How long cocaine can be detected in your system depends on a variety of factors, including how long you’ve been using, how you ingest the drug, and what kind of detection test is done. On average, cocaine is detectable for a range of two to four days (casual use, tested with urine), with the majority of it being metabolized in about the first four hours. Cocaine has a half-life of approximately 0.8 hours, ± 0.2 hours, while the half-life of benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite found in cocaine, is 6 hours.
Ways to use cocaine: orally, intranasally into the bloodstream via ‘snorting’, intravenous injection, and inhalation, or smoking it, which is almost as fast as injection since the vapor is absorbed by the lungs. When the drug is released directly into the bloodstream, the resulting high is more immediate and intense, which is what most users are looking for. A fast fix to increase how alert they are, lessen fatigue, and give an overall boost to attitude.
Medically, cocaine is used as a topical anesthetic for ear, nose, and throat surgery. In addition, some cultures have used the leaves as a tea of sorts to help with fatigue.
Peak levels of cocaine in your . . .
Body—mostly metabolized in four hours, but is detectable on majority of tests for up to a week; up to three months with specialized tests.
Blood—may be detected for 48 hours following usage. Cocaine does have an overlap of tolerance levels between toxic, lethal, and therapeutic concentrations, therefore changes can affect test outcomes.
Hair—cocaine is detectable in hair samples for 90 days or more following usage. It does not saturate the entire hair strand, however, and will only be present on the hair where it was at the root at the time of use. Once the hair grows, the new growth will not contain traces.
Urine—no defined time frame for detection, but it traces have been found for several weeks following use.
Saliva—half-life of about two hours, but concentrations have been found up to 19 hours later.
Sweat—4.5 to 24 hours will clear out the sweat glands.