Last updated: 05/15/2018
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Crack is a crystallized form of cocaine which is made by processes that extract the cocaine oil base from the other variant chemicals used in the processing and distributions (to increase the weight) of cocaine powder. In effect, the typical potencies of crack can be 75% to 100% pure cocaine and as the hardened form is heated, it makes a crackling noise, hence, the term of “crack”.
There are several influential factors that determine how long crack stays in your system, but, for the most part, as dosages and frequencies increase, so will the metabolites of the drug take longer to eliminate.
Determining the Time It Takes to Eliminate Crack from Your System
The time it takes to eliminate crack from your system is the same as any comparable dosage of cocaine. Invariably, crack users often accelerate their use of the drug because the effects of crack are usually short-lived. Keep in mind that some forms of crack may be more potent than some forms of cocaine and because the ingestion is usually by smoking, more of the cocaine chemicals can enter your system. Repeat administrations add to its toxicity which can impair health and impact metabolism rates.
Other influential factors that may determine the time it takes to eliminate crack from your system are height and body weight, levels of activity, and health status. Hydration and the use of alcohol or caffeine can also play a role in eliminating crack from your system. Lots of water helps to flush toxins from the system, while caffeine and alcohol can cause delays.
How Long Does Crack Stay in Your System?
Most cocaine metabolizes within 4 hours, but, can still be detectable up to three months later in certain types of testing. The two major urinary metabolites of cocaine are benzoylecgonine (BE) and ecgonine methyl ester (EME). The major advantage of BE screening is that many commercial immunoassays are designed to detect BE.
For occasional users, the actual cocaine may only be detected for 12 hours in the urine, while metabolites specific to cocaine use can be present 4 to 5 days later. In chronic or heavy users, cocaine may be detected in the urine from 2-4 days, but, the elimination of metabolites is generally much longer and sometimes, up to 20 days.
Another metabolite that is created when alcohol is mixed with cocaine, is cocaethylene and this metabolite can be detected in urine for up to 25 days.
Other Testing Measures
Although urinalysis is the most frequently used testing for crack use, other measures are:
- Detection of crack in your blood is highly variable although it can be up to 48 hours.
- Saliva or sweat tests may only detect crack for up to 24 hours.
- Hair testing can show crack use for at least 90 days or until hair is cut or falls out.