What Does Crack Smell Like? | How To Identify Crack By Smell

Beyond the smell, crack is also more addictive than regular cocaine and can lead to dependency even after one use.

Crack is a form of cocaine that is cooked with baking soda and heated until it hardens.

While crack and cocaine are similar, they are used differently and have different smells. Crack has a chemical smell and is often described as smelling like burnt plastic or rubber.

Beyond the smell, crack is also more addictive than regular cocaine and can lead to dependency even after one use.

What Does Crack Smell Like?

Crack cocaine is considered the “freebase” form of cocaine and is said to have a chemical or burnt rubber smell, similar to a meth lab. But that’s not the only way it’s described.

What the drug smells like can depend on what it’s made with or what other drugs it’s mixed with. That being said, crack is hard to smell unless it’s being smoked. When it’s smoked, crack can smell like:

  • burnt plastic
  • cleaning chemicals
  • metal
  • ammonia
  • acetone (smells like a nail salon)
  • gasoline
  • paint
  • paint thinner
  • cat urine

Since crack can be made using chemicals like motor oil, ammonia, ethyl acetate, acetic acid, sulfuric acid, and calcium chloride, it’s understandable why the drug has these odors.

What Is Crack Made Of?

Crack can smell different depending on what it’s been cut with. While crack is hard to mix things with, it can be sprinkled with other drugs like marijuana or tobacco. But when cocaine is in its powdery form, it can be mixed with all kinds of different drugs and ingredients including:

  • amphetamines
  • synthetic opioids
  • additives like corn starch, flour, or talcum powder
  • laundry detergent
  • aspirin
  • Epsom salts
  • thiamin
  • lidocaine
  • novocaine
  • fentanyl
  • methamphetamine
  • caffeine
  • gasoline
  • kerosine
  • solvents

Signs Of Crack Use

Beside drug paraphernalia (pipes, tubes, lighters) and the smell of crack smoke, you can also look out for physical and behavioral signs to figure out if someone is using it or not:

  • extreme energy
  • extreme sensitivity to sound, light, and touch
  • paranoia
  • irritability
  • unpredictable or violent behavior
  • heavy breathing
  • burned or cracked lips
  • talking rapidly
  • loss of appetite
  • rapid weight loss

Seeking Help For Crack Addiction

Despite crack being a less pure form of cocaine, it is still highly addictive. Smoking crack can be even more addictive than snorting cocaine due to how intense the effects are and how quickly the chemicals act inside the body.

Long-term drug use can lead to severe physical and mental health problems, which can make substance abuse treatment necessary.

No matter how mild or severe your addiction is, addiction treatment is available in the form of detox programs, inpatient treatment, and outpatient care.

If you or a loved one is struggling with crack addiction or another form of drug abuse, please contact Northeast Addictions Treatment Center today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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