Cocaine is known for providing a brief, yet intense sense of euphoria, lasting anywhere between 15 to 60 minutes. Like other illicit substances, cocaine remains in the body for a period of time following last use. If you have an upcoming drug test for work scheduled, you may be wondering about the timeline to get rid of cocaine in your body. How long cocaine is in your system depends on a number of factors. On average it can linger from 12 hours to 4 days, sometimes longer.
Factors That Affect How Long Cocaine Stays in Your System
There are many factors that affect the length of time cocaine remains in your body such as:
- Individual body chemistry including metabolism, age and overall health.
- Amount used.
- Length of time and frequency of use.
- Method of ingestion.
- Purity of the substance.
The most common ways to administer cocaine are via snorting, smoking, oral ingestion and intravenous. Each method of administration has different “peak” times.
- Intravenous. Takes 1 to 5 minutes to feel the effects with peak times between 5 to 10 minutes.
- Snorting. Takes around 5 minutes to feel the effects with peak times between 15 to 30 minutes.
- Smoking. Takes around 30 minutes to feel the effects with peak times around 45 minutes.
- Oral ingestion. Takes 30 to 50 minutes to feel the effects with peak times between 50 to 90 minutes.
Snorting or smoking cocaine causes the substance to stay in the body longer — up to 7 days.
For recreational users, traces of cocaine can be found in the urine for approximately 2 to 4 days following last use. For chronic users, cocaine has been accumulating in the body for a period of time and therefore takes longer to eliminate. For heavy, frequent users of cocaine, traces of the drug can sometimes take up to 12 days to exit the body.
How is Testing Done for Cocaine?
The most common way to perform cocaine testing is through a urine test, also called immunoassays. When cocaine enters the body, the liver breaks it down into metabolites known as benzoylecgonine.
Other ways to test for cocaine are through saliva, sweat and occasionally through hair testing. However, these testing methods are less common. Hair testing in particular can produce inaccurate results as hair products can alter indicators. Chronic users may have traces of cocaine in fingernails and hair for a long time after last use.
The amount of time it takes for cocaine to leave your system affects the intensity of detox. If you or a loved one is seeking treatment for substance abuse, call the Beachway team at 877-284-0353 with any questions.