How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?
Compared to other drugs of abuse, cocaine produces some of the most powerful effects in terms of the impact it has on the body’s system. Anyone who’s used this drug well knows how intense a cocaine “high” can be. This effect mirrors the drastic changes taking place within the body.
How long does cocaine stay in your system may be a concern of yours if you’re trying to take as many precautions as possible when using this drug. How long does cocaine stay in your system may also be of concern when required to undergo drug testing.
When all is said and done, cocaine’s time in your system doesn’t even begin to reflect the degree of havoc and damage it wreaks in terms of your physical and psychological well-being.
When smoked, snorted or injected, cocaine enters into the bloodstream at varying rates. Once inside the blood stream, peak levels or peak effects occur in about 30 minutes. From there, the drug is widely distributed through the body’s tissues as well as the interactions had within the brain’s chemical system.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated one to five percent of cocaine materials pass through urine, unchanged. The body also produces metabolite byproducts during the metabolism process.
Overall, how long does cocaine stay in your system varies depending on route of administration, dosage amount and how long a person has used the drug.
How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System? – Determining Factors
Route of Administration
Different routes of administration (smoking, snorting, injecting) influence how long cocaine stays in your system due to differences in absorption rates into the bloodstream. In effect, the faster a person experiences a “high” effect, the quicker the absorption process, though the drug’s “high” effect will also be shorter in duration as a result.
Routes of administration also determines cocaine’s half-life time in terms of how long it takes before half of the amount ingested leaves the system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cocaine tends to have a short half-life that averages around one hour.
Dosage amount ingested also has a bearing on how long does cocaine stay in your system. Considering how regular cocaine users must keep ingesting larger amounts to experience the same effects, this factor alone can a have considerable bearing on how long cocaine stays in your system, especially when a person engages in bingeing practices.
Length of Use
For people who’ve used cocaine on a long-term basis, the drug’s distribution throughout the body’s tissues accumulates over time. As a result, it takes the body longer to fully excrete cocaine residues as tissue materials must release these residues back into the bloodstream. This process tends to take longer when accumulations are present.
Drug Testing Considerations
Most drug testing tools used to detect cocaine look for a specific metabolite known as benzoylecgonine. Whereas cocaine materials move the body’s system fairly quickly, benzoylecgonine markers can remain in the system for up to six times longer than cocaine. In this respect, how long does cocaine stay in your system varies considerably when drug testing is involved.