stay in the urine? Generally, cocaine will show up in a urine test 3 to 14 days after last use. Drinking while doing cocaine or using large amounts of this substance can cause you to test positive for more extended time frames. To stop testing positive for cocaine in your urine, your body needs to eliminate all traces of the drug from your system, including any buildups from ongoing use.
How long does cocaine stay in blood or saliva? Cocaine usually only stays in blood or saliva for 2 days, but this can be longer for some people. Cocaine can show up in a hair strand test for months or even years. This is because each hair follicle has a blood vessel feeding your growth cells. When you use cocaine, the substance is absorbed into your bloodstream and carried into your hair follicles.
What Factors Influence How Long Cocaine Remains in Your System?
It’s almost impossible to provide a definitive answer to “How long does coke stay in my system?” Here are some of the most significant factors that determine how long cocaine remains in your system.
- Medications: Certain medications can affect how quickly cocaine is eliminated from your system. If you take prescriptions on top of your cocaine use, your body may metabolize the drug more slowly.
- Frequency of use: You’re likely to test positive for longer if you frequently use cocaine. This is especially true if you’re a daily user, as cocaine amounts can build up in your system over time.
- Amount used: The more you take, the longer your body needs to metabolize the cocaine.
- Hydration levels: Water is crucial to the body’s elimination process. If you’re dehydrated, your body will struggle to eliminate cocaine and other drugs from your system.
- Alcohol use: Using alcohol alongside cocaine causes your body to eliminate both substances more slowly.
- Age: Younger people can metabolize cocaine faster than older people.
- Gender: Women may metabolize cocaine slower than men, thanks to a naturally higher body fat percentage.
- Weight: Because fat cells can store cocaine longer, those with lower body fat percentages tend to eliminate substances faster. Theoretically, those who are overweight or obese will test for cocaine significantly longer than individuals with a healthy BMI.
- Health: If you have any preexisting health conditions, your body may struggle to eliminate cocaine and other substances. This can lead you to test positive for these substances longer than someone with overall good health would.
- Genetics: Genetics may play a factor in how quickly you metabolize cocaine.
How Can You Reduce the Amount of Time Cocaine Remains in Your Body?
There’s no guarantee that you can reduce the time cocaine remains in your body. However, some elimination methods may help. These include:
- Drinking extra water to help flush your system
- Getting plenty of sleep so your body has time to do its thing
- Eating a healthy diet, so your body has the nutrients it needs for elimination
- Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise to reduce stress and eliminate toxins more quickly
The best way to get cocaine out of your body is through a residential treatment program, which helps your body eliminate the drug through a medical detox. Medical detox will also help you manage the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, which can happen a few hours to a few days after your last use.
Seek Help for Cocaine Addiction Today
Cocaine is illegal, and testing positive for this substance can severely impact your life. Even worse, cocaine is a highly addictive substance that has the power to affect most aspects of your life negatively. If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help. Contact Sunlight Recovery today to begin your sobriety journey and never have to worry about how long cocaine stays in your system again.