Fake cocaine is a synthetic drug that imitates real cocaine. Unfortunately, the potency of this “fake drug” makes it highly dangerous for your body.
What Is Fake Cocaine?
Fake cocaine is usually made with synthetic cathinones, also known as “bath salts.” They are controlled substances with an active ingredient chemically similar to amphetamines.
Some people knowingly abuse “bath salts.” Others are sold synthetic cathinones that have been purposefully disguised as other, more expensive drugs.
Synthetic cathinones are frequently used to imitate cocaine, cannabis, and MDMA.
Where Fake Cocaine Comes From
Synthetic cathinones were inspired by the natural cathinones found in the khat plant. The khat plant is a shrub found in East Africa, the Levant, and the Arabian peninsula.
In its natural form, the leaves of the khat plant can be chewed for a mild stimulant effect. Synthetic cathinones are largely manufactured in South East Asia today, but they can be found world-wide.
Prior to being outlawed in many countries, synthetic cathinones could be found in plant food and chemical cleaners.
Characteristics Of Synthetic Cocaine
Synthetic cocaine is usually a white powder, but it can also be brown.
Depending on how the synthetic cathinones are marketed, you may also find them in capsules, tablets, or in small crystals made to imitate crack cocaine.
How Fake Cocaine Is Abused
Synthetic cocaine is usually swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected.
The most dangerous delivery methods are smoking and injecting. These methods are associated with the highest rates of hospitalization and death.
Snorting Fake Cocaine
Cocaine insufflation is very common among cocaine users. It is also one of the most dangerous delivery methods if the drug you’re using is actually synthetic cocaine.
Snorting synthetic cathinones will cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate associated with cocaine. It is also likely to cause chest pains, agitation, intense paranoia, and hallucinations.
Injecting Synthetic Cocaine
Synthetic cathinones can be diluted and injected just like cocaine. While snorting synthetic cathinones is highly dangerous, injecting them may be even more so.
Injecting synthetic cathinones is associated with vascular and muscular damage. This method is also more likely to increase the risk of toxicity and hospitalization.
Synthetic cathinone poisoning can cause agitation, aggression, hallucinations, and seizures. Death is a very real risk.
Effects Of Fake Cocaine Use
Synthetic cocaine can be up to 10 times stronger than real cocaine. You may experience some of the energy and sociability expected with cocaine use.
You will also likely experience the negative side effects that accompany cocaine.
Extreme paranoia, erratic behavior, aggression, panic attacks, and psychosis are just a few common side effects.
Dangers Of Synthetic Cocaine Abuse
Synthetic cocaine comes with the dangers of real cocaine and then some. With fake cocaine, you are more likely to experience life-threatening cardiac events and periods of psychosis.
The long-term use of synthetic cocaine affects similar organ systems, but the results are generally more severe.
Synthetic cocaine abuse increases your risk of experiencing:
- cognitive impairment
- heart attack
- kidney failure
- liver failure
- mental health disorders
- respiratory failure
Some of these conditions can be managed with appropriate healthcare. Others may be immediately life-threatening.
Signs That Someone May Be Using Fake Cocaine
Synthetic cocaine is usually packaged in small plastic or foil sleeves labeled “not for human consumption.” If you find these sleeves among your loved one’s belongings, it is possible they are using fake cocaine.
Fake cocaine also comes with tell-tale behavioral signs. Erratic or aggressive behavior is a common side effect of synthetic cathinones. You may also notice your loved one is paranoid or experiencing hallucinations.
Treatment Options For Cocaine Abuse
Substance abuse is inherently dangerous. When the substances are illegal, the lack of regulation makes drug use even more unpredictable.
Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for cocaine abuse. Detox programs, behavioral therapy, and outpatient support can all help you to open a new chapter in your life.
Find Cocaine Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
Bedrock Recovery Center offers a range of programs to help you with your cocaine addiction. From your first steps through long-term recovery, our staff will provide you with the support you need to meet your goals.
- Department of Justice/ Drug Enforcement Administration — Drug Fact Sheet: “Bath Salts” https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Bath%20Salts-2020.pdf
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — “Bath Salts”- Emerging and Dangerous Products https://archives.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/directors-page/messages-director/2011/02/bath-salts-emerging-dangerous-products
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Synthetic Cathinones (“Bath Salts”) Drug Facts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cathinones-bath-salts
- National Library of Medicine — Synthetic Cathinones: A New Public Health Problem https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462036/