How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay in Your System?

What is Crack Cocaine? How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay In Your System? How Long Does crack Cocaine Stay in Your Urine? How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay in Your Hair? How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay in Your Saliva? How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay in Your Blood? What are the Effects of Crack Cocaine? Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

What is Crack Cocaine?

Crack cocaine is the hard form of cocaine that develops when the drug is combined with water and other solvents and then cooked into a hard, rock form. It is made of cocaine hydrochloride that has been processed with baking soda or ammonia and water into a form called “freebase.” Crack cocaine is still highly potent, potent, and extremely addicting despite the chemical changes that occur when it is cooked. If you want to learn “how long does crack cocaine stay in your system?”, you may also want to know “how long does cocaine stay in urine?“.

There are no pharmacological differences between powder cocaine and crack cocaine. This means that they are nearly identical and produce similar results. Crack cocaine can be more potent than powder cocaine. It causes physical dependence to set in more quickly and is far more dangerous than the powder counterpart. Around 72 percent of cocaine-related drug treatment admissions are due to crack cocaine [1]. This is a startlingly high statistic considering the harmful crack cocaine side effectsCocaine addiction treatment may involve crack cocaine detox and therapy. Treatment may occur in hospitals, therapeutic communities, or inpatient rehab settings.

Crack cocaine can cause damage to mental health. There is a strong link between cocaine and depression which appears in the form of mood or emotional disturbances [2]. Because the drug directly interferes with dopamine being reabsorbed by neurons, one of the symptoms of a crack cocaine comedown is severe depression. Addiction to crack cocaine is a chronic condition that will be with the user for life. Addiction recovery is possible, and help is out there. If you or a loved one suffers from a crack cocaine addiction, please seek help.

how long does crack cocaine stay in your system
How long does crack cocaine stay in your system? The length of time crack cocaine stays in your system can affect both cocaine withdrawal and drug tests. 

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay In Your System?

Crack cocaine disrupts the brain’s normal communication between neurons. Therefore, this causes a surge of “feel-good” chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine. Excessive dopamine build-up is what causes the intense feeling of euphoria that we call high. It also serves as a stimulant, promoting excessive energy and excited talking. The duration of the effect depends on many factors, including the person’s health condition, duration of use, and purity of the drugs.

Crack cocaine enters the bloodstream at different rates when smoked, snorted, or administered intravenously. Peak levels or peak effects happen in the bloodstream in around 30 minutes. The drug is broadly dispersed throughout the body’s tissues and through chemical interactions with the brain.

How long does crack cocaine stay in your system? Crack cocaine may stay in an individual’s system for longer or shorter amounts of time-based on variables like how much they weigh, their natural metabolism, and how long and how much crack cocaine they have used. Mixing alcohol with crack cocaine can also cause the substance to last longer in the human body.

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What Is The Detection Window For Crack Cocaine In The Body?

Crack cocaine is typically smoked using a glass pipe. The drug is broken into small rocks and then placed into a pipe or other device to be smoked. It is the most common means of using the drug. As soon as someone smoke crack cocaine, it is detectable in their system in a matter of hours. Those who snort crack cocaine or inject the drug also experience similar effects. Intravenous users of crack cocaine can test positive for crack cocaine instantly. Those who snort it have about one hour before they will test positive for cocaine.

The general detection window for crack cocaine testing is six hours to four days. The hair follicle test can detect cocaine use much further back than this, with a detection window of up to ninety days. Unfortunately, these tests are much more expensive and not used as frequently. Unfortunately, crack is often mixed with fillers or other substances, making smoking the drug even more dangerous than the user believes. There is no way to know how much cocaine is being used, how potent the crack is, or what the potential side effects or repercussions of using the drug can leave the user open to a wide array of possible side effects and problems.

how long does crack cocaine stay in your system
How long does crack cocaine stay in your system? Drug detection times refer to the length of time crack cocaine can be detected in a person’s system and therefore be identified in a drug test.

