Cocaine is an illegal, stimulant drug that is often thought of as the drug of the 80s and 90s. However, it’s actually been around for centuries. The ancient Incas chewed coca leaves to increase their heart rates and speed up their breathing to deal with the mountain air of the Andes. In the mid 1800s, cocaine was first isolated from coca leaves and by 1880, it was being widely used for medicinal purposes. The drug continued to gain popularity, but with it came some dangerous side effects and consequences. In 1922, cocaine was officially banned, making it illegal to use in the U.S.
That didn’t stop the use and abuse of cocaine, though. It gained its highest popularity in the 1980s as a party drug and a means to have more energy. It was known as a “rich man’s drug” because it was expensive to keep up a cocaine habit. Today, cocaine comes in different forms and has users from all different walks of life, but it remains one of the most used illicit drugs in the country.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a strong neuro-stimulant drug that is used as a recreational drug. It’s a white powder in form and it can be snorted, smoked, or dissolved and injected intravenously. Cocaine used to be the second most popular illegal drug, only behind marijuana. However, because marijuana has become legal in some states, cocaine now has the top spot.
Cocaine is an addictive drug as a result of its effect on the brain’s reward pathway. After just a short time of using, there is a high likelihood of dependence occurring. Users will chase the high, using more and more of the drug until the body becomes dependent upon it. Once that happens, users are likely to become addicted, suffering from cravings and withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using it.
Cocaine that is sold on the street is usually mixed, or cut, with local anesthetics, sugar, cornstarch, quinine, levamisole (a medication used to treat parasitic worm infections that has been known to cause “flesh-eating” side-effects), or other drugs, like fentanyl, making it even more toxic and dangerous.
What is Fish Scale Coke?
The typical cocaine that is bought on the street is a white or slightly off-white powder that is bitter when tasted and it causes numbness in the mouth and tongue. High-potency cocaine is pearly white in appearance. Because of its iridescent shine, it is called fish scale cocaine. This type of cocaine is much purer than regular coke. In fact, the cocaine that is typically sold on the street is only about 60% pure because of the additives that are cut into it. Fish scale cocaine is usually 90% pure, with far less additives.
Is Fish Scale Cocaine Really Expensive?
Because fish scale cocaine is a purer form of the drug that doesn’t have as many additives, or adulterants, mixed in, it is more expensive than the typical cocaine sold on the streets.
What Are the Side Effects of Smoking Fish Scale Coke?
Fish scale cocaine is purer, and therefore, much stronger than regular cocaine. That means that it is more dangerous, and the side effects can be much more severe. Some of the common symptoms and side effects of smoking pure cocaine are:
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Paranoid psychosis
- Raised heart rate
- Appetite loss
- Increased blood pressure
- Tactile hallucinations
- Panic attacks
- Cardiac damage
- Heart attack
The euphoric feeling that cocaine produces and the short length of the high often cause users to use more and more. For inexperienced users, who have not developed a tolerance to the drug, this can lead to overdose and death.
Additionally, long-term users are at risk of developing severe depression and suicidal ideations. This chronic depression has been known to last long after users get clean and sober.
With fish scale, or pure, cocaine, you are much more likely to suffer from heart damage. Because cocaine is a vasoconstrictor, pure cocaine can stop or damage your heart. Cocaine users who are not used to purer cocaine are more likely to suffer acute cardiac damage because they are used to being able to use more of the drug. For example, someone who snorts regular cocaine may be able to handle three lines. When they attempt to do the same with pure cocaine, it can cause overdose that leads to cardiac arrest and death.
Another side effect of pure cocaine is the comedown from the drug is worse than with regular cocaine. Because pure cocaine significantly increases chemical and neurotransmitter levels of the brain, even more so than regular cocaine, recovering from the artificial boost causes users to have negative reactions, including severe depression, irritability, and paranoia.
How Much Does Pure Cocaine Cost?
The cost of cocaine and fish scale cocaine varies in different parts of the world. Once thought of as a rich man’s drug, cocaine has now come down in price and is much more accessible to just about anyone. Pure cocaine is much harder to find on the streets. However, users who are able to buy it, are likely to pay double or triple what they would for normal street cocaine.
How Do You Differentiate Bad from Good Cocaine?
There are several ways that cocaine is tested for purity, however, most are not accurate. Some dealers will perform a burn test, melting point test, or bleach test to try to determine the purity. These types of tests do not identify what adulterants have been added to the cocaine, so there isn’t truly a way to know for sure what you’re getting.
Trying to determine the purity by looking at the drug doesn’t work either. Because cocaine is a white, crystalline powder, and most of the adulterants, or additives, that it is cut with are as well, just looking at the sample won’t tell you anything. There is no way to know how pure the cocaine you’re buying is on sight alone.
Cocaine is illegal to use, therefore there are no regulations regarding its chemical makeup. It can contain any number of cutting agents and toxins, many of which are dangerous on their own. Essentially, when you buy cocaine, you simply don’t know what you’re getting. There is no method, aside from a laboratory test performed by a trained professional, that can accurately identify the purity of the cocaine or what it’s mixed with. All street cocaine is highly likely to be tainted to some degree. The safest option is to stay away from cocaine, fish scale coke, and any other illegal drugs altogether.
Cocaine, in all its forms, is a dangerous and addictive drug. Using it can lead to serious health conditions and even to overdose and death. Fortunately, there is a treatment for cocaine addiction. Typically, it starts with detox to rid the body of the drug, followed by inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment, and then an aftercare plan.
If you are struggling with a cocaine addiction, there is help available. Take the first step and seek help now.