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How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

Cocaine is an illegal stimulant drug that comes in the form of a white powder. It increases energy, focus, heart rate, and body temperature. People usually snort cocaine, but it can also be injected, swallowed, or smoked. Regardless of the method of administration used, the initial rush produced by cocaine only lasts a couple of minutes, and the high wears off after 30 minutes to an hour.

Even though the effects of cocaine don’t last very long, the drug’s metabolites can be detected in a light cocaine user’s urine for up to 3 days, blood and saliva for up to 2 days, and the hair follicle for more than 90 days. A heavy cocaine user, however, may fail a urine screening for up to 2 weeks after last using cocaine.

These timelines are not definite, and there are many individual factors that influence how long cocaine stays in your system. Whether you’re worried about passing a drug test or are trying to detox from cocaine, know that this drug is highly addictive and can cause serious long-term side effects. If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction, our team at Mandala Healing Center is here to help.


What is The Half-Life of Cocaine?

The half-life of a substance refers to how long it takes for half of a drug to be eliminated from the body and it can be used to estimate how long it takes for a substance to be eliminated from the body. A substance can be said to be eliminated from the body after 4-5 half-lives.

Cocaine has a very short half-life of about one hour (60 minutes).[1] This means cocaine can be eliminated from your system in just 4-5 hours. However, that doesn’t mean you can take cocaine and pass a drug test on the same day. Urine tests, which are the most popular, can detect cocaine in your system for up to 3 days in recreational users and 2 weeks in heavy users.

While cocaine is being metabolized, the body turns the substance into metabolites. These metabolites are what drug tests are screening for.

How Does The Body Metabolize Cocaine?

Enzymes in the liver and blood are responsible for metabolizing cocaine. These enzymes turn cocaine into metabolites. The two metabolites that are detected on urinalysis drug screenings are benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester. Benzoylecgonine is the primary metabolite of cocaine and it can be detected in urine for up to four days.[2]

Cocaine tends to be metabolized and eliminated from the system at a slower rate when it is combined with alcohol.

Factors That Affect How Long Cocaine Stays in Your System

There are many other factors that determine the rate at which cocaine is eliminated from your system besides mixing the drug with alcohol. These include:

  • Volume and potency of the last dose consumed
  • Frequency of cocaine use
  • When the last dose was consumed
  • pH and concentration of urine
  • Age, weight, and gender
  • Liver and kidney function
  • Co-occurring health conditions that affect metabolism

Detecting Cocaine in the Urine, Blood, Saliva, and Hair Follicle

detecting cocaine in the system

It’s important to note that heavy, long-term cocaine use causes the drug to build up in the body tissues. As a result, cocaine can be detected in the body of chronic users for much longer than many of these estimates reflect.[3]


Urine toxicology screenings, also known as urinalysis, are the most common method of drug testing. Urine tests are affordable, accurate, and minimally invasive. A single dose of cocaine can be detected in urine for 2-4 days and heavy use can be detected for up to two weeks (14 days).


Blood tests are typically only used in a hospital setting. They can detect cocaine in the blood for up to 12 hours and benzoylecgonine for up to 48 hours.


Cocaine can be detected in a saliva sample for up to 2 days after use.

Hair Follicle

Hair follicle drug tests are gaining popularity due to their accuracy of use and long detection times. Cocaine can be detected in the hair follicle for up to 90 days.

How to Get Cocaine Out of Your System

Many rogue websites and shops will try to tell you an immediate solution to detox your body from cocaine. They may tell you to take a detox pill, drink their special beverage, or use natural herbs. However, none of these methods have been studied, proven, or regulated by public health officials. They also cannot guarantee a passed drug test. The only real way to get cocaine out of your system is to stop using the drug and give your body time to process and eliminate it.

Due to the addictive potential of cocaine, you may find it difficult to simply terminate your drug use. If you experience withdrawal symptoms, drug cravings, or the inability to stop using cocaine in the first place, you need professional help.

Here at Mandala Healing Center, our drug detox program offers supportive care for individuals struggling with addiction. Our team of medical professionals can help you detox from cocaine safely and successfully with the help of medications, therapy, and nutritional support. After detox, you can develop coping skills and learn about the resources you’ll need to maintain your sobriety.

Find Help for Cocaine Addiction Today

If you or a loved one are addicted to cocaine, help is available. Contact us today to see if our addiction treatment program in West Palm Beach is right for you.