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How Long Does Cocaine Show In The Blood Stream?

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Sam Easterbrook Profile
Sam Easterbrook answered
For the average adult, cocaine will stay in the system and be detectable in a urine test for up to 72 hours after it is consumed. There have been cases where people claim to have cocaine detected in their system 10 days after they consumed it, so if you know a drug test is coming up, it is best to stay away from any drugs from the moment you hear about the test. If you test positive, it is likely you will lose your job and your whole life could take a downwards spiral.
Cocaine is extensively metabolized, primarily in the liver, with only about 1% excreted unchanged in the urine. The metabolism is dominated by hydrolytic ester cleavage, so the eliminated metabolites consist mostly of benzoylecgonine, the major metabolite and in lesser amounts ecgonine methyl ester and ecgonine.

Depending on liver and kidney function, cocaine metabolites are detectable in urine. Benzoylecgonine can be detected in urine within four hours after cocaine intake and remains detectable in concentrations greater than 150 ng/ml typically for up to eight days after cocaine is used. Detection of accumulation of cocaine metabolites in hair is possible in regular users until the sections of hair grown during use are cut or fall out.

If consumed with alcohol, cocaine combines with alcohol in the liver to form cocaethylene. Studies have suggested cocaethylene is both more euphorigenic and has a higher cardiovascular toxicity than cocaine by itself. Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug of abuse. Once having tried cocaine, users cannot predict or control the extent to which they will continue to use the drug. The drug creates a strong sense of exhilaration. Users generally feel invincible, carefree, alert, euphoric and have a lot of energy. This is usually followed by agitation, depression, anxiety, paranoia and decreased appetite. The effects of cocaine generally last about two hours.

To be called positive, the peak in the sample of a follicle test for drugs must match a known pure standard of the drug in retention time and ion ratios. The presence of metabolites may also be checked. For instance, amphetamine is the major metabolite of methamphetamine. So, If there’s been methamphetamine use, the hair should contain the methamphetamine AND amphetamine.  The same scenario applies to cocaine, users will show positive for cocaine AND the metabolite, benzoylecgonine. Finding one without the other for these drugs is suspicious, and should be investigated.

The five drug classes are mandated for testing by the Federal Government are: Cocaine (Cocaine & Benzoylecgonine), Marijuana, Opiates (Codeine, Morphine & 6-Monacteyl Morphine), Methamphetamine (Methamphetamine/Amphetamine & Ecstasy), and Phencyclidine (PCP).

A hair follicle drug test specifically measures the drug molecules and their specific metabolites.  These are produced only after the drug has been processed by the body. After the drug is processed, trace amounts of its metabolites are detectable in the hair follicle.  After a substance is ingested orally, smoked, snorted, or injected, metabolites are produced as the drug is processed by the human body. As these drugs and metabolites circulate in the blood stream, they enter the hair follicle and are then inserted in the hair strand making the follicle testing possible.

Standard follicle screenings covers a period of 90 days, but this is subject to time variations depending on your hairs growth rate. The hair sample is cut as close to the scalp as possible.  The most recent 1.5 inches are tested. It’s possible to go back further than 90 days because the time period is only limited by the length of the hair sample collected.

There are a number of variables that come into play as to how long cocaine will show up in different drug tests. As a general rule, one can assume that cocaine use will show in urine tests for up to three days for one intake. Hair samples will hold traces of cocaine usage for even longer, up to three months. These rates can vary based upon the amount of cocaine consumed, the form of the usage, the strength of the cocaine, how often it was taken, interaction with other medications, your tolerance, age, sex, metabolism, and your overall health. When cocaine it taken, it proceeds to the liver, where it is metabolized. One of the products of the cocaine being metabolized is benzoylecgonine, which is water soluble and passes out of the body quickly. Other products, or metabolites, do not pass as quickly and may be stored in the body's fat cells. Therefore, the higher your body mass index, or BMI, the longer the metabolites will stay in your system.

Hair, however, retains a chemical record of what you have taken as it grows. On average, hair can grow half of an inch per month. To be sure, you would need to cut your hair down to below the half inch that grew when you used the cocaine. However, you should be aware that some testers will use body hair instead of the hair on your head.

There are a number of detox products on the market that can be used to try to remove traces of cocaine usage. Many of them, however, will just dilute urine, which is tested for. Diluted urine may be failed. For hair usage, there are also detox shampoos. Some people have had success with bleaching their hair, which damages the hair follicles and removes Melanin (the part that colors the hair), which is where the cocaine use will show.
Nisha Fernandes Profile
Nisha Fernandes answered
Cocaine is a powerful addictive stimulant substance. It is very similar to alcohol, when taken occasionally it eases stress but if taken often it becomes an addiction.

Cocaine will stay and therefore be detected in a person's system for different periods in different organs in the body. In a user's bloodstream cocaine may stay in the user's bloodstream for up to two days. Cocaine may stay in the user's urine for one to three days and may stay in a user's hair for up to three months.

It is interesting to note that while testing for substance abuse most recognised laboratories will not test for the drug, like cocaine, but instead will test for the metabolite of the substance. In the case of cocaine the laboratory will test for 'benzoylecgonine'. This may remain in an addict's bloodstream for up to thirty days.
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Anonymous
Anonymous commented
The reason most laboratories test for the metabolite of cocaine, benzoylecgonine..is that most times the matrix is urine, and little if any cocaine is present in the urine, but it is present in the form of benzoylecgonine. The half life of cocaine is short, and little of the parent remains in the blood more than 12 hours, although the metabolite benzoylecgonine may remain for up to 24 or more hours. It can be found in the urine, but with most immunoassay tests, cannot be found in as little as 24
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Regarding the hair, that is not strictly true. What actually happens is that hair retains a chemical record of what you have taken and where it is found in the hair can indicate when (using the average hair growth rate), this is why a lot of athlete's (especially male) have shaven heads. If you have long hair 1 or 2 strands can be used to trace back over the life of the hair what, if any drugs you have taken. Even if you have not taken any but been in the presence of where drugs are used (especially those smoked) a residue will be left in your hair from any accidentally ingested.

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