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How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay In Your System?

By Zawn Villines
The length of time crack cocaine stays in your system can affect both cocaine withdrawal and drug tests.

Crack is a form of cocaine that can be smoked. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2 million Americans reported using some form of cocaine during the previous month. If you are among them, you may wonder how long crack cocaine will remain in your body. Here’s what to expect.

How Long Does Crack Cocaine Stay in Your System?

The length of time crack cocaine shows up on a drug test depends on the type of drug test you undergo.

"Crack can be detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days, urine for up to four days, and in saliva and blood for only up to 24 hours," Jeremy Barnett, LMHC, CGC, CASAC, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

As crack cocaine leaves the body, symptoms of withdrawal may begin. 

“Cocaine is a potent stimulant of many of the body’s vital organs, so withdrawing from cocaine typically presents with opposite features,” Harshal Kirane, MD, Medical Director of Wellbridge Addiction Treatment and Research, tells WebMD Connect to Care. “[Cocaine withdrawal may cause] increased fatigue, sleepiness and appetite. This can progress to increased anxiety, irritability, and dysphoria, or intense sadness. This second phase is also when cravings to use cocaine often intensify, so recognizing these signs and making effective interventions is a key to preventing relapse.”

Long-Term Effects of Crack Cocaine Use

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), some of the long-term effects of crack cocaine use include: 

  • Lung damage. Crack use may also intensify the effects of asthma. 
  • An increased risk of developing infections. 
  • An increased risk of heart attack, stroke and respiratory failure. 
  • Mental health issues. Some people develop psychosis—the state of being disconnected from reality—during crack cocaine use. Prolonged use of cocaine can also damage the brain and affect mental health, triggering paranoia, depression, anxiety and other symptoms. 
  • Crack cocaine addiction. Over time, you may become dependent on crack, disrupting your life, your relationships and your health.  

Don’t Wait. Get Help Now.

Illegally using crack cocaine can affect your relationships, your job and even your freedom. Addiction is a treatable medical condition, not a personal failing. Sobriety offers a path to better health and a better life. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, WebMD Connect to Care Advisors are standing by to help.