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay in Your Urine?

Crack cocaine drug tests look for evidence that the body has recently metabolized (indicating the ingestion of) crack rather than the substance itself. While benzoylecgonine, a byproduct of the body’s metabolism of crack cocaine, takes 6–24 hours to exit the body, it can still be detectable up to five days after the last use. After metabolizing a particularly hazardous drug, our bodies produce molecules known as metabolites. How long does cocaine last in urine? Depending on an individual’s height, weight, and rate of metabolism, the time it takes for crack cocaine to be metabolized ranges from six to twenty-four hours.

How long does crack cocaine stay in your urine? A urine test on crack cocaine is the most common one and is usually performed as a routine test in a company. Its non-invasiveness and ease of administration have made it an industry standard regarding company-wide scheduled drug testing. It is accurate, with most crack cocaine urine tests detecting levels of 300ng/l (nanogram per liter). Finding out “how long does crack cocain stay in your urine?” or “how long does crack cocaine stay in system?” The usual answer is that crack cocaine in urine tests will usually give positive results if the person being tested has ingested crack cocaine 2-5 days before giving a urine sample.

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how long does crack cocaine stay in your system
How long does crack cocaine stay in your system? Depending on the drug test type, the detection window can vary.

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay in Your Hair?

Hair follicle tests offer the longest term of detection available. Benzoylecgonine can be detected using a hair follicle test for up to 90 days after use. The hair follicle test is challenging to beat, though some people will shave their heads to prevent a test. This is because hair can trap drug metabolites as they are excreted from the body. The metabolites, Benzoylecgonine, in the case of cocaine use, is then permanently trapped in the hair follicles.

How long does crack cocaine stay in your hair? The type of hair tested is usually from the head. In the case of short or no hair, a sample of pubic hair can be used for testing because pubic hairs grow much slower. The same 1.5” length hair sample can give a history of drug use well past the last 90 days. The section of hair is bagged, labeled, and signed by the lab technician and the patient before being sent off. Once at the lab, the hair sample is dissolved in a solution and tested for the presence of multiple drugs and their metabolites.

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay in Your Saliva?

Saliva testing is the least common type of drug screening. Urine testing is generally more accurate, cheaper, and can detect drugs for longer. Blood tests are also very accurate. How long does crack cocaine stay in your saliva? Crack cocaine use remains detectable in the saliva for about two days. Many factors can play a role in determining the exact timeframe that crack cocaine is detectable by drug tests. Sometimes, saliva tests are used “in the field” when the privacy needed for a urine test is unavailable.

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay in Your Blood?

Crack cocaine, also known as freebase, can be detected in blood samples for up to 48 hours after your last use. A positive result for crack cocaine use may be a sign of drug abuse or addiction. It is an illicit drug that can be detected by screening samples of blood collected in a clinical setting.

How long does crack cocaine stay in your blood? Blood tests can detect crack use in a short amount of time. A healthcare provider, legal entity, or employer may order this drug test for various reasons.

Common reasons for performing a drug test include:

  • Pre-employment drug testing
  • Drug-free workplace programs
  • Prescription drug monitoring
  • Court-mandated drug testing
  • Suspicion of illicit drug use

A doctor may order a blood drug test if you have a history of substance abuse and are showing signs of cocaine use.

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How Long Does a Crack Cocaine High Last?

The onset and duration of cocaine vary and depend solely on how the drug is ingested.  Let’s look at how cocaine is ingested and how long the high lasts.

  • Injecting Cocaine – the onset of injecting cocaine is ten to fifteen seconds, and the high lasts from 5 to 15 minutes.
  • Snorting Cocaine – the onset of snorting cocaine is one to three minutes and the high lasts from 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Gumming Cocaine – gumming cocaine is eating it or rubbing it on your gums. The onset of gumming cocaine is 1 to 3 minutes, and the high lasts for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Smoking Crack Cocaine – the onset of smoking crack cocaine is 10 to 15 seconds, and the crack cocaine high lasts for 5 to 15 minutes.

