When it comes to illicit drugs, there are many different forms that non-users may not be familiar with. One of the most complex illicit drugs available today, cocaine, is especially complicated when it comes to different cutting agents and additives. One of those additives, which has been increasing in popularity among recreational drug users over the past decade, is fish scale powder.

The Components of Cocaine

Cocaine is an illegal stimulant drug that is usually in the form of a white or off-white powder. Considering the impending legality of marijuana, cocaine is now considered the most widely-used illicit drug for recreational purposes. While cocaine is known for being used and abused primarily in the 1980s and 1990s, new additives are bringing this addictive drug back to the forefront. Cocaine has seen more new and returning users over several years because of chemicals like Levamisole. 

Fish Scale Powder: What Is It?

Levamisole is the technical name for fish scale powder. The chemical received the name “fish scale powder” because it has a similar appearance to cocaine with a slight scaly and shiny appearance. While Levamisole is most frequently used as an antihelminthic in cattle (to remove any parasites), it is now increasingly being used as a cutting agent in crack and cocaine. Fish scale powder is typically added to cocaine and sold on the street. It may taste bitter or cause a numbness in the mouth.

So if this additive is commonly used as a medicine for cattle, why do people choose to use it?

Why Do People Use Fish Scale Powder?

Basically, fish scale powder is used to intensify and prolong the stimulatory effects of cocaine. It is known as a high-performance cutting agent that gives users a sense of euphoria along with more energy and attention.

Fish scale powder is more expensive than typical crack or cocaine, however. It is known to be very pure, which may increase street prices. Additionally, dealers may use fish scale powder to bulk up a drug like cocaine so they can sell it for more money.

The Effects of Fish Scale Powder

Since the use of fish scale powder in cocaine is rather new, there is not a lot of medical information or data to support its effects. However, it is known to make the effects of cocaine feel more intense and last longer. The side effects may also be more dangerous than with regular cocaine. Side effects of using fish scale powder regularly may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Hyperstimulation
  • Raised heart rate
  • Appetite loss
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Cardiac damage
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Overdose

Individuals who use fish scale powder are more likely to suffer from heart damage than those who use plain cocaine. Additionally, fish scale powder may contribute to severe depression and suicidal thoughts. If you have a history of mental illness, fish scale powder may come with more dangerous complications. Users should also be aware that the comedown from fish scale powder is more intense than the comedown from cocaine on its own.

Cocaine Dependence & Addiction

Cocaine and fish scale powder are very addictive; in fact, some people develop a dependence after just a few uses. They may develop an upbeat energy and chase the euphoric feeling of cocaine until their mindset begins to change. Signs of cocaine addiction may include sleep pattern changes, risky behavior, ignoring hygiene, secrecy, lying, mood swings, loss of interest in activities, financial problems, trouble swallowing, and loss of smell.

Drug Abuse Information & Education

The main way to ensure that you are not consuming any mysterious chemicals is to not purchase illicit drugs. Many dealers may cut cocaine and other drugs with Levamisole and other substances. If you do choose to use any recreational drugs, it’s important to know exactly what you’re taking before you consume it.

To learn more about the specifics of cocaine or other illicit drugs, give our substance abuse specialists a call at 267.209.7312.