Cocaine

Cocaine: what you need to know

Cocaine, derived from the leaves of the cocoa plant, is a potent central nervous system stimulant as well as a local anaesthetic.

EFFECTS

Some of the psychological effects induced by cocaine are euphoria, confidence and a sense of increased energy. In someone who’s taken a large dose, expect to see severe anxiety and violent behaviour.

INDICATORS

Rapid heart rate, dilation of the pupils, fever, tremors and sweating.

RISKS

Continued ingestion of cocaine could induce tolerances and physiological dependency, which leads to its abuse. Large uncontrolled doses can cause everything from seizures to heart attack and kidney failure.

DETECTION

Cocaine is used by smoking, intravenous or oral administration and excreted in the urine primarily as benzoylecgonine in a short period. Benzoylecgonine has a biological half-life of 5-8 hours, which is much longer than that of cocaine (0.5-1.5 hours), and can be generally detected for 12-72 hours after cocaine use or exposure.

DETECTION TIME: Urine

2-4 days

DETECTION TIME: Saliva

12 hours (approximately)

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