Cocaine Drug Testing

The cocaine drug test is part of the overall drug testing for workplace employment. Cocaine is one five categories of drugs that employers test for.

Under federal guidelines they are called the “NIDA-5”. Besides cocaine the others are…
  • Opiates (codeine, heroin, morphine, opium)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Cannabinoids (marijuana, hash)
  • Amphetamines (methamphetamines, amphetamines, speed)

(NIDA) The National Institute on Drug Abuse and (SAMHSA) the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) make drug testing mandatory for employers who have commercial class drivers licenses for their employees. In recent years these drug tests have been increased to include other drug categories.

  • Methadone
  • Propoxyphene (Darvone compounds)
  • Barbituates (Secobarbitol, Amobarbital, Pentobarbital, Phenobarbital)
  • Benodiazephines (Tranquilizers include valium, xanax, ativan, halcion)
  • Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
  • Hallucinogens (MDMA, MDA, MDE, psilocybin, mescaline)
  • LSD
  • Inhalents (benzene, xylene, toluene)
  • Ethanol (alcohol)

Hello my name is Yancey and many employees like me have been drug tested. As you can see the list of drugs that companies are testing for keeps growing. With all the controversy surrounding steroid use and abuse in the sports world, non-sports employers are now testing for them as well.

cocaine drug test

Cocaine Urine Test

Some job seekers and employees use or abuse the cocaine drug. A positive test if done within 24-60 hours after use is very likely. This is not exact however because detection of drug test times can be affected for different reasons. Things like…

  • weight
  • age
  • overall health
  • frequency of drug use

…among others will change how long a drug can be spotted in your system. Cocaine is eliminated from the body through urine mostly as what’s called benzoylecgonine. Since Benzoylecgonine is the main metabolite in cocaine, it is what drug testing companies search for in a cocaine urine test.

A metabolite is a waste product or chemical produced from ingesting or digesting another drug. The drug abuse detection time of cocaine and other drugs can be the difference in passing or failing a drug test. Follow this link to drug detection times.

When a job applicant or employee uses cocaine its metabolite benzoylecgonine is created up to 50% of the time. A another chemical called ecognine methyl ether is produced about 40% and what’s left is about 10% cocaine. Cocaine comes from the leaves of the coca plant in South America.

cocaine drug test

Cocaine can be…

  • sniffed as a powder
  • smoked as powder or in its free base form
  • injected by needle or syringe directly into the blood stream (YIKES!)

Cocaine is very psychologically addictive and is believed to be physically addictive too. It was used as an anesthetic for surgery back in the 1900s because of its ability to slow bleeding. Cocaine has many “street names” such as…

  • rock
  • crack
  • coke
  • snow
  • blow

…and there are several others, but these are the most popular. There are different types of drug testing for cocaine. When a job seeker or employee is drug tested for cocaine the drug testing company may use one these methods. However, drug in urine tests are still the most common.

Drug in saliva test
The tester uses a swab that looks like a toothbrush to get a sample of saliva from your mouth.
Hair drug use testing
Drugs are held in hair for longer periods of time. The longer the hair the longer the drug can be detected.
Urine testing
Cocaine can be spotted in urine for approximately 2 to 3 days depending on other factors.
Sweat drug test
The cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine is detected for a longer period of time when using a sweat patch.
Fingernail drug test
Fingernails can be clipped for drugs that can be detected up to 5 months.
Blood drug test
Depending how much is used cocaine may be detectable up to 3 days.
Follow these links for more info on urine, hair and saliva drug tests.

creatine drug test

drug saliva test

hair strand drug test

cocaine drug test

Testing positive or negative for cocaine is measured by what is called its “cut off level”. The cut off level is the least amount of a drug or its metabolite that has to be present in your body at the time tested. Testing at or above the cut off level results in a positive or failing drug test.

Urine testing for drug abuse that a lot of businesses use follow the (NIDA) National Institute of Drug Abuse minimum cutoff levels for positive drug tests. In the initial drug screen if you test positive for the cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine, the cutoff level would be 150 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml).

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The second test or confirmation would need to be 100 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). These cutoff levels vary within the same person being tested. Because the urine drug test type depends on when the drug test in urine testing is done. The amount of a drug in urine is different at different times of day.

The highest amount of benzoylecognine will be from the first urine sample taken that day. Another sample taken at another time that day will not be the same concentration as the first. Because of this there could potentially be positive drug tests after testing negative!

Job seekers and employees can’t be drug tested 24 hours a day. This is one reason random drug testing is so popular with employers. Learn how random drug testing can help make and break your job by following this link.

Workplace random drug testing

cocaine drug test

False Positive Drug Test

Job applicants and employees should be aware of situations where a cocaine drug test in urine produces an inaccurate result. There are several conditions that can cause false positives on drug tests for cocaine.

Substances that can cause a false positive drug test result

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic in the penicillin group of drugs. It fights bacteria in your body.
Ampicillin is another antibiotic similar to amoxicillin
Local anesthetics obtained from cocaine, excluding lidocaine and Novocain
Tonic water

Conditions that can cause a drug test to false positive

Liver infection or disease
kidney infection or disease

It seems that companies and organizations will become more intense in their drug abuse testing methods as time goes on. That means that job applicants and employees better be educated to the process. Obviously the best way to pass your cocaine drug test or any drug test is to not use or abuse the drugs tested for.

cocaine drug test

Employers have a right and an obligation to provide a safe drug free workplace. I wouldn’t want to work with someone who was “geeked up” would you? Follow this link to find out may happen if the company you work or want to work for allows rampant drug abuse.

pre employment drug screening

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