Rehab 4 Addiction

Cocaine is originally from coca leaves and has been used for hundreds of years in many cultures. The drug is originated from the Erythroxylon coca leaves, located initially in Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia.

Coca-leaf teas have known to battle sickness from altitude and increase energy in many native tribes located in the countries of South America.

Cocaine, nowadays also known as coke, is a powerful stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug. Cocaine is a very addictive drug, usually sniffed or injected.

Effects of taking cocaine may introduce an extreme feeling of satisfaction, and a failure of connection with reality, as well as making someone extremely agitated.

Symptoms can also involve a fast heartbeat and increase of sweating. Taking large doses can end up in a sharp peak of high blood pressure and even body temperature.

How long does it take for some feel the effects of cocaine?

Cocaine is a drug that hits fast and hard, but it affects people differently. How fast it can affect someone will also depend on how it’s consumed.

That’s because it will depend on how cocaine enters the bloodstream, which is why that consuming it by inhalation might take a little longer when compared to access the body through injection.

But according to the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association, also known as DATIA, cocaine can normally be identified for 2 to 10 days. The methods of taking cocaine also influence the duration of this drug in the system.

  • Snorting cocaine can present effects within 3 to 5 minutes after consuming and effects can persevere for approximately 20 minutes
  • Inhaling cocaine can present effects within 5 to 10 seconds, and results can continue for approximately 20 minutes
  • Intravenous cocaine injection can present effects within 5 to 10 seconds, and they can continue for approximately 20 minutes
  • Oral ingestion of cocaine can present effects within 10 to 30 minutes, and results can persist approximately 90 minutes

Once in the bloodstream cocaine stops neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine from being absorbed, which can lead to someone to experience an exhalation of emotions such as euphoric mood swings.

But it cand also to the experience of sensations of delusional, annoyance, and fear. Cocaine can also raise the heartbeat and tighten up the blood vessels, which can result in heart attacks, strokes, and even kidney stones.

How cocaine it’s consumed also concludes how long the effects may last as well. However, the severity and the duration of the results aren’t the same for everyone.

While some people may feel the influence of cocaine for an hour, others may feel it for a few minutes. The quantity of the dosage consumed will also affect the severity and duration of the effects caused by cocaine.

How long does cocaine stay in your system?

It’s almost impossible to know how long cocaine stays in the system because there are a lot of factors involved. And everyone reacts differently when exposed to the drug.

A person’s metabolism, age, different types of body metabolisms along with other factors, will help to determine how long the effects of consuming cocaine can last.

Cocaine tends to stay in the body from 4 to 6 hours. However, cocaine can still be found in the system for a couple of weeks in some cases.

When cocaine is inside, someone’s system is then metabolised with the aid of enzymes that can be found in blood and liver. Cocaine leaves the body quite fast, so most of the tests that are supposed to detect cocaine in the system actually look for a metabolite called benzoylecgonine.

What is benzoylecgonine?

Benzoylecgonine or also known as ecgonine benzoate is the primary metabolite of cocaine. Because no other drug provides the identical metabolite as benzoylecgonine, it is clear that when benzoylecgonine is found in someone’s system, that person has consumed cocaine. Cocaine is metabolised through our system extremely fast.

Of course, the rate of metabolism will dictate how fast cocaine leaves the body. Once cocaine is in our system, it gets broken down in three ways; esterases, de-methylation and ecgonine.

De-methylation is known as the method that cocaine is metabolised into benzoylecgonine. Because benzoylecgonine can be found in the bloodstream within 30 minutes of someone consuming cocaine, and then steadily rises within the next 2 to 3 hours, it’s possible to identify if someone had consumed cocaine even if the cocaine is already out of the system.

How long is cocaine detectable by a drug test?

Once within the system cocaine is metabolised by enzymes, this happens so quickly that cocaine is barely detectable in the majority screening tests designed to identify cocaine.

