Crack cocaine is a potent, highly-addictive stimulant that induces a brief high, with a half-life of around 15 minutes. There are, however, a number of factors that can influence how long crack can be identified in an individual’s system using the following drug screens:
Crack can be identified in the blood from 2-12 hours following use. This method is the least likely to detect crack use unless blood is tested within a few hours after the drug is ingested.
Crack can be found in hair follicles for up to 90 days after use, sometimes longer. Because hair grows rather slowly, crack and its metabolites can be identified in follicles for an extended period after the last exposure.
Crack cocaine can be identified in the urine between 1-4 days following use. In some instances, it may be detectable for several weeks after use if an individual has been using it for a prolonged period.
Crack can be found in saliva for up to 24 hours after use. Like blood testing, saliva samples have a relatively brief window of time for detection.
Powdered cocaine is a hazardous drug to abuse, but crack, a less pure form of cocaine, has the potential to cause even more problems for those who use it. The drug produces a rapid and intense high and can cause addiction and remain traceable in the body for an extended period.
What Is Crack?
Crack is processed by removing hydrochloride from the traditional form of cocaine, resulting in the drug being more potent and taking on a rock crystalline form. Crack is sometimes referred to as freebase cocaine and is commonly smoked through a pipe. When heated, a cracking sound is produced, and this is the reason for its name.
As noted, crack cocaine is a stimulant, that, when abused, increases activity in the CNS (central nervous system) and leads to feelings of increased energy, hyperactivity, and euphoria.
Crack’s Effect on the Body
Like all addictive substances, crack works by interfering with neurochemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, which are responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure. Using crack causes dopamine to build up, which will cause the user to experience pleasure rapidly.
Over time upon repeated use, the brain and body will become dependent on crack. Once dependence develops, the individual will encounter highly unpleasant symptoms when they attempt to quit. For this reason, many people find it extremely difficult to stop using and will ultimately relapse to avoid withdrawal.
This is why crack use tends to escalate and get out of control. What’s more, the person will find that he or she needs to use the drug in ever-increasing amounts to achieve the sought-after effects—a condition known as tolerance.
As a stimulant, crack causes body activity to accelerate. Individuals under the influence of crack tend to talk rapidly and appear to be energetic, jumpy, and twitchy. The drug also impacts the speed of a person’s heart rate, which can be dangerous. As the body begins to clear itself of crack, the user often encounters a “crash” or “comedown” and becomes depressed, irritable, and tired.
Crack produces several acute effects, including impaired judgment, hallucinations, and problems with sleep. However, chronic crack use can also result in many long-term, severe health issues, such as cognitive decline and damage to the central nervous system.
Because crack is usually smoked, it is rapidly absorbed into the lungs. The high that crack induces is sometimes only 5-10 minutes long, and its half-life, which is the time required for the body to expel half of the drug, is also brief. However, the length of time that crack and its metabolites stay in the body is affected by many factors, including the following:
- Liver function
- Duration of use
- Typical amount used
- Food/water consumption
- Use of other substances
- Overall health
- Height and weight
- Body fat percentage
Since each person who uses crack has unique factors and different histories of drug use, it is not possible to determine exactly how long the drug can be detectable. For this reason, the aforementioned factors need to given consideration.
Getting Help for Drug Addiction
An addiction to crack cocaine can be a severe and life-threatening condition, and it can wreak havoc on one’s life. It is very treatable, however, and many individuals have received help and gone on to lead healthy, happy, and productive lives. Just Believe Recovery offers integrated, individualized programs, therapies, and activities clinically-proven to be critical for the process of recovery.
Using approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, counseling, and group support, those we treat are able to discover and examine the underlying issues that factor into their addiction. They are also taught to recognize problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and replace them with new ones that promote positive change.
If you are addicted to crack or crack cocaine, please know you don’t have to endure it alone. Contact us today and discover how we can give you the tools and support you need to recover!