Drug tests to determine cocaine use vary in their windows of detection so recent or chronic use can be established. Oral fluid, urine, hair and nail clipping tests are all available at our Walk in Centre in Cardiff (Grange Medical Practice in Grangetown).
Cocaine drug testing with oral fluid
Oral fluid drug testing is a ‘narrow-window’ form of testing and is therefore a quick test to determine recent cocaine use. It involves placing an absorbent collection device (similar to a large swab) inside an individual’s mouth for a few minutes to soak up sufficient saliva. The entire test takes 20–30 minutes. Its period of detection is approximately 30–60 minutes after ingestion (up to 48 hours), although, this can depend on the particular substance taken.
Cocaine drug testing with urine
Urine drug testing is the quickest way to establish whether someone is misusing cocaine and can provide an immediate result. The donor provides a sample of their urine in a fully-contained screening pot, which is then analysed for particular substances. Urine drug testing is another ‘narrow-window’ form of testing as its period of detection is only a few days, although, again, this can depend on the particular substance taken. Cocaine, and other drugs such as ecstasy (MDMA) and methamphetamine, can be present in urine for roughly 3–5 days.
Cocaine drug testing with hair
Hair drug testing can provide a more comprehensive overview of a person’s cocaine use. After cocaine is absorbed into the bloodstream, metabolites are absorbed through the root of the hair and become embedded in the hair shaft. These metabolites remain in the hair as it grows, which means it can detect a person’s historical cocaine intake. This ‘wide window’ form of testing can determine a history of drug intake for up to 12 months.
By segmenting head hair samples into monthly 1 cm sections, a month-by-month profile of cocaine use can also be attained. Analysis of small segments can help establish a positive hair test in a narrow timeframe.
Cocaine drug testing with nails
Unlike hair drug testing, nail drug testing won’t give a historic segmented pattern of drug use, but it will give an overview of up to 12 months.
Cocaine can be detected in nails because when the drug is consumed, its metabolites circulate in the bloodstream. These substances pass from the blood vessels below the nail into the keratin fibres as the nail grows. They then become trapped and can thus be detected.
More information about cocaine drug testing in Cardiff
Our Cardiff Walk in Centre is at Grange Medical Practice, 25 Bishop Street, Grangetown, Cardiff CF11 6PG.