Cornerstone of Southern California Drug and Alcohol Rehab
How Long Does Crack Stay In Your System?
Author: Cornerstone of Southern California
Published: November 27, 2023
How Long Does Crack Stay In Your System?

Generally, urine, saliva, or blood tests show the presence of crack cocaine for just a few hours or days, while hair drug tests for crack can show the presence of cocaine for months or even years.

More info about the different drug test types is detailed below.

Crack is a form of cocaine that is primarily smoked, and there are many factors that can determine how long you may test positive for crack. The time it takes to get crack out of your system can be months or years, but whether or not you test positive for crack cocaine depends on the type of the drug test along with other physiological and environmental factors.

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What is Crack? How to Get Addiction Treatment

Crack cocaine, aka "Crack", is a highly addictive and potent form of cocaine, which is a powerful stimulant drug. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in 2020, that over 5 million people in the United States admitted to using cocaine at least once in the past year. Cocaine comes from the coca plant found in South America and comes in the form of a white powder.

Due to the intense short bursts of energy this creates, the substance abuse of crack is very common and people can become obsessive when they want to chase the crack cocaine high. This obsessive behavior can lead to mental illness, and is often associated with a dual diagnosis of mental health disorder and crack cocaine addiction disorder.

Get help at a Mental health and addiction treatment center in Orange County Southern California.

See the Steps to Crack Cocaine Treatment at Cornerstone of Southern California.

Types of Drug Tests for Crack

There are various testing methods to identify crack cocaine and each method will have a different timeframe for how long it can detect cocaine. Most drug tests detect crack metabolites rather than the drug itself. Crack cocaine is usually taken with other drugs which can affect detection. Crack drug tests usually detect the drug within a few days time frame but this is massively extended by heavy use. The most common crack cocaine drug tests are urine, hair, saliva, and blood tests.

Blood Drug Test for Crack

Blood testing methods for crack are the least likely drug test to detect crack cocaine unless tested within a day of the last time smoking cocaine. Depending on the last time crack cocaine was used, and the metabolism of the user, blood can be clear in as little as two hours, but can stay in your system for up to twelve hours.

Blood Drug Test for Crack Cocaine

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay In Your Blood?

Crack cocaine only lasts a few hours in your blood at testable levels and is generally clear within 12-48 hours. Note that cocaine can be detected by other means and blood tests are rarely used. Crack cocaine can be found in the blood in as little as 0.7 hours after it is initially taken.

Hair Drug Test for Crack

Hair testing for crack cocaine is one of the most reliable forms of crack drug testing. Both the substance and the cocaine metabolites can be found in the hair follicles and remain at testable levels for months or even years.

False positives are more common in hair tests due to the cocaine particles and metabolites diffusing into the hair from the environment. You can avoid a false positive by properly washing your hair after being in an environment where there is crack cocaine.

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay In Your Hair?

A hair sample can deliver a positive result for between ninety days up to a year due to the slow hair growth. This depends on individual factors like frequency of use. Hair drug testing for crack cocaine is often the go-to for a definitive drug test due to crack staying in your hair for longer than blood or saliva.

Saliva Test or Lick Drug Test for Crack

A common drug test for crack is the lick test or saliva drug test. This involves testing crack cocaine levels in your saliva. Similar to the blood test, Saliva tests for crack can only detect crack cocaine for a day or two. Lick tests are more frequently used in a healthcare settings to confirm the use of crack during medical treatment.

How Long Does Crack Stay In Your Saliva?

Traces of crack cocaine in a saliva drug test are normally present for just the first 12 hours after use and not for longer than 2 days. Detectable crack cocaine levels are usually clear from saliva within 24-48 hours after the last use of the drug.

Urine Drug Test for Crack

Urine drug tests involve peeing into a cup for a drug test. Urine drug tests for crack also only have a limited time before testable levels are gone. This also depends on the frequency and intensity of drug use, metabolism of the user, and other factors.

How Long Does Crack Stay In Your Urine?

Crack cocaine is usually detectable in your urine for around one to four days after use, but for heavy users, it can remain in the urine for weeks.

Factors For How Long Crack Is In Your System

There are various factors that contribute to the length of time that crack cocaine remains in the system:

  • Type of Drug Test - The method of testing will determine how long detectable levels of crack cocaine
  • Frequency and Amount of of Crack Used - The longer and more crack cocaine that is smoked is determinant of how long it will take to metabolize.
  • Metabolism of Your Body - People with higher metabolisms will more quickly metabolize crack cocaine.
  • Hydration, Diet, and Exercise - Crack cocaine may be cleared from the system quicker if the user has a healthy diet, regular water intake, and routinely exercises.
  • Overall Health and Liver Function - Due to variations is overall health and how quickly the liver metabolizing crack cocaine, if the overall health and liver function is poor, then there may be a buildup of crack or the byproduct.
  • Drinking Alcohol & Taking Other Substances - Studies have found that drinking alcohol at the same time as taking cocaine may cause the drug to stay in your system for longer. Not only does it increase your likelihood of crack cocaine being found in blood tests, but it is also highly dangerous due to an increase in heart rate when combining the two. This puts added strain on your liver's function to clean your system from drugs and alcohol.
Medical Technician Checking Drug Test for Crack Cocaine

Half-Life of Crack Cocaine

The short-term feeling of crack cocaine can last as little as 5 minutes due to the half-life of this drug being less than an hour. This means that after this time, only half of the drug remains in your body, however, it is dispersed in various areas. This time frame is an average and many factors affect how long cocaine remains in your system.

Although it takes less than an hour to eliminate half of the crack cocaine in your system after taking it, there are byproducts produced that can remain detectable for months or years.

Long-Term Effects of Crack Addiction and Drug Abuse

Substance use disorders are a form of mental health disorder, and it is important to know the effects of drug addiction so treatment can be started. Here are a few of the following long-term effects that follow a crack cocaine addiction that have been reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • Lung damage and respiratory problems from smoking crack
  • Mental health issues like paranoia and depression can occur from prolonged cocaine abuse due to damage to the brain
  • Higher risk of developing infections
  • Higher risk of experiencing a heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure
  • Neurological damage leading to problems with memory, cognitive impairments, and difficulties with decision-making
  • Malnutrition and weight loss can occur from crack's suppression of appetite
  • Frequent crack cocaine use is associated with severe dental issues
  • Crack cocaine addiction can lead to strained or lost relationships, loss of employment, and legal troubles

The cumulative impact of these physical, mental, and social consequences can significantly diminish an individual's overall quality of life and well-being. You can lead a better life and we can help you do it.

Start a New, Better Journey. 

Call us and speak to one of our caring addiction counselors.
Call Today (714) 547-5375

Steps to Crack Cocaine Treatment

The journey to recovery from a crack addiction disorder begins with an initial assessment, laying the foundation for a personalized crack cocaine rehabilitation plan.

Initial Assessment: Understanding Crack Addiction Treatment

A comprehensive initial assessment serves as the foundation for creating a personalized crack rehab plan. During this crucial phase, our dedicated rehabilitation specialists provide a safe and non-judgmental space for clients to openly discuss their concerns and establish the groundwork for their path to recovery. This involves establishing the treatment setting and planning the steps for a personalized crack addiction treatment.

Personalized Crack Addiction Treatment Plans

At Cornerstone, we recognize that each individual's journey to recovery is unique. Therefore, we develop holistic treatment plans that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. This approach ensures that both crack cocaine addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders are addressed simultaneously, increasing the likelihood of achieving lasting recovery.

Determining the Right Crack Treatment Setting

Based on the results of the addiction and mental health treatment assessment, the most suitable treatment setting is determined:

  • Medical Assisted Crack Detox Treatment: If a client requires substantial assistance in managing crack withdrawal symptoms, our experienced professionals guide them through a medically-supervised crack detox program, which may include the use of anti-craving medications.
  • Inpatient Crack Rehab Program: For those in need of more intensive addiction support, our inpatient drug rehab program offers a comprehensive crack cocaine treatment program tailored to their needs, including mental health counseling.
  • Intensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Program (IOP): Clients who are already in recovery from a crack addiction, but still need more substantial addiction support can benefit from our Intensive Outpatient Program, which provides a more flexible recovery support and therapy.

Post-Treatment and Ongoing Care for Crack Cocaine Addiction

Post-Treatment Ongoing Care at Cornerstone of Southern California is designed to provide continuous support and resources to ensure lasting recovery and help individuals manage the challenges of everyday life after completing a crack cocaine treatment program. This phase includes:

  • Sober Living Homes: Access to licensed sober living homes across Orange County, CA to facilitate a smooth transition post-treatment.
  • Extended Care Program (ECP): Additional support and guidance through our Extended Care Program (ECP) for Crack addiction, aimed at preventing relapse after the initial treatment phase.
  • Recovery Support Groups: Guided by peers who are on their own recovery journeys, these crack addiction support groups offer ongoing support, inspiration, understanding, and camaraderie in a compassionate community environment.
  • Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT): Utilizing cognitive-behavioral techniques, Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT) helps individuals identify potential triggers and equips them with effective coping mechanisms to navigate high-risk situations.
  • Alumni Program: Our alumni program connects former clients with a supportive network of like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of community and ongoing encouragement for continued recovery.

So, How Long Does Crack Stay In Your System?

Depending on the drug test and additional factors, it can be anywhere from one day to over a year. When attempting to determine how long crack cocaine will stay in your system, many factors have to be acknowledged. This includes the type of drug testing, the intensity and longevity of cocaine use, and other factors.

We're here any time of the day to talk

Call us and speak to one of our caring addiction counselors.
Call Today (714) 547-5375
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