Cocaine is a popular recreational drug that many people use occasionally without becoming addicted. Even if you only use it once in a while, you can still be at risk of failing a drug test for some time afterwards. So, how long does cocaine stay in the body's system? Read on and we'll give the facts about how long cocaine can be detected in various drug tests.
Note: The numbers we give here are guidelines only. Everyone's body is different, and some people will detox quicker or slower than others. We recommend you always test yourself if you need to be sure.
Cocaine and Urine Drug Tests
Urine drug tests are the most widely used form of screening because of cheap and easy-to-use testing strips. The liver actually processes cocaine very quickly, but it leaves behind the metabolite Benzoylecgonine, which has a much longer half-life of 5-8 hours.
This means that cocaine is usually detectable in most people's urine for 2-5 days after use. Obviously, the more cocaine you've taken, the longer it will be detectable. For heavy users, it can take as long as 7-10 days to get fully clean. This also applies to some people with certain kidney disorders.
If there's a chance you might be tested within a week or so of using cocaine, the best thing to do is have a home testing device and a detox drink handy. You can then test yourself and only use the detox drink if you need to.
How to pass saliva drug tests, if you're worried about cocaine positive
Employers don't use saliva tests as often, because they're not SAMHSA/FDA approved and are usually only good for detecting recent drug use. Cocaine, however, can be detected in saliva for 2-10 days after use, although some screening devices only claim to detect it for a maximum of three days.
You can also test your saliva at home, and if you find yourself testing positive, you can use a special mouthwash before your real test.
Cocaine drug tests: how to get clean hair?
Of all the drug tests, hair tests are the most dreaded. They can potentially detect any drug use in the past 90 days, so employers often insist on them before giving someone a job.
It's not really clear how much cocaine you need to use to fail a hair drug test. One-off or occasional users might still test clean, but the only way to be sure is to have yourself tested. You can't test yourself at home, but these kits enable you to have your hair tested by a lab with complete privacy and anonymity.
If you get a positive result from this test, you might want to invest in a detox shampoo. Unlike normal shampoos, this penetrates deep into the hair and dissolves the drug metabolites that are locked in the hair shafts.
So, there you are. Now you know how long cocaine stays in the body's system, you can plan ahead. Why miss out on a new job or ruin your life when there are so great options available?