How Long Does Cocaine Stay in the Body?

Cocaine can remain in the system for 2-4 days but the detection window is different for each person. Chronic, heavy users may have a longer detection window. Learn more about drug testing for urine, blood, hair and saliva with cocaine use.

Cocaine Use and the Body

The principal ways cocaine is used include oral, intranasal, intravenous and inhalation. Snorting cocaine occurs when the powder is inhaled through the nose. Cocaine is absorbed through nasal tissue to the bloodstream. Injecting cocaine or IV cocaine use releases the drug right into the bloodstream for heightened effects of use. Smoking is more about inhalation of vapor or smoke into the lungs.

Main Uses

Cocaine is mainly used for recreational purposes to increase alertness, relieve fatigue, feel stronger and more decisive. Cocaine can be abused for intense euphoric effects. Rarely is cocaine used as a topical anesthetic for ear, nose and throat surgery. Traditionally, the coca leaves are chewed or brewed into a tea.

Peak Levels and Half Life

A powerfully addictive stimulant drug, Cocaine has a short half-life of approximately 0.8-0.2 hours. The half-life of benzoylecgonine, the main cocaine metabolite is 6 hours. An important factor in cocaine performance is the route of administration. Snorting results in peak levels at 30 minutes (160 mg), the peak of benzoylecgonine is around 3 hours. A single dose of 32 mg IV injected cocaine produces peak blood concentration within 5 minutes, smoking takes 45 minutes.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In….

Blood: approximately 48 hours after use

Hair: at least 90 days after dosing and will stay until hair falls out or is cut off (for testing)

Urine: no exact window but may be excreted in urine for up to several weeks following use with low concentrations showing up in 2-4 days

Saliva or sweat: half-life of 2 hours while some have reported cocaine concentrations after 19 hours in saliva with peak levels in sweat being 4.5 to 24 hours in length.

Cocaine can be highly addictive and, in spite of negative consequences, people will crave the drug more and more until either the individual overdoses or seeks help for the addiction.

The Villa supports individuals who are in the throes of addiction and are struggling to find a way out. Call us if you or someone you love needs help to overcome addiction and get into recovery.