The strong appeal of Cocaine
Cocaine has a strong appeal to those who crave the rush of a quick but intense euphoric high. For the amount of trouble it causes however, is it really worth the short-lived experience only lasting 15 minutes to an hour? After the high wares off, people are often caught wondering how long does cocaine stay in your system for anyway.
Being one of the fastest acting drugs out there, Cocaine is best known for stimulating the central nervous system. If you remember how the main character from ‘Limitless’ felt when he was at his peak, those who have a good trip will often liken it to feeling ‘on top of the world’.
Depending on how you take it, the effects can be felt in matter of minutes:
- IV use: 5 minutes to feel the high
- Snorting: 30 minutes to feel the high
- Smoking: 45 minutes to feel the high
- Orally: 1 hour to feel the high
In fact, cocaine carries such a strong appeal that globally, 18.3 million users were documented to be using it in 2014 by the United Nations on Drugs and Crime. Another study carried out by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration was also revealing, showing there were 1.5 million cocaine users 12 years or older in the U.S alone
It’s clear to see the huge popularity is in the nature of the beast; its ability to induce an intense rush which quickly subsides into a low. This is essentially what cause people to seek out more cocaine to counteract the crash making the substance highly addictive. Once the high passes by however, you may be surprised to learn how long the drugs leftovers remain lingering in your system.
Did you know: once ingested, cocaine gains access to your brain, your lungs (small airways and aveoli) and your bloodstream?
How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?
The substance originating from the processed coca plant doesn’t just remain in your blood and urine, it can also be found in other areas of your body. Cocaine’s metabolites can also be discovered in the hair, sweat and saliva according to some research studies. The metabolites are basically the broken down products of cocaine. These products have a longer half-life which means chronic users will have the substance present in their systems even longer.
It’s an accepted fact that crack can remain in the body from anywhere between 12 hours to 3 days if one was to take a urine test. If the high lasts for around 30 minutes, it can take someone’s body up to 150 times that length of time to dispose of the drug.
Here are some interesting facts about the metabolization of cocaine:
- One use of cocaine can be detected in urinary tests from 2-4 days after use
- If used chronically, it can be detected in urine for up to 12 days
- The drug can be found in the blood and saliva up to 48 hours after use
- Cocaine takes a particularly long time to leave sweat. It can remain there several weeks after use.
- Hair takes even longer to excrete as it may be found years after someone’s stopped taking the drug.
Other factors that affect the metabolism of cocaine
- Was alcohol taken with the drug?
For those who drink whilst taking cocaine will find it remains in their system longer than usual. Apart from it seriously increasing the harmful effects, alcohol also binds to the drug and keeps it in the body longer.
- How strong your liver and kidneys are
As cocaine is metabolized in the liver, your body will wash the drug away via urine and partly through feces. This means the health of these organs will dictate how efficiently your body eliminates the cocaine. The healthier it is the more efficient it will be and the less time it remains in your blood and urine.
- Your body weight
As the broken down products of cocaine are likely to stick to fat, the more fatty tissue you have the slower the release and excretion will be.
- How pure it is
Not every shot of coke is going to be as pure as the last. The purity of the dose will often dictate how fast it metabolizes. For example, if you take a really high dose which is impure, it can be detectable in urine for up to 3 weeks!
- How active you are
The more active you are, the faster your metabolic rate. The faster your metabolic rate the quicker your body can efficiently deal with the elimination process and get rid of the drug.
So now we’ve answered the question: how long does cocaine stay in your system? It’s time to look at ways you can get it out of your system to speed up the process of elimination.
Ways to flush the drug out of your system after use
If you want to know the natural ways to remove the drug from your body, try the following:
- Drinking plenty of water can help get rid of the remaining substance via urine and sweat
- Try taking a detox pill to flush your body and making fresh juices high in vitamin B for at least a week after use
- Stick to raw foods like salads and fruits rather than refined sugar, caffeine and fat
- Use an exfoliator to get rid of dead skin cells where traces of the drug may remain
- Take a hot bath. The more you sweat the more toxins and harmful stuff will be released from your body.
- Try natural herbs or tea such as ginseng or valerian root to quicken the detox process
- To help stabilize the mind, try taking some ginkgo biloba
Now these are just quick fixes and you probably won’t see decent results if you have been using the drug heavily and consistently. In these cases, a stricter and more delicate process is needed
How to get cocaine out of your system… for good
If you have asked the question how long does cocaine stay in your system, you may also be seeking a longer term solution. To treat cocaine addiction for good, you will need to undertake one or several of the following steps:
- Detoxing (body ridding itself of the cocaine)
- Medical therapies
- Treatment for mental health conditions like depression
- Consistent follow-ups to decrease the chances of relapse
The treatment programs rehab centers offer can be specifically tailored to your needs. You will find a range of care options and therapies help the emotional, physical and psychological well-being of a patient. Some also incorporate community and family recovery support too, looking at the bigger picture recuperation.
Seeking medical support
Medications can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and treat co-occurring conditions. There are various medications that can lessen the withdrawal symptoms whilst you’re cleansing the body of cocaine. Additionally, there are medications which help regulate brain function to ease strong cravings and prevent relapse.
The doctor will supervise patients during the recovery phase and take certain factors into consideration when prescribing medication. You may receive meds to be used specifically during the detox period and some longer-term. The main goal is to calm down the nervous system which has become overly-stimulated and disrupted through the use of cocaine. Some commonly used medications are: Gabapentin, Modafinil, Topiramate and vigabatrin.
Seeking behavioral therapy
Rehabs can also be great for behavioral therapies which help patients increase life skills and change their attitudes towards drug use. It also encourages people to persist with treatment. For example, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) can help reprogram the mind to have a positive long-term effect on behavior. Doing this in conjunction with medical help will maximize the chances of successful rehabilitation.
Need a helping hand to get you there?
You are by no means alone in the battle against addiction. Our qualified and experienced counselors are always ready to listen and guide you down the right path tailored to your needs. If you feel you need a helping hand, why not give us a call on 1-866.582.9844 to make the first step towards your new, healthier life today.