Futures Recovery Healthcare

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?


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Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is potent and addictive, and is a popular drug of abuse in many different population groups. Additionally, it’s the reason for tens of thousands of medical emergencies, including overdose and loss of life every year. How long cocaine stays in your system depends on many different factors. Use of the drug can cause a lifelong addiction and/or instant death. Whether smoked, snorted, swallowed, or injected, it is a deadly substance. If someone you love is abusing cocaine, don’t wait to get them into a treatment program that can help them stop using cocaine today.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in the Body?

There are a number of different factors that may impact how long cocaine stays in a person’s system. Some factors include:

  • The method of ingestion
  • The user’s metabolism
  • The use of other illicit substances
  • The use of certain medications

Any of these issues may cause the drug to stay in the system for a shorter or longer period than average. However, in general, one study found that cocaine stays in the user’s system for up to two days after ingestion. Additionally, if the concern is detection of cocaine in the system, then it may depend upon which metabolites are being tested for, as different cocaine metabolites stay in the system for different periods of time – some up to four days.

How Long Does a Cocaine High Last?

The factors that impact how long cocaine is detectable in the system also impact how long a high lasts. For example, if the person has a rapid metabolism, the cocaine high may come on more quickly, but will pass quickly as well. The greatest factor impacting how quickly a user will feel the effects of the drug, how intense those effects will be, and how long they will last is the method of ingestion. For example, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), injecting cocaine will create a high that is stronger and more rapid in onset as compared to snorting the drug or swallowing it, but the high will be shorter, comparatively, as well. Additionally, smoking cocaine in the form of crack may create a high that lasts between 5 and 10 minutes, but snorting the drug may create a high that lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

Patterns of Use and Abuse

Because the effects of cocaine do not last very long regardless of how it is ingested, most people who use the drug regularly use the drug in a binge pattern. Every 15 to 30 minutes, users of the drug may snort, smoke, or inject the substance in order to maintain a high. In addition, the short-acting nature of the drug means that many users combine the use of cocaine with the use of other illicit substances. Both are exceedingly dangerous practices. Under the influence, a person can easily lose track of the amounts of each substance that they have in their system. Additionally, multiple substances can have a synergistic effect. That is, someone who snorts cocaine and drinks alcohol, or injects both heroin and cocaine, may find that the effects of both together are greater than the effects of each one on their own. It can mean that the person can be quickly and unexpectedly overwhelmed, and an overdose is even more likely than if the person were to simply use cocaine alone or a single time.

Treatment for Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

If someone you love is struggling with cocaine abuse or addiction, immediate treatment is recommended. Contact Futures today to learn about our addiction treatment programs.


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