That’s why the tests to detect cocaine look for benzoylecgonine instead. This is because benzoylecgonine can be detected in the body for a more extended period of time than cocaine.

There are four-way to look for cocaine in the system:

1. Blood

Blood tests that are commonly done in a hospital can identify cocaine in blood, usually up to 12 hours after consuming cocaine. Alternatively, it can also recognise benzoylecgonine for approximately 48 hours.

2. Saliva

A saliva test works by using an appropriate unique tool to remove a sample of saliva from someone’s mouth and insert it instantly into a sample tube. Saliva tests can detect cocaine metabolites for up to two days after consumption.

3. Urine

Urine tests used to detect cocaine are exceptionally reliable. This is mainly because the cross-reactivity between the test and other possible no cocaine components is almost hypothetical impossible. Urine tests can usually detect cocaine for up to three days.

4. Hair

Cocaine metabolites can usually be identified in hair follicles from months or even years after the consumption of cocaine. Although the results can depend on where the hair sample is removed.

Are there any factors that can affect how long does cocaine stay in your system?

Many factors will define how long someone will be able to feel the effects of cocaine, and for how long cocaine’s traces can remain in the body. Here are some of the factors that can affect how long cocaine stays in your system:

1. Amount

The amount of cocaine consumed will influence the amount of time that cocaine will stay in the body, more cocaine, the longer the cocaine will remain in the system.

2. Frequency

The frequency that someone takes cocaine can influence the time that cocaine will stay in the body.

3. Method

The way that cocaine is consumed can also determine the duration of the effects. Cocaine that is snorted may remain in your system for a more prolonged time than cocaine that was taken by intravenous injection.

4. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol and consuming cocaine has been seen to raise the duration of cocaine in the body.

5. Body & Metabolism

Having higher amounts of body fat can induce cocaine to stay in the system for longer.

How long does cocaine stay in your system when mixed with alcohol?

Mixing cocaine with alcohol will generate new components. One of the most dominant of these new components is the metabolites known as cocaethylene. Cocaine and alcohol alone are already powerful enough to make harmful reactions to the body, but when together, these two can induce more significant harm. They will intensify the toxicity in the liver, heart, and other main organs.

Cocaethylene also lingers around for longer than cocaine, and its toxicity also stays for longer in the body. Alcohol also reduces the elimination of another metabolite, known as ethylbenzoylecgonine, from the kidneys. Because of this, the levels of cocaine and cocaethylene will increase in the bloodstream, potentially imposing even more damage.

There is also the concern that alcohol induces the craving for cocaine as this research has concluded. Due to this co-dependence between those two substances, it makes it more challenging for people to stop using.

Mixing cocaine and alcohol can raise risks for:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Erratic behaviour
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Seizures
  • Damage on the liver
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Severe drug desires
  • Raise cancer risk
  • Sudden death

When people combine cocaine and alcohol, cocaethylene can remain in the system for days and sometimes even weeks. The total duration will, of course, depend on the quantity and how it’s consumed.

But no matter how little consumption someone chooses to have, those two components can have deadly outcomes.


It’s a challenge to know how long cocaine stays in your system because many factors will influence the time that cocaine remains in the body. But one clear thing is that cocaine is a highly addictive drug that can impose terrible health threats.

The potential for this drug to harm someone’s life should not be taken lightly. The best solution would be staying away from it, but if you are dealing with addiction or know someone who is, then the warning should be raised and understood.

The next step is to ask for help and seek treatment. There is a solution to this problem, and the good news is that no one has to face it alone. Reach out for help.



Boris is our editor-in-chief at Rehab 4 Addiction. Boris is an addiction expert with more than 20 years in the field.  His expertise covers a broad of topics relating to addiction, rehab and recovery. Boris is an addiction therapist and assists in the alcohol detox and rehab process. Boris has been featured on a variety of websites, including the BBC, Verywell Mind and Healthline.