What Is Fish Scale Cocaine?

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Fish scale cocaine is known as a pure form of the stimulant drug, usually containing no additives. This form of cocaine has a distinct look and it comes from specific countries in South America.

Fish Scale Cocaine

Fish scale cocaine is referred to as pure cocaine because it has no (or almost no) additives.

 It comes in a white powder form and can be snorted or injected. It can also be made into crack cocaine and smoked.

However, fish scale cocaine can lead to the same dangers as other forms of cocaine. In fact, it may lead there quicker than other forms because of its purity.

Types Of Fish Scale Cocaine

Fish scale, like other versions of the recreational drug, is manufactured from the coca plant native to South America by reducing coca leaves to paste which is made into a powder.

Fish scale is usually sold in the powder form of the drug’s base chemical, cocaine hydrochloride (which is also used in local anesthetics). It is not mixed with other drugs as might be the case with pink cocaine.

Cocaine production has long been associated with Colombia, but fish scale cocaine is also being produced in Bolivia and Peru.

Peruvian Fish Scale Cocaine

Starting in the 2010s, Peru began to be known as the top cocaine producer.

By 2015, according to the Office of then-president Barack Obama, Peru had the production potential of 380 metric tons of cocaine.

Bolivian Flake Cocaine

At that time, according to the Obama White House administration, Bolivia was becoming another major producer of pure cocaine.

By 2015, their production potential was 255 metric tons.

Fish Scale Cocaine Production Today

Current White House information released in 2021 shows that pure cocaine production has increased in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia.

Production potential in 2020 was 1,010, 810, and 312 metric tons respectively.

What Does Fish Scale Cocaine Look Like?

Because fish scale is high-purity cocaine, it has a distinct look to it that makes it easy to identify in relation to other forms.

Regular cocaine cut with agents like corn starch or sugar has a dull white or off-white look to it. Sometimes, it even has a brownish tint.

However, fish scale cocaine has a pearly white look that appears iridescent, although its texture may differ between powder and rock forms when it is turned into crack cocaine.

Common Cutting Agents Used In Fish Scale Cocaine

The attraction of fish scale cocaine is that it is not often cut with agents such as those mentioned above or substances such as fentanyl, opioid drugs, or other illicit drugs.

However, levamisole is increasingly used to cut fish scale cocaine.

Both drugs look similar in powder forms, but levamisole is a deworming drug for cattle and it has properties similar to amphetamine and psychoactive drugs.

What Are The Dangers Of Fish Scale Cocaine?

Fish scale coke comes with the same dangers of use that you would find with many other forms of cocaine.

While short-term effects of the drug can produce euphoria and a high degree of self-confidence (which are stronger in the drug’s pure form), long-term side effects can be a risk to your health.

Long-term effects of cocaine drug abuse can include:

  • psychosis
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • heart attack
  • headache
  • cravings
  • stroke
  • seizures
  • loss of smell
  • nausea
  • coma
  • overdose
  • sudden death

Treatment Programs For Cocaine Addiction

Scientists have not yet found an effective medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for cocaine abuse, but some rehab centers will use medication to treat detox and cravings symptomatically.

One highly effective treatment for cocaine use is behavioral therapy.

Typical therapeutic modalities for cocaine treatment include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management (CM).

Treatment centers have also found that group, peer-to-peer support through models called therapeutic communities (TC) can also be effective forms of treatment.

All of these therapies and more may be offered in inpatient programs for cocaine use disorders.

Find A Substance Abuse Treatment Center Today

If you are facing cocaine addiction, treatment programs for cocaine drug abuse are available in your state and possibly your region.

Find a treatment center for cocaine abuse today.


Canton, Massachusetts

Bedrock Recovery Center


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Plymouth, Massachusetts

Ohio Recovery Center


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Spring Hill Recovery Center


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