24/7 Care and Support

Fentanyl in Cocaine

Home » Blog » Fentanyl in Cocaine

You’re served a batch of food, but you have a specific allergy. When you ask the host if your allergen is in the food, they just shrug. Your allergen is fairly common and causes a pretty severe reaction – would you still eat the food?

This is similar to taking cocaine without knowing if fentanyl is present in it. The 7th leading cause of non-natural death in California is drug overdose, and a large majority of these overdoses are related to opioids like fentanyl. Here at Pacific Sands, we utilize a solution-driven approach to addressing substance use. This mentality applies beyond our doors and to how we help the community through educational blogs. Today we’re going to talk about fentanyl in cocaine, what happens if you take it, and how you can avoid it.

What Happens if You Take Cocaine That’s Laced With Fentanyl?

When fentanyl is added to cocaine, it’s very rare that the person consuming the cocaine is aware of its presence.  In the substance marketplace, there are no regulations or requirements to disclose exactly what’s in the substance. 

If you take cocaine that’s laced with fentanyl, you run the risk of experiencing an overdose. Fentanyl is over 50 times more potent than morphine. It requires very small dosages to experience the desired results. This means that if you take your normal dosage of cocaine, depending on how much fentanyl is there, you run a high risk of experiencing an overdose.

What Is Polysubstance Use?

Polysubstance use is when you have two or more substances in your body at a time. This can happen intentionally or unintentionally.

Intentional polysubstance use would be drinking alcohol and taking cocaine at the same time. Unintentional polysubstance use can happen when one drug, like cocaine, is laced with another drug like fentanyl.

Polysubstance use increases your risk of overdosing. The body can only handle so much in its system at a time. When you introduce more than one substance, you’re more likely to hit that limit much faster.

Why Is Fentanyl Added to Cocaine?

There are multiple reasons why drug dealers might choose fentanyl to add to their batch of cocaine. One of the most common reasons, however, is because it can increase their profits.

Fentanyl is a fully synthetic opioid, and it’s very affordable for drug dealers to make it in a lab. If they dilute their cocaine with fentanyl, they can make their supply last longer and get a larger profit from it.

The other reason fentanyl might be chosen over something like corn starch or baking soda is that it doesn’t lessen the experience of cocaine. In fact, fentanyl often enhances the experience due to its potency. 

why is fentanyl added to cocaine

How Can You Tell if Fentanyl Is in Your Cocaine?

55% of all overdose deaths in 2021 were due to fentanyl, according to the CDC. This includes substances that were laced with fentanyl. One of the ways you can avoid this is by checking your substances for fentanyl.

How exactly can you do this? Is there a way to identify fentanyl within cocaine?

Can You See, Smell, or Taste Fentanyl in Cocaine?

When two substances are mixed together, can you tell by using your senses?

Fentanyl and cocaine are both white, powdery substances. This means that when they’re put together, there’s no way to visibly tell that there is fentanyl in your cocaine. 

Taste and smell are both unreliable when it comes to telling if your cocaine is laced with fentanyl, too. There is no consistent amount of fentanyl that is commonly added to cocaine. Additionally, the taste and smell of both cocaine and fentanyl can be very similar, making them very difficult to distinguish from each other.

The easiest way to tell if fentanyl is in your cocaine is through a fentanyl test strip.

How to Use a Fentanyl Test Strip

Fentanyl test strips are a very helpful tool to be able to determine if fentanyl is present in any given substance, even beyond cocaine. In 2022, fentanyl test strips were legalized here in California. This means they are much easier to obtain, both for free and paid.

If you want ease, Amazon sells packs of fentanyl test strips that can be delivered right to your door. There are also several organizations right here in Sacramento that offer fentanyl test strips to those who need them.

Fentanyl test strips work similarly to COVID-19 tests. Following the instructions of the specific test, you dissolve a portion of your substance and dip the test strip in with the liquid. After a set period of time, either one line or two lines will appear on the strip. Normally, one line means negative, and two means positive.

