Crack Cocaine Identification

While it still comes from the coca plant, crack cocaine deviates from the powdery form that most pure or street coke comes in, and is usually ingested by heating and inhaling the substance. Like other forms of cocaine, crack is highly addictive.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Crack cocaine is a concentration of freebase cocaine that has been treated with chemicals and solvents to create a rock-like form, making it both less messy and easier to use.

Because of the nature of crack cocaine, being a cocaine base mixed with other cutting agents and chemicals, crack cocaine can have a few different scents and smells.

What Crack Cocaine Looks Like

Crack, the street name for coke crystals, is made from coca leaves and involves a complicated process that makes use of baking soda, detergent, and other household items.

This process results in the cocaine taking a crystalline or rock-like form, and unlike powdered cocaine — which is usually ingested by snorting — crack cocaine is smoked.

What Crack Cocaine Smells Like

Reports from people familiar with crack cocaine use have said that crack cocaine gives off the smell of burning plastic or rubber when ignited.

Crack cocaine crystals have different scent profiles when unheated, and smell like a combination of flowers and cleaning products, specifically ammonia.

How To Identify Fake Crack

While lab testing is the most reliable way to identify crack cocaine, there are other ways to help identify if crack is real or fake.

Fake crack can be identified through these indicators:

  • appearance: fake crack cocaine is lighter in shade than real crack and is often less chunky and more powdery
  • texture: fake crack is often less sticky and smoother to the touch
  • smell: the smell of fake crack is much sweeter than the metallic smell of real crack cocaine
  • taste: the taste of fake crack is sweeter than the taste of real crack cocaine which is often described as bitter or tart

Factors That Influence The Look And Smell Of Crack Cocaine

There are many different factors that influence the look and smell of crack cocaine because of its nature as a street-produced drug.

Some street dealers mix their coke with cheap cocaine cutting agents, chemicals, and solvents to increase the quantity of the substance and boost profit margins.

Each of these adulterants bring their own scent and appearance, altering the overall look and smell of crack coke.

Some of these additives include:

  • baking soda
  • talcum powder
  • kerosene and gasoline
  • caffeine
  • creatine
  • laxatives
  • laundry detergent

Drug Addiction Treatment Options For Cocaine Abuse

There are a number of cocaine addiction treatment services that can help people who are seeking sobriety.

Some of these substance abuse programs and services include:

  • inpatient and outpatient programs
  • detox
  • partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • residential treatment
  • therapy and counseling
  • medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • supervised drug testing

Find A Rehab Program For Cocaine Addiction

Our Massachusetts-based rehab center offers treatment for a number of drugs of abuse, from methamphetamine to cocaine to opioids and more.

Comprehensive treatment for substance use includes detox, behavioral therapy, residential rehab programs and more.

If you or a loved one are in search of recovery programs to help with cocaine drug use, give our free helpline a call today to discuss enrollment at Bedrock Recovery Center.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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