How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?


Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that carries the risk of physical dependence with regular use. Like other chemicals and toxins, a person’s body begins to eliminate the drug after a period of time. Cocaine is detectable in the blood, urine, saliva, and hair. Although the body actively works to remove cocaine from its systems, tests can still find traces of this drug in the body long after a person stops using it.

In this article, we will explore the short and long-term effects of cocaine and how long the drug is present in the body after a person’s last use.

Cocaine carries a high risk of addiction, and the effects of addiction can be dangerous–even life-threatening. Without treatment, people with addiction are at risk of severe damage to their physical health, emotional wellbeing, relationships, and financial health. If you or someone you love are living with an addiction to cocaine or other substances, reach out to Moving Mountains Recovery to get the treatment you need to live a healthy, sober lifestyle.

Understanding the Effects of Cocaine on Your System

Generally, cocaine produces a short-lived but intense sense of euphoria and energy. It can be snorted, smoked, injected, or taken orally. The effects of cocaine are similar regardless of the method a person uses to ingest it, but the timeline and duration of the effects can vary.

  • Snorting: People feel the effects within 3-5 minutes. Effects last for about 20 minutes.
  • Smoking: Effects begin within 5-10 seconds and last for 20 minutes.
  • Injection: People experience effects within 10 seconds which last for 20 minutes.
  • Oral: Effects begin in 10-30 minutes and last for up to 90 minutes. 

The short-lived effects of cocaine often cause people to use it frequently in a short period of time. This is often called a binge. Using cocaine frequently often quickly leads to addiction.

How Long Can Tests Detect Cocaine in Urine?

Cocaine has a half-life of about an hour, meaning half of the cocaine in a person’s system is eliminated in one hour.[1] Heavy or repeated cocaine use can change the body’s ability to eliminate the drug effectively, meaning it is detectable by test for a longer period.

Urine toxicology tests are considered to be the most effective at detecting cocaine and cocaine metabolites. However, cocaine is detectable in other areas for longer periods of time. For example, cocaine and its metabolites are detectable in a person’s hair for years.

Cocaine is usually detectable in a person’s urine for about three days after their last use. However, people who frequently use cocaine and those who use it in greater amounts may test positive on a urine test for up to two weeks. 

How Long Can a Test Detect Cocaine in Blood?

Typically, cocaine shows up in a person’s blood for about two days after their last use. A saliva test will usually detect cocaine for up to two days as well. Heavy use may affect the length of time cocaine shows up on a blood test.[2] 

What Factors Affect How Long A Test Can Detect Cocaine in Your System?

Several factors influence how long cocaine remains in your body. These include things like body composition, metabolism, weight, dose, and frequency of use. Generally, the more a person uses, the more of the drug will be present in their blood, urine, and saliva. 

Another factor that can affect the length of time cocaine will show up in a toxicology screening is alcohol use. Using cocaine and alcohol together may make it harder for the body to eliminate the drug, meaning that a toxicology test may detect cocaine for a longer period. 

Are There Ways to Eliminate Cocaine From Your System in Less Time?

There are no proven ways to eliminate cocaine at a faster pace. A person’s body will naturally detox chemicals and toxins from its systems. Taking good care of yourself, including getting medical support if necessary, can help you stay comfortable during this process. 

If you are using cocaine or other substances, you must get the support and treatment you need to stop. The effects of addiction can be severe and even life-threatening. With good support and a tailored substance abuse treatment program, you can learn how to embrace sobriety and live a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle. 

Learn More About Detecting Cocaine in a Drug Test by Reaching Out to Moving Mountains Recovery

You don’t have to cope with cocaine addiction or other substance abuse issues on your own. If you or someone you love needs cocaine addiction treatment or another form of support during recovery, reach out to the staff at Moving Mountains Recovery. 

We offer a range of programs designed to empower people on their recovery journey. Don’t wait another day for the help you need. Reach out to our knowledgeable specialists today. 



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