In the majority of cases, cocaine won’t stay in someone’s system for too long. This is especially true if cocaine is the only drug the user has taken. A drug’s half-life is the length of time it will take for the drug’s levels in the body to be cut down by half of their starting concentration. Cocaine’s half-life is quite short. According to a study, cocaine’s half-life for staying in the blood is around 1 ½ hours. It will stay in the saliva for around 1 ½ hours and the urine for around 4.1 hours. Most of the time cocaine is detectable through urine tests for about one day after using.
The organ that is mainly responsible for breaking cocaine down in one’s body is their liver. The breakdown of the drug is called metabolism. This happens when enzymes change the drug into another compound known as a metabolite. These are easier for the body to eliminate. The main metabolite associated with cocaine is benzoylecgonine. It is measured often in the urine testing for drugs, since it stays in the body longer than the drug itself does.
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The half-life for benzoylecgonine is around 12 hours. For urine testing, it will usually still show up around 2 to 3 days after the last use of cocaine. With that being said, those who are chronic cocaine users might have levels of this metabolite detectable for longer periods of time, since the cocaine has been accumulating in their body for longer. In fact, urine drug screenings for cocaine might see these metabolites for up to 2 weeks after the last use of cocaine, in heavier drug users. It should also be noted that cocaine might be detected through perspiration for 3 to 4 weeks after the last use. Hair samples can detect this drug and the metabolites for months or even years after someone last used the drug. There are many different factors that will affect how long the drug stays in someone’s system. It should be noted the figures noted above are only estimates.
Factors Affecting How Long Cocaine Stays in the System
As just mentioned, there are many different factors that could affect how long cocaine and metabolites stay in one’s system. Some of these various factors include the following:
- Amount of the drug that is used
- How long someone uses the drug for
- Chronic users will take longer to get the drug out of their system
- Cocaine purity that had been taken
- Individual’s metabolism rates
- Physical health issues
- Other substances that had been consumed may slow down or speed up the length of time it takes for cocaine to leave one’s system
These are some of the factors that come into play when talking about how long cocaine and the metabolites will take to leave one’s system. If you are addicted to cocaine, now is the best time to get help from an addiction treatment center.
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Mixing Alcohol and Cocaine
There are millions of people who will consume alcohol around the same time they are using cocaine. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to a fatal reaction. Using alcohol and cocaine at the same time causes the cocaine metabolites to stay in the body for a longer time frame.
In addition, when using alcohol and cocaine at the same time, another metabolite is created, known as cocaethylene. This is created in one’s liver and then gets circulated throughout their body. This metabolite has a half-life that is 3 to 5 times longer than cocaine. It has been linked to many things including impaired immune system functioning, seizures, and liver damage. Another thing to note is that this metabolite is 18 to 25 times more likely to lead to immediate death than just taking in cocaine by itself.
With that being said, alcohol can also increase the cocaine’s peak concentration by around 20 percent. The presence of cocaethylene is also linked to increased BAC (blood alcohol concentrations). The synergistic effects can lead to many other adverse effects and can be extremely dangerous.
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Mixing Cocaine and Other Drugs
There are many dangers that have been documented in regards to mixing cocaine and other types of drugs. Some of the drugs that many people will mix with cocaine or use at the same time as cocaine are nicotine, cannabis, and opioids. Speedballing is something that is far too common. This is when someone will mix heroin or other opioids with cocaine. It can cause extreme respiratory depression and increase the risk for overdosing as well. If someone was to use cannabis while taking cocaine, there is a high likelihood that it would increase the amount of cocaine concentration in their blood. This can lead to potentially life-threatening effects. Nicotine and cocaine both lead to constriction of one’s coronary arteries. This means that using these 2 substances together can greatly increase one’s risk for developing heart issues.
There is not an abundant amount of literature that notes how cocaine is eliminated from one’s body or how it affects other drugs that might be in one’s system. While there is a lot to be said about alcohol and cocaine, more research still needs to be done. With that being said, there are many drugs that can cause someone to have liver damage with chronic use. When mixing those drugs with cocaine, it makes sense that the liver damage would be more severe and other health issues would arise as well.
Furthermore, many supplements, foods, and medications could slow down or speed up the way the body would metabolize cocaine. The effects that the enzymes, CYP3A5 and CYP3A4, have on the body affect this as well. These are involved in the metabolization of cocaine. Some of these things include St. John’s Wort, grapefruit juice, and erythromycin. While the effects that come from certain drugs and how they affect cocaine elimination might not be entirely clear, there are many dangerous effects that are known and can’t be ignored. Taking any drugs, alone or in combination with cocaine, can be extremely dangerous.
Have you been abusing cocaine? Maybe you took it once and then you got hooked. You may be abusing other drugs and want to make sure you don’t turn to cocaine. There are many things that you may be concerned about. The one thing you should know is there are addiction treatment center programs that can help you to overcome an addiction. Whether you are addicted to cocaine, other drugs, alcohol, or a combination of them, you can get the help you need.
Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-371-4198 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.