How Long Does Crack Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Crack Stay in Your System?

Crack is a crystallized form of cocaine which is easily smoked.  Smoking crack allows it to be absorbed through your nasal passages, which are very close to your brain, and through your lungs.  Because of this, smoking crack provides an almost immediate high.  Because more and more employers test prospective employees for crack use, and sometimes also test current employees on a random basis, people who use or have used crack want to know:  How long does crack stay in your system?

What Is a Crack High Like?

Research has shown that all forms of cocaine, including crack, causes a feeling of intense euphoria.  In some ways, however, only a person who has used crack can fully understand what this intense euphoria really feels like.  A couple of comments from former crack users might give us a better sense of what a crack high feels like.  One former user spoke about a strange feeling creeping up his legs and feeling like there were butterflies in his stomach, followed by the sense that his whole body was buzzing in “pure sensual stimulation.”  Another former user wrote: “To kiss the crack pipe fills one with awesomeness.  It’s like falling in love.”  Clearly, there are both physical and emotional elements of this high and it’s no wonder that the drug is so powerfully addictive.

How Long Does a Crack High Last?

Most official sources state that the crack high lasts somewhere between five and ten minutes.  Some users, on the other hand, write about staying high for a few hours if they have enough crack to continue taking further hits.

What Factors Effect How Long Crack Stays in Your System?

How long does crack stay in your system?  The ‘half life’, how long it takes half of the drug to be removed from your system, is 15 minutes.  In simpler terms, 15 minutes after a person uses crack half of the drug is already out of your system.  This is a general rule, but a number of factors influence how quickly crack is actually removed from your system.

  • Since the liver is the most important organ involved in metabolizing crack, the health of the liver plays an important role in how quickly the drug is broken down into other compounds.
  • How long a person has been using crack is important because long term use results because over time crack may have been stored in their body.  Crack stored in body tissues takes longer to be removed from the system than crack which is circulating in the blood stream.
  • Food in the digestive system slows the process of metabolizing crack because the body is also working to break down and digest the food.
  • Drinking plenty of water increases the person’s urine output, allowing more crack to be eliminated in the urine.
  • The amount of crack the person used and how often they used the drug influences how quickly the drug is removed from the system.  Long term use results in more crack being stored in body tissues.  Crack stored in this way takes longer to be metabolized and removed from the body.
  • The use of medications or other drugs along with crack can speed up or slow down how quickly the body rids itself of crack, depending upon the drug’s effect on the body and how it interacts with crack.

How To Get Crack Out of Your System

There are some things a person can do to increase the rate at which crack is removed from the body.  Keep in mind that crack use can be detected long after the drug has been removed from the system.

  • Drink plenty of water and urinate frequently
  • Warm showers cause a person to sweat, allowing more of the drug to be removed through the pores in the skin
  • Exercise increases the metabolism and causes the body to sweat; both of these things speed up the rate at which crack is eliminated

Crack Cocaine Drug Test

How long does crack stay in your system?  Perhaps a better question would be:  How long can crack use be detected?  There are different methods of testing for crack use.  Because crack itself breaks down so quickly, most tests for crack use look for a metabolite of crack, one of the compounds that crack is broken down into by the body.

  • Blood tests:  crack remains in the blood for only a few hours.  This form of testing is used only if there is suspicion that the person has used crack during the previous few hours.
  • Hair samples:  tests of hair can identify crack use for months or even years after use, depending how often they use crack, how much they used and, of course, how long their hair is.
  • Urine tests:  while things such as the person’s size and metabolism and the amount of crack used play a role, as a general rule crack can be detected in the urine for four days or less.
  • Sweat and saliva tests:  since these methods can detect even trace amounts of crack, a person can test positive for weeks after using.

How Long Will Crack Stay in Your Urine?

While the general rule noted above indicates that crack can be detected in the urine for four days or less, there are some factors which influence that time period.  These factors include:

  • how pure the drug is
  • how much of the drug was used
  • how often the person uses crack
  • the overall health of the user
  • the age of the user
  • whether the user is male or female
  • how much tolerance the user has for crack
  • the speed of their metabolism


How long does crack stay in your system?  While several factors effect the speed at which crack is metabolized by the body, under normal circumstances about half of the drug is eliminated from the body in only 15 minutes.  Every 15 minutes after that, about half of the remaining amount is eliminated.  Tests for crack use usually test for a metabolite which is created when crack is metabolized.  Different kinds of testing can identify crack use for time periods ranging from days to several months depending up the kind of test that is done.  It is important to remember that long term crack use causes the drug to be stored in body tissues and this takes longer to be removed from the body.


Additional References:  The Blot MagazineCBC NewsAddictionBlog.orgTheGoodDrugsGuide.comAll Health Site

Ask a question

Follow us!

Find a Rehab Near Me

Click the button below to find a rehab near your location

Find a rehab near me