Cocaine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is popular for its ability to quickly produce an intense euphoric high. This illicit substance in particular is fast-acting, yet its effects are short-lived. A person who uses cocaine will experience an extreme sense of euphoria for approximately one hour, with the high peaking at about 30 minutes in. There are three main ways cocaine is ingested, with each method offering a high that ranges in time and strength. Any form of cocaine abuse can lead to physical dependence or addiction. People who regularly use cocaine will likely experience symptoms of withdrawal upon quitting use. If you or someone you love is abusing or dependent on cocaine and wants to get clean, it is best to consider entering a medical inpatient detox center followed by ongoing treatment. When planning to enter cocaine detox, many will wonder ‘how long does cocaine stay in your system?’ This is an important question, as it helps give patients a better idea of what their detox timeline will look like.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, do not hesitate to reach out. The highly trained addiction treatment specialists at Restore Health and Wellness can provide you with the care and assistance needed to achieve lasting sobriety.
Effects on the Body
Cocaine affects people differently depending on their tolerance and the method in which the drug is consumed. The rate of speed and the duration of the psychological effects are dependent on the way in which it is ingested.
- Snorting: the high is felt within minutes and continues for approximately 30 minutes.
- Injecting or smoking: effects happen almost instantly, but the high wears off quickly.
- Oral ingestion: effects happen in a few short minutes and lasts for 20 to 90 minutes (effects are more mild)
The initial high of cocaine if referred to as the “rush.” This intense euphoric high fades within little time, resulting in what’s known as the “crash.” Oftentimes, users will seek out more cocaine in order to avoid the crash or to achieve the rush feeling again. This cycle leads to the building of a tolerance, and puts the person at an increased risk for addiction.
Detecting Cocaine in the System
Once consumed, it takes about 90 minutes for the cocaine absorbed into the bloodstream to exit the body. However, when used in large amounts over a long period of time, the drug will build up in body, making it possible for certain drug tests to positively detect it. Cocaine can be found in the system anywhere from two to 14 days. Detection in drug tests include:
- Urine: detection up to 14 days after the last use – most common testing method
- Saliva: can be detected up to 12-48 hours later
- Blood: can be detected up to 12-48 hours later
- Sweat: can be detected for two to three weeks
- Hair follicles: carries traces of the drug the longest – for several years
People who engage in heavy cocaine use will require more time for all traces of cocaine to leave the body. On average, a person who attempts to stop using cocaine can expect to spend seven to 10 days in a detox program. It is important that long-term users never attempt to quit using the drug of choice on their own at home.
A certified drug detox program can supervise and assist you throughout the course of withdrawal, so that you are comfortable and safe during this time. Contact our admission counselors at Restore Health and Wellness for more information on the benefits of inpatient clinical detox.
Cocaine Detox and Withdrawal Timeline
Cocaine has a very short half-life of roughly one hour. Once a person starts to crash and the half-life wears off, withdrawal symptoms will then arise. If the individual does not continue the cycle of ‘abuse, rush, crash, abuse,’ then they will soon begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Cocaine detox typically lasts between seven and 10 days. The course of a person’s cocaine detox timeline will vary depending on certain factors, some of which include:
- Length of use
- Amount used each time
- Abusing or dependent on another substance as well
- Environment (stressful work environments are trigger inducing)
- Dual diagnosis (substance use disorder that co-occurs with mental illness)
Detoxing from any substance of abuse can be intimidating. The process of detox and withdrawal is often what holds many people back from getting clean. However, with assistance from trained specialists at the right drug detox center, you are given a smooth and comfortable experience. There are no current medications offered for withdrawal symptoms in cocaine detox, but a certified facility will offer therapeutic services and around the clock care to help get you through this trying time.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a cocaine dependence, do not hesitate to reach out for help. The licensed professionals at Restore Health and Wellness are trained in providing the highest quality of care to help clients achieve lasting sobriety. Call our admissions counselors today to start your journey of recovery!