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You may have an upcoming drug test and are wondering, “How long does cocaine stay in the urine?”
Drug testing is a common occurrence in recent years. Schools, employers, the military, and law enforcement use drug testing on a regular basis. One substance that is included in the list of substances being tested for is cocaine.
Cocaine stays in the system for 3-14 days depending on various factors. It can be detected using different types of drug screens, which include urine, blood, or hair tests. Keep reading to learn more about how long cocaine stays in the urine.
Facts About Cocaine
Cocaine is a white powdery substance derived from coca plants in South America. The stimulant effects of cocaine speed up the central nervous system, resulting in a short-lived but powerful euphoric high.
Cocaine is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance with a high potential for abuse and addiction. The highly addictive drug is ingested in white powder form, either by snorting it through the nose or rubbing it on the gums. Some will dilute the powder in water and then inject it into a vein. Others may smoke a rock crystal form of cocaine, called crack, and inhale the drug into the lungs.
The effects of cocaine include intense euphoria, increased energy, sharper mental focus, and a sense of feeling invincible.
Cocaine’s desirable effects do not last long. Therefore, there is a strong desire to use the drug again and again as soon as the effects wear off. With repeated use, cocaine addiction takes root.
How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Urine?
To answer, “How long does cocaine stay in urine,” it helps to understand how cocaine is metabolized in the body. The drug itself is only detected in the urine for a short time, maybe up to three days.
However, the liver breaks down the cocaine and releases metabolites. The main one is called benzoylecgonine. Drug tests are designed to detect this metabolite, which can remain in the body for much longer. A level of 300 micrograms per liter of this metabolite will trigger a positive test result.
When screening for cocaine in urine the results can vary widely. How long the drug or its metabolites are present depends on these factors:
- Duration of a cocaine habit. Long-term use takes longer to clear.
- Mode of ingesting the drug: did the person snort, inject, or smoke the cocaine?
- Is there also alcohol in the system?
- The person’s BMI, as metabolites can be stored in fat cells.
In general: One time user, 3-5 days; heavy cocaine dose, up to seven days; chronic user, 5-14 days.
If you are concerned about how long cocaine remains in the urine, it may be a sign of addiction. Being aware of the risks linked to cocaine abuse can help you nip a substance problem in the bud.
Dangers of Cocaine Use
If you are using cocaine recreationally or even on a daily basis, the consequences can start taking a serious toll on your personal life, physically, socially, and mentally. Physically and medically, there are some serious adverse effects caused by long-term cocaine use. Cocaine can damage the heart muscle as well as cause inflammation of the inner heart tissues. These effects can result in heart attacks or cardiac arrhythmia.
Damage to the cartilage inside the nose can become very severe. Cocaine can cause inflammation in the lining of the nose. Eventually, the blood supply to nasal tissues is blocked, leading to the loss of bone. Total reconstruction may be required to restore the structure of the nose.
Something referred to as “coke mouth” is also an effect of long-term cocaine use. This is a type of dry mouth that is caused by reduced saliva production. With less saliva, the gums and teeth are not protected. This leads to tooth decay and gum disease.
Other long-term adverse effects caused by cocaine abuse include:
- Kidney damage.
- Enlarged heart.
- Vascular damage.
- Financial ruin.
Signs of Cocaine Addiction
As with all substances, tolerance will increase with repeated cocaine use. Once the cycle of addiction takes hold, it is very hard to break. People find themselves enslaved to the cocaine, which leads to serious consequences affecting mental health, physical health, finances, and relationships.
Symptoms of cocaine addiction include:
- Manic mood.
- Weight loss.
- Sores around the mouth.
- Long periods without sleep.
- Muscle tics.
- High-risk behaviors.
- Drug cravings.
- Become obsessed about obtaining the cocaine and getting high.
- Major money problems.
- Having withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not available.
Help for Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction is very hard to overcome without expert treatment. Getting the support and guidance needed to beat a coke addiction is crucial. You can expect treatment to include the following:
Detox and withdrawal. During detox, you will be given the support you need to endure the process. Withdrawal symptoms can be difficult, and include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Muscle aches.
- Slowed thinking.
- Feeling agitated.
- Sleep problems
- Intense nightmares.
- Feeling restless.
- Increased appetite.
- Paranoid thoughts.
- Suicidal thoughts.
Therapy. Individual and group therapy are the core treatment elements of addiction treatment. For cocaine addiction, these forms of therapy work best:
Contingency Management. CM works through the use of a reward system. You earn rewards, like points, gifts, privileges, or vouchers, in exchange for abstinence from cocaine. This helps shape your behavior choices while you are learning to live without the drug.
CBT. CBT teaches you better ways to respond to cocaine cravings or other triggers. Through the help of a CBT therapist, you address the disordered thought patterns that led to drug use.
Holistic methods. Learn how to improve the overall health of mind, body, and spirit. You’ll be counseled in eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, and learning how to manage stress.
12-step program. The themes of N.A. or A.A. are helpful for progressing in recovery.
Classes. Learn how to prevent relapse when you acquire new coping skills that help protect the recovery.
It is one thing to learn the answer to “how long does cocaine stay in the urine” It is quite another to be able to recognize that you may have a cocaine problem. If you need help breaking free of cocaine, reach out for help now.
Receive Help at a Private Rehab. We Provide Comprehensive Treatment for Cocaine Addiction.
Journey Hillside is a private addiction recovery center that uses the most effective treatment available for substance use disorder. If you have been using cocaine and wonder how long cocaine stays in urine, you may be headed toward addiction. Reach out to us for help today at (877) 414-1024.