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How Can You Tell if a Drug is Laced With Something?

Millions of people in the United States live with substance abuse and addiction. Misusing prescription drugs and using illicit drugs recreationally can lead to physical and psychological addiction–and many people require professional treatment to recover.

Drug abuse itself can be dangerous, but the threat of using laced drugs increases the risk of life-threatening harm. People who believe they are buying and using one drug may end up being exposed to other substances without their knowledge, putting them at risk of overdose, medical complications, unintended effects, and more.

So, how can you tell if a drug is laced with something? It’s important to understand the risk of using laced drugs and take steps to avoid it. But in many cases, identifying laced drugs can be challenging or even impossible.

This article will explore the dangers of using laced drugs, how to identify them, and how to get the treatment and support you need to recover from substance use disorder. Reach out to the caring specialists at the Mandala Healing Center to learn about our holistic approach to addiction treatment or to schedule an intake assessment.

How Can You Tell if a Drug is Laced With Something?

Many who use illicit and prescription drugs understand the potential of being exposed to other harmful substances but are unable to control their substance use. Using laced drugs can cause severe, sometimes life-threatening complications, and avoiding unintentional exposure to harmful substances is critical.

But how can you tell if a drug is laced with something? In many cases, you can’t. Counterfeit and laced drugs often look very similar or identical to the real thing.

Public health and medical experts are becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of fentanyl-laced drugs making their way into US markets. In some cases, illicit drug producers and dealers will add fentanyl to heroin and other drugs. Fentanyl is involved in tens of thousands of lethal overdoses each year, and health experts have warned that accidental exposures through laced drugs are on the rise.

How to Identify Laced Marijuana

Marijuana use is on the rise as states decriminalize or legalize THC products. Many people view marijuana as a relatively safe drug for recreational use, but exposure to laced marijuana can be hazardous–and even life-threatening.

Marijuana can be laced with many other substances, including toxins, foreign materials, and other psychoactive drugs. Some of the things marijuana can be laced with include:

  • Ketamine
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • LSD
  • Embalming fluid
  • Heroin
  • PCP
  • Fungus
  • Lead
  • Glass
  • Laundry detergent

Because marijuana is typically sold by weight, dealers may add other substances to marijuana to increase its bulk and increase their profits. People who buy and use laced marijuana may face unintentional exposure to dangerous chemicals or illicit drugs.

Using laced marijuana can cause unwanted or dangerous side effects, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Breathing trouble
  • Lightheadedness
  • Detachment from reality
  • Significant changes in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Decreased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Jitteriness
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation

It can be difficult–and sometimes impossible–to identify laced marijuana simply by looking at it. Laced marijuana may have a strong or unusual odor or may appear glossy. However, in many cases, it will look identical to marijuana not laced with other substances or materials.

Medical specialists may advise those using marijuana legally for medical and recreational purposes to buy from reputable dispensaries.

Identifying Fentanyl-Laced Drugs

Fentanyl is an odorless, tasteless substance. It is white, off-white, brown, or tan in color and is difficult or impossible to identify when mixed with other illicit drugs. However, several government and private initiatives have made fentanyl test strips available to the public. These strips are relatively inexpensive and widely available–but people must use them properly before using a substance to ensure they are not using drugs laced with fentanyl.

Fentanyl test strips work by showing whether a drug contains fentanyl. Users mix a little bit of a drug with water, dip the strip into the water, and then wait for a positive or negative result.

While test strips are widely available and relatively inexpensive, they require users to test every drug every time. Strips can cost up to $1 each, and drug users must remember to use them correctly.

The only reliable way to avoid using fentanyl-laced drugs is to stop using drugs. Drug use can cause changes in your brain and body, making it very challenging to stop when you choose. If you use drugs and need professional treatment to stop, reach out to the specialists at the Mandala Healing Center for guidance and support.

Find Help Now

The risk of using laced drugs is real, and there is often no reliable way to determine if the substances you’re using are safe. Don’t take chances with your health, safety, and future. If you or someone you love use drugs and cannot stop on your own, the help you need is available at the Mandala Healing Center.

Call our admission specialists now to learn more about our substance use disorder treatment programs, to schedule an intake evaluation, or for support at any stage of your recovery journey.