The methods that get cocaine into your system or bloodstream faster allow the drug to wear off faster. The high euphoria one gets from smoking crack cocaine comes on very hard and fast, making it one of the most psychologically addicting drugs. Once the high wears off, the drug leaves you craving more and more of it. You will often hear people say that they continue to smoke crack cocaine, trying to achieve that initial crack cocaine high and euphoria that they got when they took that first hit, and they are never able to obtain it.


how long does crack cocaine stay in your system
How long does crack cocaine stay in your system? Crack cocaine is an illicit stimulant drug detected in the urine, blood, oral fluids, and hair. 

What are the Effects of Crack Cocaine? 

The moniker “crack” is used because of the rock’s crackling sound as it is heated.   Cocaine is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in brain circuits regulating pleasure and movement. Crack cocaine prohibits dopamine from being recycled back between the neurons. It thus creates extreme amounts of dopamine to linger, flooding the brain and causing a euphoric high. Smoking crack cocaine delivers the drug rapidly to the bloodstream and brain via the lungs, producing a stronger, faster, but shorter-lasting high than snorting.

Crack cocaine can cause long-term changes in the brain’s reward system and other brain systems, leading to addiction when used repeatedly. Repeated use of this drug also causes the body to generate a tolerance to cocaine. Crack abusers report that they try, but fail, to achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first time using. And so, it follows that users will increase their dosage and regularity to intensify and prolong their high. This also escalates the risk of adverse psychological and physiological effects.

Side effects of Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine side effects target the brain’s dopamine cell receptors, releasing large quantities of dopamine into the central nervous system. The resulting feelings of mental alertness, “euphoria”, and increased energy create reinforcing effects on the mind and the body. Crack cocaine produces a short-term high ranging from a few minutes to an hour. This short duration time, combined with ongoing cocaine side effects, makes crack cocaine addiction all the more likely.

While each person’s body may react differently, the most common crack cocaine side effects to consider include the following:

Physical Changes

As a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant drug, crack cocaine speeds up almost every process in your system. Physical changes occur as soon as crack cocaine enters the system, some of which may include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Body temperature rises
  • Blood smalls constrict

Adverse Reactions

Some individuals experience adverse cocaine side effects as of the first dose. Adverse reactions include:

  • Vertigo
  • Muscle twitches
  • Tremors

Violent Behavior

As crack cocaine users often try to intensify crack’s “high” effects, large amounts are often consumed in short periods of time. Violent, erratic, and oftentimes bizarre behavior can result from ingesting large doses.

Neurological Effects

Any dose of crack cocaine can cause adverse neurological effects, such as strokes, headaches, seizures, and even coma.

Digestive Problems

Crack cocaine’s stimulant effects on the digestive system can bring on nausea as well as severe abdominal cramping.

Rising Tolerance Level

Tolerance levels continue to rise as long as a person uses cocaine. This side effect in particular, poses the greatest risk for addiction.


As brain functions deteriorate from ongoing crack cocaine use, a person may develop psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and losing touch with reality.


After so many weeks or months of use, brain chemical levels remain imbalanced. Feelings of depression persist no matter how much crack cocaine a person consumes.

Binge Patterns

Crack cocaine’s short-term “high” effect can easily drive users to take multiple doses to prolong the drug’s effect. As tolerance levels tend to rise quickly, each successive dosage amount grows larger and larger.


At the end of a cocaine binge or when a person tries to stop using, users “crash,” which usually entails a long period of sleep that lasts a day or more.

Factors That Determine How Long Crack Cocaine Stays in the System

Many factors, such as the length of your drug addiction, can affect how long cocaine stays in your system. Frequency of use and amount of use are two of the biggest factors that determine how long a drug screening can detect cocaine. But there are others to consider.

Body Fat Composition

One of the crack cocaine metabolites is benzoylecgonine, which generally is stored in fat. So, the more fat tissue a person has, the more storage room, as it were, there is for benzoylecgonine.

