Cocaine Drug Tests and Facts

Cocaine Facts

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, popularly known as coke, candy, crack, snow or flake. Once it is introduced into the human body, the drug makes the brain release high levels of bio-chemicals.

This results in an extreme feeling of joy and excitement [3, 9, 10].

How is Cocaine taken?

Cocaine can be administered orally, intravenously, intranasal and through inhalation.

  • When inhaled through the nose, the nasal tissue absorbs it into the individual’s bloodstream.
  • Injecting the drug into the body directly releases it into the bloodstream, intensifying the effects.
  • Smoking cocaine involves inhaling the vapor into the lungs. Absorption after smoking is as fast as when the drug is injected. [9, 10]

Why do people smoke Cocaine?

For most people, cocaine is used for the following:

  • Recreational benefits
  • It can increase one’s alertness; significantly reduce fatigue, increase decisiveness and sometimes strength.
  • The cocaine drug is often abused due to its euphoric effects.
  • In some instances, it is used as a local anesthetic during nose, ear and throat surgeries.
  • In the past, coca leaves were chewed and sometimes brewed into tea for refreshment.

Peak levels and half-life of flake

  • Cocaine is believed to be made from the leaves of a plant known as coca.
  • It has a half- life of around 0.2 to 0.8 hours.
  • The primary metabolite is known as benzoylecgonine, and its half -life is around 6 hours.
  • The route of administration highly influences cocaine performance in the human body For instance; snorting 160mg can bring peak levels in the body after thirty minutes.
  • If the cocaine is taken orally, the peak levels occur after one hour. When a dose of 32mg is injected into the body, it produces the peak plasma concentration in a duration of five minutes. [5,6]

Cocaine Drug Testing

Cocaine drug testing is the evaluation of blood, urine or any other biological sample to determine whether an individual has been using cocaine [6,9,10]. Many circumstances can lead to cocaine testing.

An individual will most probably go for the test when applying for positions that involve airline industries, federal transportation, railways and any other place where safety is crucial.

What laboratory tests are used for testing cocaine?

If you need to go for a cocaine drug test, the most important thing is to ensure that the laboratory is certified and reputable. A credible screening should have two primary processes:

  1. Immunoassay
  2. Confirmatory

These two tests have a high sensitivity level, and you will have minimal chances of getting false negatives or false positives.

  • The screening method is the immunoassay, and it is performed first.
  • If you test negative for this test, you will not require any more tests. The results will be ruled out as negative.
  • If your samples test positive, the confirmatory GC-MS test will be performed on a different portion of the sample. [5,6]

How long does coca stay in the hair?

  • Cocaine concentration in the individual’s hair will be detectable after 90 days. The drug, however, will not leave any marks on the root of the air [5].
  • The marks will be at a particular area. This means that it will remain on the hair until you cut it or may be falls out.[5,6]

How long does flake stay in the body?

  • Coca is known to be extensively metabolized to different types of compounds that are centrally inactive.
  • The drug will most likely be metabolized in duration of four hours. However, the drug is still detectable in most drug tests after one week. Some individual tests can detect the drug after over three months. [5,6]

How long does cocaine stay in the urine?

  • Just like any other drug, cocaine does not have an exact detection period for urine.
  • Extracts of the drug can be excreted from the urine after several weeks.
  • During the first few hours after administration, low concentrations of the drug might be detected in the urine.
  • Benzoylecgonine concentrations in the body are increased after some time, and they are detectable from 2-4 days.
  • Heavy and chronic use of the drug can result in detectable levels for a longer time. [5,6]

How long does flake stay in the blood?

  • After the administration of the drug, some parts of the dose might remain in the system for 48 hours, and they can be detected in the blood. Some users of the drug might develop cocaine tolerance.
  • The changes in the cocaine concentration in the storage can be paramount for blood testing.
  • Cocaine is believed to have a bigger overlap between lethal, toxic and therapeutic concentrations, unlike all the other drugs. Some individuals might not have cocaine present in their blood, even when they have used it for a long time.[5,6]

How long does cocaine stay in sweat or the saliva after use?

  • Flake traces in the saliva have a half-life of around 2 hours.
  • In some cases, cocaine concentration in the saliva can be visible after 19 hours. In sweat, the peak levels of cocaine concentration will be 4.5 to 24 hours [5,6]

How to pass a drug test for cocaine

Many people do not know how to get rid of the cocaine in their system. Removing this drug from the body will be determined by several factors like sex, frequency of use, age, and the body’s metabolic rate [1]. Using the drug can bring several health complications. If you take the drug in large quantities, you have higher chances of getting high blood pressure and higher heart rate.

If you want to minimize the coke in your system so that you can pass a drug test, there are several methods to use. Here are some of them:

  • Drinking a lot of water is one way of eliminating cocaine traces in the body. These traces will be excreted through sweat and urine
  • If you want to remove the drug traces in your hair, it is important to use detox spray or the detox shampoo to wash the hair.
  • It is also advisable to take any detox drink or even pills. If taken a day before the test, they will remove the cocaine traces in the system.
  • To remove traces of cocaine in the mouth, you can use mouthwashes and cleansers.
  • If you have been using the drug, exfoliate the dead skin cells on your body using a brush. This will eliminate the dead cells in your body, and the traces of cocaine of the surface will also be removed.
  • Foods that contain fat, caffeine and sugar should be avoided all the time. Instead of this foods, eat more fruits and salads.
  • To speed up the detoxification process, people can also opt for the waster fasting or the juice fasting foods.
  • These foods should have a lot of Vitamin B, and they should be taken consecutively for one week.
  • The body naturally gets rid of toxins through perspiration. This can be a good way to remove traces of the drug in your system. Increase the rate of perspiration, and you will have removed the drug from the body. A steam bath will be very helpful.

You must also stop using the addictive drug if you want to test negative. This will enhance the process of eliminating it. [8,7]

Cocaine and Addiction

  • Many people underestimate how cocaine can be addictive.
  • Once your body is used to the drug, you will have more desire for the drug, despite the negative results it has on you [1,3,4,9,10].
  • Cocaine addiction is very common among drug users, regardless of the route of administration used.

Treatment for cocaine addiction

If you discover that you have been abusing cocaine, it is crucial to seek help and cut off the drug and its effects on your life [3]. There are different types of treatments available today, and you will only have to choose the treatment that suits your needs.

Most of the treatment approaches will combine cognitive-behavioral therapy, detox, group and individual therapy [8]. The treatment should contain relapse prevention and aftercare planning so that the patients get cured completely.



  1. National Surveillance of Cocaine Useand Related Health Consequences [Internet]. 2016 [cited 5 July 2016]. Available from:
  2. Cocaine and Crack [Internet]. 2016 [cited 5 July 2016]. Available from:
  3. Cocaine (Topical Route) Description and Brand Names – Mayo Clinic [Internet]. 2016 [cited 5 July 2016]. Available from:
  4. Cocaine: MedlinePlus [Internet]. 2016 [cited 5 July 2016]. Available from:
  5. How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System? [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2 July 2016].Available from:
  6. Cocaine Urine Test – Drugs Forum [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2 July 2016]. Available from:
  7. [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2 July 2016]. Available from:
  8. Cocaine Abuse [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2 July 2016]. Available from:
  9. Cocaine Addiction Symptoms and Effects – Timberline Knolls [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2 July 2016]. Available from:
  10. Cocaine Use and Its Effects [Internet]. WebMD. 2016 [cited 2 July 2016]. Available from:

Published on July 10th, 2016 by under Addictions and Poisoning.
Article was last reviewed on April 9th, 2017.

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