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Cocaine Drug Testing

The cocaine screening  test is a rapid, qualitative immunoassay for the detection of Benzoylecgonine, a hydrolytic degradation product, in urine. The cutoff concentration for this test is 300 ng/ml, as recommended by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Also available are the hair follicle drug tests for cocaine.


A test strip is inserted into a sample cup containing the urine specimen. The urine then migrates up the strip by capillary action. As it migrates it mixes with labeled antibody dye mixture. When Benzoylecgonine is present in the urine sample at a concentration at or above 300 ng/ml (the detection sensitivity of the test), antibody dye conjugate binds to free drug which competes with the drug protein in the test region (T) of the device for limited antibody binding sites. This prevents the development of a distinct rose pink band. This indicates a potentially positive sample. Google

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How is cocaine abused?
Powdered cocaine can be snorted or injected into the veins after dissolving in water. Cocaine base (crack) is smoked, either alone or in marijuana or tobacco. Although injecting into veins or muscles, snorting, and smoking are the common ways of using cocaine, all mucous membranes readily absorb cocaine. Cocaine users typically binge on the drug until they are exhausted or run out of cocaine.

Added Danger: Cocaethylene
When people mix cocaine and alcohol consumption, they are compounding the danger each drug poses and unknowingly forming a complex chemical experiment within their bodies. NIDA-funded researchers have found that the human liver combines cocaine and alcohol and manufactures a third substance, cocaethylene, which intensifies cocaine's euphoric effects, while possibly increasing the risk of sudden death.

What is its effect on the mind?
The intensity of cocaine’s euphoric effects depends on how quickly the drug reaches the brain, which depends on the dose and method of abuse. Following smoking or intravenous injection, cocaine reaches the brain in seconds, with a rapid buildup in levels. This results in a rapid-onset, intense euphoric effect known as a rush. The euphoria caused by snorting cocaine is less intense and does not happen as quickly due to the slower build-up of the drug in the brain. Other effects include increased alertness, as well as restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. Tolerance to cocaine’s effects develops rapidly, causing users to take more doses and higher doses. Taking high doses of cocaine for a prolong time usually causes paranoia. The crash that follows euphoria is characterized by mental and physical exhaustion, sleep, and depression lasting several days. Following the crash, users experience a craving to use cocaine again.

What does it look like?
Cocaine is usually distributed as a white, crystalline powder. Cocaine is often diluted or cut with a variety of substances, the most common of which are sugars and local anesthetics. It is cut to stretch the amount of the product and increase profits for dealers. In contrast, cocaine base (crack) looks like small, irregularly shaped chunks of a whitish solid.

Drug Testing For Cocaine


This drug test provides only a preliminary test result. A more specific alternate test method must be used in order to obtain a confirmed analytical result Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is the preferred confirmatory method. Other chemical confirmation methods are available. Clinical consideration and professional judgment should be applied to any drug of abuse test result, particularly when preliminary positive results are observed. Picture and some information provided by the DEA.