Method Of Administration

The method of crack cocaine drug use can determine the effects of crack cocaine on your brain. In other words, the faster it gets to your brain (like when you smoke or inject it as opposed to snorting it), the faster you feel the high or rush of the drug. But the manner of ingestion also affects the time it remains in your body. The quicker it gets into your system, the quicker it leaves. Some methods of crack cocaine use can shorten the window of detection.

Cocaine Metabolites

Crack cocaine metabolites are the compounds that result from cocaine being metabolized into the bloodstream. The metabolites eventually work their way into the urine. A few things can slow the exit of metabolites through your urine. One is dehydration. The more dehydrated you are, the longer crack cocaine will stay in your system. The second is drinking alcohol or caffeine while using crack cocaine. If you take either of these things with crack cocaine, they can slow the metabolization of cocaine.

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Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

The best way to pass a cocaine drug test is to stop using it immediately and let the body flush out the toxins naturally. Do not drink alcohol under any circumstance; mixing cocaine with alcohol causes the body to produce a metabolite called cocaethylene, which takes even longer to get out of the system. One should also quit drinking alcohol altogether as mixing cocaine and alcohol causes the creation of cocaethylene in the liver. This substance takes up to 50% longer to metabolize than benzoylecgonine and will also be detected by a cocaine drug test.

Cocaine addiction treatment typically involves cocaine detox and therapy in an inpatient drug rehabilitation program. These programs greatly increase your chances of a successful recovery, even though psychological dependence on cocaine is a severe condition that is difficult to overcome. Suppose you are suffering from cocaine side effects and considering treatment for cocaine addiction. In that case, seeking a substance abuse evaluation from an addiction professional helps determine the right type of support.

Answering the question, ” how long does crack cocaine stay in your system?” may help you decide to find treatment for cocaine addiction. It is the first step toward recovery. It is also the most important step. Once you admit that you’re struggling with cocaine addiction, the only way to go is forward. The brain does not simply go back to normal when the drug use stops. It could take several supports, therapy, counseling, and treatment methods to help you effectively overcome the disease. Not everyone needs cocaine addiction treatment, but such help benefits those who have suffered adverse reactions to their sustained drug use, including cocaine overdose

Treatment for cocaine addiction may include:

There are thousands of treatment centers in the country, but not all are right for everyone. Those looking for help need to find a center that offers definitive treatment for crack cocaine addiction. This center must also be able to treat other drugs and co-occurring mental conditions. “How long does crack cocaine stay in your system? ” is a question that many abusers of the drug may have. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions if you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction. We Level Up NJ addiction specialists are standing by to help.

how long does crack cocaine stay in your system
You can recover from crack cocaine addiction with a strong medical detox program and the right support on your side, including family support structures like systemic family interventions and group therapy. Help is available.

Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment Recovery Story To Sobriety

Lorraine shares her personal Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment Recovery Testimonial Video.

Lorraine talks candidly on video about her crack cocaine treatment success and her personal road to recovery.

“If I didn’t change, I was just going to keep going back to jail. I’m Lorraine and I’ve been sober for six years. I’m a recovering alcoholic, heroin addict, and crack cocaine addict.

I was homeless for several years. I called the one person that never gave up on me and that was my mom and within an hour she was at the motel that I was staying at. And I said yes because I didn’t know what I was doing with my life and it was the best phone call I ever made.

After getting out of treatment I did everything that they told me to do. I got a sponsor. She’s still my sponsor. She’s taken me through the steps several times. I went back to school and now I’m one semester away from finishing my Bachelor’s in social work. And then I will start my Master’s in hopes to be a therapist so I can be there for other people.

Being sober is the only reason that I can work towards that.”

Does Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment Work?

The good news is that no matter how painful the problem of your addiction may be, most people with a substance use disorder can benefit from some form of professional treatment. After finishing drug and alcohol rehab, around 80% of patients say that their quality of life and health have improved.

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