Substance Use

How to Tell if Meth is Fake?

Zinnia Healing

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Deaths from meth use have surged in recent years. Crystal meth is a risky substance in its pure form. However, fake meth has the potential to cause more harm, so it’s important to know how to identify it.

If you or someone you love struggles with meth addiction, Zinnia Healing can help. Contact our compassionate specialists at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our inpatient and outpatient treatments, including medically assisted detox, therapy, counseling, and other recovery support programs. 

How Can You Tell If Meth is Fake?

Pure crystal meth usually comes in a colorless form. End products can take a powder appearance, look like crystals, or may have a putty consistency.

Some manufacturers may dye meth, so it adopts a certain color. Spotting fake meth isn’t easy, but several tools are available. Even with a strong knowledge of what meth looks like, it’s unwise to rely on visual identification.

Visually Identifying Fake Meth

Usually, crystal meth is clear in color, and powdered meth looks like a white powder. It’s important to understand that visual identifications aren’t always reliable.

Real meth is often odorless and dissolves quickly in water or alcohol. Some sellers may offer it in tablet form, where it looks like ecstasy/MDMA tablets.

Meth Melting Point Tests

Placing meth in cooking oil and observing the temperature it crystallizes at is one way to tell if it’s fake. Real meth usually crystallizes at 340-350 degrees Fahrenheit (130-135 degrees Celsius).

Meth that’s cut with other substances may crystallize at lower temperatures. 

Meth Testing Kits

Meth testing kits look for the presence of cutting agents and other drugs. A reagent test can be used, which involves adding a drop of liquid to the meth. If the meth is fake, it’ll turn another color, and that color matches substances on a chart.

Fentanyl is often used in meth to achieve a sense of euphoria. A fentanyl testing kit requires placing meth into water and dipping a strip into it. If fentanyl is present, it’ll turn a specific color.

What Are the Risks of Taking Fake Meth?

Taking meth in its pure form carries risks. But taking meth mixed with other substances produces new ones. The effects of meth can include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggressive and violent behavior
  • Heart damage
  • Increased stroke risk
  • Kidney damage
  • Severe dental problems

Call Zinnia Healing’s intake treatment specialists at (855) 430-9439 or contact us online, 24/7/365. We offer a variety of treatment program options that approach each person uniquely. We can tailor your program to your specific needs and help you get on the road to recovery.

What Additives Are Used to Cut Meth?

Manufacturers may use a range of additives to cut meth. It isn’t always easy to identify them. But it’s essential to know what they are and their effects.

Bath Salts

Bath salts are synthetic cathinones that produce the same euphoric effects as meth and amphetamine. But they come with dire consequences. Bath salts can result in severe hallucinations and may have long-lasting neurological effects.

Because bath salts are similar to crystal methamphetamine in appearance, they’re often cheaper than pure meth, so manufacturers may cut with them to achieve a higher markup. It’s also possible to grind them into a white powder form.

Like meth, bath salts can produce intense cravings after using them.

They’ll boost dopamine and serotonin levels, making them very addictive.

Other Powder Substances

Sometimes manufacturers use slightly less harmful additives to cut methamphetamine. They include:

  • Baby powder
  • Baking soda
  • Powdered milk

Such substances can lessen meth’s potency and carry unique risks. Talc, for example, can affect blood vessels in the lungs even when taken intravenously.

When talc forms a part of drug use, it may cause an embolism.

Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a potent substance that induces euphoria, relaxation, and sedation. It’s also an incredibly risky drug, responsible for 67% of drug overdoses between January 2021 and January 2022. It’s an opioid that law enforcement agencies struggle to control.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to tell if meth features fentanyl by looking at it. It comes in a variety of colors, including blue. As such, visual identification is unreliable.

Test strips are available for identifying fentanyl; they’re usually low-cost. The opioid’s melting point is around 190 degrees Fahrenheit (82-87 degrees Celsius).

While fentanyl produces sensations of euphoria and relaxation, it’s arguably America’s most dangerous opioid drug. Some of its side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Slower breathing
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Poor mental health

It’s important to understand that it can be difficult to estimate the amount of fentanyl present in drugs. As a result, the gap between experiencing a high and slipping into unconsciousness is small. Fentanyl is also hard to detox from.

Other Medicines

Fentanyl isn’t the only medicine manufacturers may use to produce fake methamphetamine. They may also try a range of cough and cold medicines.

Acetaminophen is another substance that risks liver damage when taken in high doses. Some meth also contains ketamine, which is a powerful sedative. Like fentanyl, it quickly causes overdoses.

Isopropylbenzylamine (ISO)

Isopropylbenzylamine (ISO) is chemically similar to meth. Manufacturers may distribute it as fake ice. It often tastes different from meth and may result in headaches and confusion.

Unfortunately, ISO is a chemical that scientists know little about. Its side effects are potentially lethal.

Metals

Some of the substances used to cut meth may increase blood metal levels. Additionally, the meth manufacturing process may induce lead toxicity. Metal poisoning can result in the following:

  • Kidney damage
  • Brain damage
  • Liver failure
  • Abdominal pains
  • Nausea

Why Do People Cut Meth?

Cutting meth can shorten the manufacturing process. As a result, it becomes cheaper. This allows manufacturers to meet rising demand among those suffering from drug abuse.

Sometimes manufacturers cut methamphetamine to mimic it. For example, ISO, bath salts, and fentanyl produce highs. At the same time, they’re cheaper.

On other occasions, manufacturers are finding quick ways to cut costs. They’re bulking their supply when they use substances like acetaminophen and baby powder.

Seek Help for Meth Addiction

Battling a meth addiction isn’t easy, but support is available. Our compassionate treatment specialists can help you find a program just right for you or your loved ones.

Contact Zinnia Healing or call us at (855) 430-9439 to learn about treatment options.