One thing to keep in mind when using fentanyl test strips is that, if you don’t test the whole substance, there is a chance of getting a false negative. Fentanyl isn’t guaranteed to be evenly distributed throughout a batch of cocaine. This means that even if one portion of the cocaine you test is clean, it doesn’t guarantee that the rest of it is, too.

Spotting the Signs of a Cocaine and Fentanyl Overdose

Overdoses that stem from opioids have a high chance of fatality if medical assistance isn’t received. In order to help someone experiencing an overdose, however, you need to know how to spot one in the first place.

Cocaine and fentanyl are very different substances, meaning the signs of their respective overdoses are nearly opposite. Cocaine is a stimulant, meaning it speeds up the body, whereas fentanyl is a depressant, meaning it slows it down.

Here’s a rundown of the different signs of a cocaine and fentanyl overdose.

Fentanyl Overdose SignsCocaine Overdose Signs
Dilated pupilsElevated heart rate
Slowed breathHeightened body temperature
Limpness or unconsciousnessSeizure
Blue tint to the skinIrregular breathing
Gurgling and choking soundsStroke
how can you tell if fentanyl is in your cocaine

How to Help Someone Experiencing a Fentanyl-Related Overdose

If you notice that someone is experiencing a fentanyl-related overdose, it’s important to immediately call for medical help. The Good Samaritan Law protects you from being prosecuted for seeking medical help in the case of a drug overdose. 

When you call for medical help, be honest with the people helping. If they have the details of the situation they can provide better medical assistance.

Another way to address fentanyl overdoses is through utilizing naloxone. Naloxone is a substance that helps stop an opioid-related overdose. Many of the same places that distribute fentanyl test strips also distribute naloxone. 

spotting the signs of a cocaine and fentanyl overdose

The Treatment Options Available for Cocaine and Fentanyl in California

The best way to avoid encountering fentanyl unknowingly is by stepping away from substance use as a whole. This can seem daunting and overwhelming to make such a big life change, but it’s an entirely achievable goal with the right people here to help.

When you start looking into recovery, it can feel like you have no idea how to tell what facility will work best for you. It’s important to find a place that will give you options and work with you along your journey. Whether that means cocaine detox and fentanyl detox programs, or inpatient and outpatient services, you deserve a program that’s adaptable to your situation.

No matter where you are in your journey, our team at Pacific Sands is here to help. We have a high-end and intimate facility that will ensure you get the one-on-one care you deserve. We will work with you to find a plan that suits your specific needs, giving you support when you need it most. To learn more about our programs, or to figure out how to get started, you can give us a call today at 949-426-7962.

Pacific Sands – The first step towards a new life.


  • I would just like to share how Grateful I am with my experience through my addiction at this facility. I couldn’t possibly ask to be in such a “SAFE/COMFORTABLE” environment while receiving treatment for my addiction. I would just like to say Thank you sooo much to ALL the staff there from the Nurse’s to counselors and therapist all of you are a True Blessing in helping me through my journey of sobriety. I couldn’t feel more comfortable there on how they monitored my physical health and on dealing with my emotional health with there therapy sessions and groups I truly see them ALL as Family!

    Andrew N.
  • As a professional in the recovery field I have worked with many detox centers and none compare to The this one. Their staff is incredibly attentive and knowledgable regarding the needs of individuals seeking recovery from the very start. Their facility is welcoming and homey while remaining very luxe. I would recommend this facility to any loved one or friend looking to start down their journey of sobriety.

  • This place helped saved my life, and a great stepping stone to get my life on the right track. Was there first client under new management, caring staff and owners, comfortable place to get you on your feet in sobriety.

  • Great Staff. Comfortable Environment. Awesome place to Get Clean and Sober. Thank you guys for everything.


    Pacific Sands Recovery Center

    1909 W Carlton Pl
    Santa Ana, CA 92704


    Ready to Start Your Journey?

    Reaching out is the first step to a new life. We’re here for you.

      © 2023 Pacific Sands Recovery Center – All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy

      24/7 Help Is Standing By, Call Us Now