Crack differs from regular cocaine in term of its potency. Being anywhere between 75-100% pure, users experience a much stronger high which keeps them craving more. Being a derivative of freebase cocaine, crack is made by dissolving cocaine and water along with ammonia (otherwise known as baking soda). Next a solvent is added to separate the hard cocaine base, giving you crack cocaine.
You are not alone if you’re curious in answering ‘How long does crack stay in your system?’ There are many hidden components to this substance that people are unaware of. Understanding them will help you become more drug savvy and aware of the body’s reaction to the substance.
How is crack eliminated?
No more than 10% of pure crack cocaine is excreted via urine. In its whole state, cocaine also leaves the body via the saliva and feces. There are several metabolites (by-products) of the drug once the metabolisation process kicks in such as: benzoylecgonine, ecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester.
These can continue to circulate around the system long after the pure drug has been eliminated from the body. It really depends on how the drug is administered in the first place but generally, the maximum amount of time the metabolites remain in the body is up to 3 months after consumption.
Understanding the basics: How long does crack stay in your system?
The amount of time it takes for traces of crack to leave your system is very similar, if not the same as cocaine. The main difference is in how frequently the drug will be used as crack doses are often accelerated so users can relive the short-term high.
However, it’s important to understand that crack in many forms can be more powerful than cocaine. Also the administration of crack is usually through smoking which causes more toxic chemicals from cocaine to be ingested by your system.
How the intensity of abuse effects elimination time…
When crack is taken repeatedly, this adds to the amount that gets built up in body tissues and can seriously impact health and metabolism timeframes. There are other influencing factors which will vary the body’s elimination of crack such as body mass, height, weight, fitness levels, how healthy organs are and more.
However, if you have taken a high dose recently and want to flush the body naturally of remaining toxins, hydrating is one of the best things you can do. Plenty of water will keep your organs functioning optimally and encourage more metabolites to exit your system via urine.
The majority of crack is processed by the body within four hours of consuming. However, the trace of its metabolites can remain in the body up to 3 month depending on which test is used.
When asking ‘how long does crack stay in your system’ it’s important to consider how often a person uses the substance. If someone was to use crack on the odd occasion, they may have a shorter detection period of up to 12 hours via urine. However, the metabolites may still exist in the system 4-5 days after consumption.
Those who use abuse heavily will experience a much slower metabolisation as the drug can be detected in urine 2-4 days later. The metabolites of crack can be detectable even longer, for up to 20 days in total. As crack is often taken with alcohol, this too can prolong its presence in the body by up to 25 days.
Testing time-frames for Crack
There are various ways to track down crack in the system. Even though urinalysis is commonly used to tracing the drug use there are also other ways. These are:
- Blood tests: these can test presence of crack for up to 48 hours
- Saliva and perspiration tests have a shorter timeframe of up to 24 hours
- Hair follicle tests: these can trace crack metabolites for 90 days or more however is more unreliable than other methods of testing.
Snapshot of the drugs half-life in your system
When someone takes cocaine, around 40% is hydrolyzed to create the first metabolite known as benzoylecgonine. The other 40% are broken down by enzymes in the liver which produce the other metaobolite ecgonine methyl ester. The half-life of crack cocaine, or the time it takes for the concentration of crack to be reduced to half, is one hour. However the metabolite benzoylecgonine, has a half-life of around 6 hours.
What influences how long crack can stay in your system?
There are two main elements which have a direct influence over how long the substance hangs around in someone’s body. This may be due to:
How much is taken per dose will often dictate how quickly, or slowly, it leaves the body. Those who opt for higher doses will understandably take longer to dispose of the drug via urine, sweat, saliva and hair.
- How its administered
Depending on how crack enters into the body is another influencing factor of how long it stays in the system for. That’s because certain modes of administration enable quicker absorption through the bloodstream. This means however the user will also experience a shorter high.
The other methods may absorb slower but they have a longer-lived high. This means users will often mix and match between the method crack is administered. Here are the half-life times of various consumption methods:
- IV (50mg>) – the total half-life time when injecting crack is 5 minutes so would take the system 30 minutes to eliminate this amount.
- Snorting (50-150 mg)- will be eliminated in approx. 30 minutes.
- Smoking crack – is a much slower absorption giving the drugs half-life time around 45 minutes and the elimination from the system 4 hours or more
- Oral consumption – the half-life equates to 1 hour and it would take 5 ½ hours for your body to dispose of it.
Despite the variation of elimination times depending on how crack is consumed, the elimination time still comes down to things such as:
- How long a person has been using crack
- How frequently they use it
- The purity of crack along with the dosage/administration method
- Individual factors (bodyweight, metabolism, fitness level, supplements taken, water and diet intake)
- Whether the substance was abused with alcohol
Crack’s metabolization can be sped up by doing various things however. Here are some ideas:
- Like we mentioned earlier, nothing is more cleansing than water when it comes detoxifying the body and flushing out toxins.
- Top up on the fresh fruits and veggies. These powerful foods contain tons of antioxidants and are brilliant sources of nutrients and vitamins needed to cleanse organs that have been affected by crack. It also prevents the drug from attaching itself and lingering in body tissues which can be very damaging.
- Stay clear of dehydrating drinks such as caffeine, teas and sodas as these will slow down the elimination of crack. Instead why not opt for green juices or soups to satisfy the thirst buds.
- Alcohol is a definite no-go. Taking alcohol whilst the drug is still in the system can slow down its elimination by 10-20%! Binding to the drug, it keeps crack in your body for longer instead of letting it out through urine.
- Make sure you keep up a good level of fitness. Getting your metabolism up and moving by swimming, jogging, regular walks and general exercise can potentially speed up the elimination process.
Need help with your detox?
There are several risks when it comes to taking too much crack over extended periods of time. You can protect yourself from the damaging and life-threatening risks that come with abusing crack with the help of BLVD.
The residential and outpatient services offered at BLVD Treatment Centers are a great option. Tailored to fit your specific needs, you can seek solace in the undivided attention of our experienced counselors.
When opting for the residential rehab option, you can take advantage of:
- Individualized Detox Treatments
- Chef-Prepared Gourmet Meals
- Medically-Assisted Detox
- A Comprehensive Aftercare Plan
- Convenient Transport Services