Have Questions?
We Have Answers!

Get Help - Find a Rehab Center Today

Speak with a certified drug and alcohol counselor

For help finding an addiction treatment center, Call us!

All calls are 100% confidential and free


100% Confidential Help Request

Contact us now to get immediate help: 1-877-882-9275

Article Summary

What Happens With Regard To Cocaine Drug Testing?

Everybody knows that if you take some kind of drug, then it stays in your body for a certain period of time and evidence of it can be picked up through various tests that can be run on mainly your urine or your blood. The same applies to cocaine and indeed this is a drug that a lot of employers will check for when screening their staff, so what happens with regard to cocaine drug testing and how long does the drug actually stay in your body for?

The first thing that has to be mentioned is that cocaine is actually processed too quickly by the body for it to directly show up in the tests that can be carried out. What actually happens is that tests look for a byproduct that is called benzoylecgonine and this is produced when the cocaine is metabolized so it is a clear indication that the person has taken the drug quite recently.

It is, therefore, important to focus on this byproduct for the rest of the discussion here and perhaps the next thing that you should know is that it generally stays in your body for anywhere between three and five days, but as with any type of drug testing there will always be a stronger test the sooner that the sample is taken after the original consumption of the drug. These numbers of days can increase depending on how often an individual uses cocaine and it is accepted that heavy users can still have signs of it in their body up to two weeks after it was last taken.

Urine Testing

The most common way to test for cocaine is through an urine sample and most employers will use a standard cut off line as an indication that the person is taking the drug and this tends to stand at around 300 nanograms per milliliter. The only problem with this is that the day after the person has taken the cocaine will result in the highest concentration whereas if four or five days have passed, then it is possible that there may be less than this figure, but it at least lets the employer know that there may very well be a drug issue.

Saliva and Hair Testing

It is worth mentioning that it is not only urine that can be tested for cocaine, but also saliva, which shows the person has taken the drug up to two days after the event, and even your hair can show signs of the drug at various times. Hair samples are often taken when there is believed to have been a longer period of time between the person taking the drug and the test itself as it generally takes the body anywhere between ten and 14 days for it to show up in areas such as hair and it can show that the person has taken the drug up to three months after they have done so.

When it comes to the actual cocaine drug testing, then it is possible for it to be done on-site as there are different kits available that will give you an instant result if required. Results with these kits are extremely fast as a negative result will be shown in only a minute with a positive taking longer at approximately five minutes, but these tests do only show that the person appears to have cocaine in their system and it should always be supported by evidence from an official laboratory as they can give a clearer indication as to how much remains in the body.

Cocaine drug testing can, therefore, show a positive result up to three months after the drug was taken, but the most accurate test still remains urine or saliva and it is these two that will be used first to see if the person has taken the drug. As was mentioned at the outset, it is a byproduct of the drug that shows up in the testing procedure rather than the drug itself and even though there are claims online about how to beat these tests it is worth remembering that it gets right into your body and the fact that your body metabolizes it means that the only sure-fire way of beating the test is to not take the drug in the first place.

National Non Profit Helpline - 1-877-882-9275
Our National Non Profit Helpline is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families faced with mental and/or substance use disorders.

All calls are strictly confidential

Our service provides referrals to licensed treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. You don't have to struggle alone with addiction. Help is just a phone call away. Call 1-877-882-9275 now to get the help you need and deserve.


Organizations We Support