Cocaine typically stays in your system for 1 to 4 days but can be detected for up to a couple weeks in some people.
How long it hangs around and how long it can be detected by a drug test depends on several factors.
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Coke is one of those drugs that hits you hard and fast, but the exact onset time depends on how you consume it.
If you snort or gum cocaine, you feel the effects within 1 to 3 minutes. If you smoke cocaine or inject it, it hits you in a matter of seconds.
The time difference comes from the speed at which it enters your bloodstream.
When snorted or gummed, the drug has to get through mucus, skin, and other tissues first. Smoking and injecting it bypasses all that and gets it into your bloodstream almost instantly.
How you consume it determines how long the effects last, too.
The high from snorting or gumming coke generally lasts from 15 to 30 minutes. If you smoke or inject it, the high lasts roughly 5 to 15 minutes.
Keep in mind that the duration and intensity of the effects aren’t the same for everyone.
Some people can feel the effects for as long as an hour. How much you use and whether you’re also using other substances can make a difference, too.
How long it’s detectable depends on the type of drug test used.
According to the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), cocaine can usually be detected for 2 to 10 days.
Keep in mind that’s a general window; detection times can vary depending on several factors (more on that in a minute).
Here’s a look at typical detection times by test type:
- Urine: up to 4 days
- Blood: up to 2 days
- Saliva: up to 2 days
- Hair: up to 3 months
Here’s a look at the factors that can affect how long cocaine stays in your system.
How much you use
As with any substance, the more cocaine you use, the longer it’ll stay in your system.
The detection time for cocaine increases with higher and/or multiple doses. If you do a lot at one time, it may stay in your system for up to a month.
How often you use it
Cocaine can stay in your system for longer periods if you frequently use coke. The more often you use it, the longer the detection window.
How you use it
We already know that how you use cocaine determines how fast it gets into your bloodstream. This also affects the speed at which it leaves your body.
Cocaine that’s snorted or gummed will remain in your system longer than if you smoked or injected it.
The purity level
Cocaine often contains contaminants or other substances, which can affect how long it stays in your system.
Your body fat
Benzoylecgonine, which is cocaine’s main metabolite and the one most often tested for in drug screening, can be stored in fatty tissue.
The higher your body fat, the more cocaine can accumulate in your body.
Drinking alcohol when you do coke can cause it to hang around your body longer because alcohol can bind to cocaine and interfere with excretion.
The internet is full of claims that you can get cocaine out of your system faster using various products and home remedies. None of them have been scientifically proven.
While water can speed up the rate at which your body excretes cocaine metabolites from your system, chugging water isn’t guaranteed to help you pass a drug test by any stretch. Nor is it a surefire way to protect a fetus or prevent it from entering breast milk.
Your best bet is to stop using cocaine right away and allow your body to metabolize and eliminate it.
First, don’t panic. This kind of stuff is more common than you’d think.
Effect on pregnancy
- low birth weight
- smaller body length and head circumference
- cognitive and behavioral issues later in life
Most of the available research, however, focuses on prolonged cocaine use. If you used it once or twice before finding out you were pregnant, these risks might be lower.
If cocaine use is stopped early in the pregnancy, miscarriage and preterm birth are still possible, but a fetus may still grow normally.
Effect on breastfeeding
Cocaine does quickly enter breast milk. If you recently used cocaine on a single occasion,
If you use (or previously used) cocaine more frequently, you should wait at least 3 months after your last use before breastfeeding.
To err on the side of caution, it’s best to follow up with your healthcare provider if you’ve recently used cocaine and are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can also reach out to InfantRisk Center, run by Texas Tech University Center. They offer a forum where you can ask questions (or search previously answered questions) about how different substances affect pregnancy and breastfeeding and receive a response from a registered nurse or doctor.
Cocaine is metabolized faster than a lot of other drugs, but it’s hard to say exactly how long it stays in your system because there are so many factors at play.
If you’re concerned about your cocaine use, help is available: