How Long Does Crack Stay In Your System?
Author: CornerstoneSoCal
Published: September 27, 2022
How Long Does Crack Stay In Your System?

Crack is a form of cocaine that is smoked, and there are many factors that can determine how long you may test positive for crack. 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, substance abuse is very common and people can become obsessive when they want to chase the high again. This obsessive behavior can lead to mental illness, such as cocaine use disorder.

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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.

Types of Drug Tests

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.

Blood Test

Blood testing methods are the least likely drug test to detect crack cocaine unless tested within hours 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.

How long does crack cocaine stay in your blood?

It is beneficial to note that cocaine can be detected in the blood as little as 0.7 hours after it is taken so if you are having a blood test, stopping crack cocaine instantly will help you to avoid a positive test.

Hair Test

Hair testing is one of the most reliable forms of drug testing. Both the substance and the cocaine metabolites can be found in the hair follicles. A hair sample can deliver a positive result for ninety days up to a year due to the slow growth.

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.

Saliva Test

Similarly, crack cocaine or its metabolites remain in a blood or saliva test for up to two days. Traces of the drug are usually clear within twenty-four hours of cocaine use.

Urine Test: How long does crack stay in your urine

Urine tests also have a limited time but depend on the frequency and intensity of drug use, metabolism of the user, and other factors. Crack cocaine is usually detectable in the system for around one to four days after use but for heavy users, it can remain in the urine for weeks.

Other Factors That Determine Detection Time in a Drug Test

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

  • Drinking alcohol - 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.
  • Liver function - Due to the liver metabolizing crack cocaine, if the liver function is poor, then there may be a buildup of crack or the byproduct.
  • Length and amount of use - The longer and more crack cocaine that is smoked will determine how long it will take to metabolize.
  • Food and water intake - Crack cocaine may be cleared from the system quicker if the user has a healthy diet and regular water intake.

Long-Term Effects of 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
  • 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

Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options

Crack cocaine's effects are almost immediate, however, they can also disappear very quickly, causing the urge to use cocaine frequently. This frequent use can develop into a substance use disorder which means both cocaine and other drugs are usually abused. Treatment options are fortunately available for this via treatment centers and support groups.

Taking cocaine can usually lead to other mental health issues so it is important to seek professional medical advice and receive help from licensed medical professionals. Substance abuse treatment usually uses therapy as there is no FDA-approved medication for addiction treatment.

Addiction treatment usually begins with cocaine elimination, resulting in withdrawal symptoms that are monitored with an inpatient detox process. Cocaine withdrawal can result in symptoms like:

  • Intense sadness
  • Increased anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mood swings

After removing crack cocaine from the system, behavioral health conditions like this will require therapy to reduce the risk of relapse.

So How Long Does Crack Stay in Your System?

When finding a definitive answer to how long will crack cocaine stay in your system, many factors have to be acknowledged. Firstly, the type of drug testing will determine whether it will come up or not but also the intensity and longevity of cocaine use will make a difference.

Many other elements affect how long cocaine will stay in your system but the best thing to do is stop taking it immediately and find advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

Get Help Today

Despite the importance of educating yourself about crack cocaine addiction and how long it stays in your system, a rehab center like Cornerstone can help you to rebuild your life and recover from it.