Most people assume that all traces of cocaine are gone from their body within 1-3 days. However, depending on what test is being given, by-products of cocaine can be found in the system as long as 12 weeks or more. There are many factors that contribute to the length of time the drug stays in the system. These include a person’s age, sex, metabolism, amount and frequency of drug use.
Since cocaine travels through the blood stream, it eventually ends up in inconspicuous places such as fingernails and even hair. In the case of hair, cocaine, and just about any drug or toxin can be traced with tests even months after use. Some people try to beat drug tests by thinking all traces of cocaine have left the system after several days but that is simply incorrect.
There are also studies that found drugs are stored in fatty tissues of the body and these might stay there for years. The problem with this is when the body uses these drug-polluted fats, the drug goes back in the system and might create flashback and cravings years after the last time the person took the drug.
It is unclear how long the drug stays in the brain itself. While the major effects of the drug usually wear off in hours, some of the drug may remain in the brain continuing to subtly affect actions and emotions.may also stay in the brain longer depending on what other prescription or non-prescription drugs are being taken.
In the case of detox, it does not take months in order to remove the cocaine from the system. It is the actual cocaine that is being tested for to see if detox has been successful. More about this can be explained by a drug counselor who regularly works with those trying to kick the cocaine habit.
Drugs are proving to be more complicated than previously believed. Science is able to pinpoint drug use months, even years prior to being tested. This is especially true in forensic science. Most employment or government laboratories just test for recent use of the drug, but again, it does stay in the system longer than most people think. The more a person uses cocaine, the longer it is detectable in the system.
Someone who uses cocaine once a week or less could possibly pass a drug screen within 5 days of last use. Those who use cocaine on a regular basis will find it harder to pass a drug screen even after a couple of weeks from last use. Of course, the same is true for other drugs, such as marijuana, but cocaine has a more lasting effect since it is a stronger drug.
The Narconon drug rehab program has a unique procedure designed to eliminate cocaine along with other drugs and toxins off the body. This is a key step to help any recovering drug addict to succeed in leading a thereafter drug-free life.