How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

Cocaine, which has many street names, including coke, charlie, and crack, is a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse. As cocaine is a powerful drug and can be extremely addictive, regular use can alter your brain function and structure. Drug use can also cause severe psychological problems, as well as physical health issues.

Determining how long cocaine stays in your body can be difficult as many variable factors impact when the drug shows up on a drug test.

When it comes to reviewing how long cocaine stays in the body, there are multiple tests, such as urine tests, blood tests, saliva tests, and hair samples, that can be conducted to detect cocaine in your body.

Below, we share more about how long cocaine stays in your system.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant originating from the coca plant, native to South America. Cocaine is sometimes used in health care settings, for example, as a local anesthetic. However, recreational cocaine use is illegal.

The street form of cocaine is a fine white powder. Cocaine purchased from dealers is often cut with talcum powder or flour to bulk it up and increase profits. It’s also commonly cut with other drugs, such as amphetamine, or extremely dangerous synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

Combining synthetic opioids with cocaine comes with significant risks, especially if you do not know what it has been mixed with. It is thought that the increasing number of overdose deaths could be related to this trend of dealers mixing cocaine with other substances.


How Does Cocaine Feel?

Upon consumption, the immediate effects of cocaine include:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Increased energy
  • Feeling alert
  • Hypersensitivity of the senses
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia

You may also find that cocaine makes you more efficient in functioning. This can be in simple physical or mental tasks. However, some people feel the opposite after taking cocaine.

In addition to the above, cocaine’s effects can lead to unusual, unpredictable, and aggressive behavior.


What Are the Effects of a Cocaine Addiction?

Cocaine works by increasing the quantity of dopamine in your brain, a chemical naturally produced. Dopamine, among other things, is linked with the reward system.

In a normally functioning brain, dopamine is reprocessed back into the cell that initially released it. In doing so, it shuts off signals between nerve cells.

However, cocaine use prevents dopamine from being reprocessed, meaning that large quantities of dopamine collect in the spaces between nerve cells, inhibiting their communication.

These high dopamine levels impact the brain’s reward system and encourage repeated drug use. With prolonged drug use, the reward system in the brain may adapt, becoming more tolerant to the drug. In turn, if you frequently use cocaine, you may need to increase your dosage significantly to feel the same high as you originally did.

Cocaine is well known for causing psychological addiction and physical dependence. Despite this, you may find yourself continuously using more cocaine to combat the negative after-effects of doing so, leading to a pattern of binge use and increasing the risk of dependence.

What Are the Health Effects of Cocaine Abuse?

There are many short and long-term effects of substance use. Some of the immediate physical symptoms include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Restlessness
  • Increased body temperature and blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle twinges

Long-term health effects of cocaine can depend on how it’s used, but they typically include:

  • Loss of smell, nosebleeds, frequent runny nose, and difficulties swallowing when cocaine is snorted.
  • Asthmatic issues, respiratory problems, and high risk of infections, such as pneumonia, when smoking cocaine.
  • Severe bowel issues due to decreased blood flow when cocaine is administered orally.
  • Increased risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis C, blood diseases, skin infections, scarring, or collapsed veins when cocaine is injected.


How Long Does Cocaine Last?

Cocaine has a half-life of around one hour, which means that it takes one hour to eliminate half of the amount of cocaine in the bloodstream. As enzymes rapidly metabolize cocaine in the liver and the blood, it is not usually detectable in screening tests.


How Is Cocaine Detected in a Drug Test

Screening tests detect benzoylecgonine, which is produced in the body upon metabolizing cocaine, long after use.

There are multiple ways of testing for cocaine. Below, we look at some estimated time ranges in which various methods can pick up cocaine.

  • Blood tests – Blood tests are commonly used in hospitals and can detect cocaine in your system for twelve hours after use. For up to forty-eight hours, they can also detect cocaine metabolites, such as benzoylecgonine.
  • Hair tests – Cocaine metabolites can be detected in hair follicles for up to three months, although the accuracy may depend on where the hair sample has been taken.
  • Saliva tests – When a saliva test is carried out, it can detect cocaine metabolites for up to forty-eight hours after use.
  • Urine tests – Urine tests for cocaine are extremely accurate because it is very rare for this test to confuse non-cocaine substances with cocaine. For this reason, it is the most commonly used test. A urine test can detect cocaine metabolites for up to seventy-two hours after use, and in heavy users, detection times can increase to up to two weeks after use.

What Factors Affect Drug Tests?

If you are questioning how long does cocaine stay in your system, it is important to remember that it is almost impossible to determine precisely how long it does so.

The length of time it stays within the body depends on several factors, including body mass, metabolism speed, and hydration. The following factors also affect drug tests:

  • Frequency of use and drug strength – The more cocaine used, the longer the metabolite remains in your system and can be detected. In addition to the quantity, the purity of the drug also affects the speed benzoylecgonine leaves the body.
  • Alcohol and caffeine consumption – Alcohol can bind with cocaine in the body and inhibit its elimination. Caffeine can have a similar effect on the excretion of cocaine.
  • Body fat – Cocaine metabolites can be collected in fatty tissue. The more body fat you have, the more the drug can accumulate in that tissue and remain in your system.
  • Hydration – Dehydration can cause the drug to stay in your system longer. This is due to water’s ability to speed up the excretion of cocaine metabolites.
  • Physical activity – Cocaine leaves the body quickly if you have an active lifestyle and a faster metabolic rate.
  • Method of use – How cocaine is taken affects detection time. Generally, the quicker the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream, the shorter the detection time. Therefore if you inject or smoke cocaine, it will leave the body faster than if you snort it.

Addiction Treatment for Cocaine Use

If you are hoping to uncover how long cocaine stays in your system due to worrying about an addiction or substance abuse, you must take the first steps in overcoming any problems via a cocaine addiction treatment center.

Although recovering from cocaine addiction can be extremely challenging and you may worry that you will not be able to sustain recovery, seeking treatment is in your best interest. Across the country, various treatment facilities can provide treatment options that will help you.

The best way to start your drug abuse recovery journey is to seek professional medical advice and addiction treatment.

If you or a loved one is living with a cocaine addiction, pick up the phone today and take the first step of your treatment process.

Begin the first day of the rest of your life

To find out more contact our team


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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine