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What Cocaine Is Cut With: 10 Common Additives You Need to Know

A young woman is doubled over and feeling sick.
How pure is the cocaine you buy on the street? And what’s it doing to you?


Pure cocaine is derived from processing the leaves of the coca plant. But it’s unlikely the average user in America gets anything even close to that.

The reality is that coke is cut with all kinds of cutting agents—and it’s being done by people who don’t know or care what the long-term effects are of inhaling boric acid (or any number of other substances).

There are two reasons for adding other substances to cocaine:

  1. As a “filler” to create more products
  2. As an effective enhancer

What Is Cocaine Mixed With?

Many different additives are mixed with coke, including harmful and addictive substances.

The top 10 cocaine cutting agents include

  1. Used by dentists as an anesthetic, benzocaine is an additive because it’s cheap, has a numbing effect, and comes in white powder.
  2. Boric acid. Used in many cosmetic products (and also for weatherproofing timber), it looks like cocaine and is readily available.
  3. Used primarily for its simulative effects.
  4. Used as a supplement by bodybuilders, this substance is easy to get and looks like coke crystals. Cocaine cut with creatine can cause anxiety, paranoia, and increased heart rate.
  5. Used for their anti-caking properties
  6. A powerful opioid, fentanyl is cheap compared to coke, so it’s often used as a cutting agent. However, even just a tiny amount can cause a fatal overdose.
  7. Levamisole. This drug is used to treat worm-infested cattle. It was once used to kill parasitic worms in humans but was found to cause a severe depletion of white blood cells, increasing the risks of serious infections. According to reports, 73% of all the cocaine seized in the United States has traces of levamisole. Why’s it used? Mainly because it enhances the effects of coke.
  8. This, as well as other anesthetics, are often cut with coke. But when combined with the stimulant properties of cocaine, they can cause heart, lung, and brain problems.
  9. Mannitol
  10. This is another common cutting agent because it has similar effects as cocaine.

So how can you know how pure your cocaine is? Some users say that the bad stuff burns or makes you feel jittery (as opposed to confident and collected). Others say that they can smell the difference.

But the only real way to know exactly what’s in cocaine is to have it tested at a lab.

The reality is that even pure cocaine is dangerous—and highly addictive. The stuff you buy on the street? It could be mixed with sugar, or it could be combined with a dangerous anti-worm drug given to cows.

The bottom line? You’re taking your chances.

Help for Cocaine Addiction in Denver

The Raleigh House is a residential treatment center located in Denver that believes in taking a whole-person approach to addiction recovery, meaning we address the physical, psychological, social, mental, and spiritual aspects of the disease. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the cocaine addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.


Tap button to call The Raleigh House.

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