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Had cocaine. Will it be detected in urine test?

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Practicing since : 2003
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I have a friend who is concerned about an upcoming drug test. He did a few lines of cocaine 3 weeks ago. He has a urine test tomorrow. It was the first time he has done drugs in well over a year and hasn't done any since. He is 6 ft. about 205 lbs. Should he be concerned?
Posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 in Drug Abuse
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 4 hours later
Hi and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your question...

Urine drug screens for cocaine actually detect a metaboloite (i.e. a break down product) of cocaine, called benzoylecgonine. Cocaine is rapidly metabolized in the body to benzoylecgonine, which is then excreted in the urine.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) guidelines, a urine level of 300 nanograms per milliliter (or 300 micrograms per liter) of benzoylecgonine is considered a positive result for cocaine use.

The typical time period for benzoylecgonine to be cleared from the body and become undetectable in the urine is three to five days. But this duration can vary according to the amount of use as the person's health condition (i.e. heavy users and users with co-existing medical disorders can take a longer time to clear it out)

So, in your friend's case, if the urine test is done after 3 weeks of cocaine use, it ie very likely to turn out negative.

Though he should not be very concerned about testing positive this time, yet he should be concerned because cocaine can cause serious physical and psychological consequences and can result in medical, personal, social and occupational adversities. So, please advise your friend not to restart this habit. If he is finding it difficult to quit, kindly take him to a professional for help.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
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