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Cocaine, also known as coke, is a powerful stimulant drug that can rapidly result in a person developing an addiction. As it causes an intense but brief high, people who abuse cocaine tend to do so regulatly in order to continue feeling the short-lived effects. But ultimately, as their tolerance grows, many find themselves dealing with a harmful dependency.

If you have ever asked the question ‘how long does cocaine stay in your system?’, this may be because you’ve noticed that you or someone you know has a problem with cocaine abuse.

In this blog, we explore how long cocaine stays in your system. We will also provide information on the symptoms of cocaine addiction and the cocaine addiction rehab we can provide at Priory.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your Body?

When you take cocaine, your body quickly begins to break it down into substances called metabolites. Metabolites remain in your system for a while, and can be detected by tests used to find cocaine in your system.

How long does cocaine stay in urine?

Cocaine can be detected in your urine up to 4 days after taking it

How long does cocaine stay in your blood?

Cocaine can be detected in your blood up to 2 days after taking it

How long does cocaine stay in your hair?

Cocaine can be detected on samples of your hair up to 90 days after taking it

How long does cocaine stay in your saliva?

Cocaine can be detected in your saliva up to 2 days after taking it

What Factors Affect How Long Cocaine Stays in Your System?

While the above gives some indication as to how long it’s possible for cocaine to stay in your system, this can vary depending on a number of different factors, including:

  • How much cocaine you have taken – the more cocaine you have taken, the longer this can stay in your system
  • How frequently you take cocaine – the more frequently you take cocaine, the longer it can stay in your system
  • The method that you have used to take cocaine – cocaine that is snorted or dabbed onto your gums may stay in your system for longer than cocaine that has been smoked or injected
  • Whether you have drunk alcohol at the same time as taking cocaine – if you have been drinking alcohol at the same time as taking cocaine, this has been found to result in the cocaine staying in your system for longer
  • Your weight and metabolism – the higher your levels of body fat, the longer the cocaine can stay in your system

How Long Do the Effects of Cocaine Last?

Typically, a cocaine high will only last 20-30 minutes, which encourages people to take more cocaine, but the side effects can last for a little while longer.

Short term effects of cocaine use can include:

  • Risky behaviours due to being overly confident
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Physical symptoms such as a high body temperature, sickness, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, sweating, breathing problems and stroke

Long term effects of cocaine use can include:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks 
  • Insomnia
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Intense mood swings
  • Feeling as though cocaine has taken over your life
  • Finding that you’re unable to stop taking cocaine, despite wanting to

After taking cocaine, you may also experience what's known as a cocaine comedown/crash the next day. Depending on how much cocaine is in your body, the symptoms of a comedown can vary, but the most common symptoms is excessive fatigue. You may also experience psychological symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, and physical symptoms, like a stomache ache.

Cocaine Addiction Rehab at Priory

Cocaine misuse and addiction are serious problems and they can have a devastating impact on lots of different areas of your life. However, you don’t have to suffer in silence; cocaine addiction is treatable and it’s possible for you to recover from it.

At Priory, we can deliver world class cocaine rehab throughout our nationwide network of addiction hospitals, clinics and wellbeing centres.

Our cocaine Addiction Treatment Programme offers:

  • A free, no-obligation addiction assessment
  • A medically assisted withdrawal detoxification
  • Residential, day care or outpatient treatment options, depending on the level of support you need for your cocaine misuse
  • Group therapy, family therapy and individual 1:1 therapy programmes
  • A wide range of therapeutic techniques
  • Access to both on and off-site 12-Step support groups
  • Free aftercare for 12 months following treatment (aftercare is provided for life if you receive treatment at Priory Hospital Roehampton and Manor Clinic)
  • Free family support for 12 months following treatment (family support is provided for life if you receive treatment at Priory Hospital Roehampton and Manor Clinic)

For more information on the specialist addiction treatment that we can provide at Priory, please visit our approach to addiction treatment page.

Page medically reviewed by Dr Ian Nnatu (MB BS, PG DIP (CBT), MSc, FRCPsych, MRCPsych) Consultant Adult Psychiatrist at Priory Hospital North London

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