How To Identify Fake Crack

Fake crack may look like actual crack cocaine but can be identified by a few important differences in appearance, smell, texture, and taste. Pure white color may indicate that the drug is fake crack cocaine. Fake cocaine has a smooth texture and is sweet (not bitter).

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Fake crack can be any substance sold to someone who assumes it to be crack cocaine. It can also refer to a specific class of drugs known as synthetic cathinones or bath salts.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a good example of synthetic cathinone is N-ethylpentylone Hydrochloride.

The many similarities between cocaine and bath salts are an explanation for why drug dealers might try to sell bath salts as crack cocaine.

Appearance, taste, smell, and texture may help determine if crack is fake or real.

Crack cocaine looks like small rocks with a tan or off-white color. Bath salts usually look like white or brown crystals or powder.

How Fake Crack Is Identified

There are ways to spot fake crack cocaine by look, smell, and taste, including through lab tests.

Lab Tests

Law enforcement services may test whether crack is real or fake via lab testing. The test provides definitive answers as to whether a product is actually cocaine.

Appearance Of Fake Crack

The appearance of fake crack is often similar to that of real crack cocaine, but there are some differences.

The first difference is in color, which is generally a lighter shade than that of real crack cocaine. Also, fake crack tends to be less chunky and more powdery than real crack cocaine.

Texture Of Fake Crack

The texture of fake crack is often smoother than that of real crack cocaine, and it is also less sticky to touch.

Also, when you smoke fake crack, it tends to burn more slowly than real crack cocaine.

If you are smoking a product that burns quickly and doesn’t give off any fumes or smoke, then there is a good chance that it is not real crack cocaine.

It might be baking soda or sugar.

Smell Of Fake Crack

Although you can’t rely on smell alone to tell if a product is real or fake, there are some distinct differences between these two products.

Real crack cocaine tends to have a more metallic smell, while fake crack has a much sweeter scent or something totally different from real crack cocaine.

Taste Of Fake Crack

The taste of fake crack is often different from that of real crack cocaine, but it can be hard to tell for an inexperienced person.

Fake crack has a slightly sweeter taste than real crack cocaine, which can be very bitter or tart.

Other Differences Between Real And Fake Crack

Other differences between real and fake crack are:

Bath Salts As Fake Crack Cocaine

While crack cocaine always contains cocaine base, fake crack may not be cocaine at all, but bath salts.

Bath salts, like crack cocaine, are a mixture of different kinds of chemicals. Some bath salts are made from synthetic cathinones, which are derivatives of amphetamines.

When taken in large doses, these can cause paranoia and hallucinations that are similar to those caused by crack cocaine.

These drugs can also have other side effects such as rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Excited Delirium

Fake crack may result in dangerous side effects not experienced with crack cocaine drug use, such as excited delirium.

Excited delirium is a condition in which a person experiences extreme agitation, hallucinations, and acute strength and may become violent.

The condition can occur due to an underlying mental health disorder or methamphetamine drug use. It can also occur when someone becomes overheated or dehydrated, such as during a long police chase.

Where Fake Crack Is Found

Some dealers try to pass off another substance as legitimate crack cocaine to increase profits.

You could end up with a plastic bag of fake cocaine in the streets of New York City and other areas in the United States.

As more markets get shut down by law enforcement authorities, sellers are trying new ways such as dark web markets, social media apps, and even disguised on Amazon to sell their products.

One way they do that is by advertising their product as fake crack to stay one step ahead of authorities. This was common in 2020 when coronavirus limited the movement of people.

If you live in a place where head shops are legal, chances are that some of these shops will sell illegal fake cocaine and opioids in addition to the controlled substances.

Treatment Options For Cocaine Abuse

Depending on the level of dependence, crack cocaine addiction treatment will depend on a few factors, such as how long you have used the drug, its impact, and co-occurring disorders.

Both inpatient and outpatient programs can treat crack cocaine addiction.

Detoxification is usually the first step of the treatment program. This helps rid the body of any cocaine traces.

Medication is available to help with cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms, although you should talk to your doctor about what will work best for you.

Other treatments, such as behavioral therapy, can help you work through harmful thought patterns that lead to drug use and addiction.

While methods such as harm reduction can help with everyday harmful side effects of crack cocaine drug abuse, they are not a replacement for effective addiction treatment and recovery.

Find Substance Abuse Treatment Services At Bedrock Recovery Center

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we understand how hard it can be to overcome substance abuse issues, such as crack cocaine addiction.

Our experienced counselors and medical experts can help you find treatment that will enable you to live a happier, healthier life.

Contact Bedrock Recovery Center today if you or your loved one needs help to quit abusing fake crack cocaine, other drugs, or alcohol.

  1. Journal of Chromatographic Science
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  3. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

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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