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Pink Cocaine: What Is It and Why Is It Harmful?

Pink Cocaine | Turning Point Of Tampa
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Pink cocaine is a novel synthetic drug most popularly known and used in rave culture. Also known as phenylethylamine 2C-B, pink cocaine has increased public health concerns in recent years and has obtained a high-risk reputation, often negatively impacting the health of the user. 

What Is Pink Cocaine?

In essence, pink cocaine is a man-made (synthetic) substance that was created by Alexander Shulgin during the 1970s. 10 years later in the 1980s, foreign companies started selling this drug as a sexual enhancement pill to improve libido, erectile dysfunction, and impotence. The drugs sold were under several brand names, including Performax, Erox, and Nexus. 

Around the same time, pink cocaine was also introduced in the United States but was primarily manufactured in illicit laboratories in South America and across various states.

It wasn’t until 1995 that the US Drug Enforcement Agency reclassified the drug as a Schedule I controlled substance in the country. The agency determined that the drug has no acceptable medical use and has a high potential for drug abuse.

Recreational Party Drug

Besides being known as pink cocaine, this recreational party drug has also accumulated numerous street names throughout the years in both South and Central America, including: toonies, bromo, tusi, tucibi, nexus, pink powder, and spectrum.

It also has a distinguishable pink color and can come in either a pill or a capsule. When users take this substance, they may experience feelings of euphoria and vivid hallucinations.

Regardless of its form, pink cocaine is extremely dangerous. Small doses can lead to extreme consequences. 

Is Pink Cocaine Different From Cocaine?

While cocaine and pink cocaine have similar effects (in that they both have psychoactive properties), they’re technically two different substances with a few similarities. Their biggest difference is rooted in the way both drugs are derived. 

Cocaine Hydrochloride

On the one hand, many forms of cocaine or cocaine hydrochloride come in fine white powder form and are derived from the naturally-occurring coca plant.

On the other hand, pink cocaine is synthetic. This means that real cocaine and its diverse variations come from plant-based sources while pink cocaine does not. 

Apart from this, they also differ in which part of the brain they affect. As a central nervous system stimulant, cocaine mostly affects one’s dopamine receptors to heighten the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. 

Pink cocaine interacts with dopamine receptors as well but mainly inhibits serotonin receptors. It can cause hallucinations or psychedelic visions. 

What Are the Harmful Effects of Pink Cocaine 2C-B?

Pink Cocaine 2 CB | Turning Point Of Tampa

The side effects of this pink cocaine include stimulant effects, sensory intensification, and distorted perception. The intensity of which these effects are felt depends greatly on the dose and the ingredients of the drug. 

To give you a better idea, we’re expounding on some of this substance’s physical and psychological manifestations.

Physical Side Effects

Many people who use pink cocaine have experienced symptoms similar to that of other drugs, like psychedelics, stimulants, and hallucinogens. These drugs tend to typically cause the following:

  • Increased energy
  • Increased body temperature
  • Sexual arousal
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Blurred vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Erratic behavior
  • Kidney damage

Psychological Side Effects

Besides these, pink cocaine 2C-B also has psychological and psychedelic effects that can alter one’s mood, senses, perceptions, and emotions.

Common examples include:

  • Intense pleasure and euphoria
  • Sensory sensitivity
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Delirium
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety 
  • Violence 

Take note: not all of these symptoms may appear. The severity of the drug’s effects will depend greatly on the amount and frequency of usage. 

Does Pink Cocaine Cause Addiction?

There is still a lot of research that needs to be done to understand the full extent of pink cocaine on the human body, but one recent experiment suggests that pink cocaine 2C-B can be extremely addictive and harmful. 

Party Drug | Turning Point Of Tampa

Synthetic Drug

An article published in Neuropsychiatry in 2017 details the findings of the experiment conducted by researchers in Taiwan regarding the psychoactive, addictive, and neurotoxic effects of synthetic drugs like pink cocaine 2C-B.

highly addictive properties comparable to methamphetamine

In their study, they found that the drug has highly addictive properties comparable to methamphetamine. That being said, as little as a single use of this new drug can lead to long-term addiction. If not treated immediately, there may be a high potential for substance abuse and the danger of developing adverse effects. 

After repeated consumption, the body can develop a tolerance to this party drug that may lead to increasingly higher doses to achieve the desired euphoric and hallucinogenic effects. When this happens, pink cocaine 2C-B can give rise to serious and often life-threatening complications.

Potential Risks and Dangers Associated With the Party Drug

One of the biggest risks and dangers associated with pink cocaine is drug overdose. Pink cocaine overdose can pose a significant danger to the user’s health.

Some of the reported symptoms of overdose include:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Respiratory depression
  • Clammy skin
  • Limp body
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Coma
  • and — in extreme cases — death

Moreover, since pink cocaine is a synthetic drug, it often contains undisclosed ingredients and questionable additives that may lead to other dangerous side effects. Because of this, pink cocaine may pose an even greater threat than other illicit drugs and controlled substances in terms of one’s physical and mental health. 

Turning Point of Tampa Addiction Treatment Program

Synthetic Drug | Turning Point Of Tampa

Pink cocaine addictive variants come mainly from South America. If one is taking 2C-B, there is a high chance that they are a candidate for addiction treatment.

Pink cocaine is a popular designer drug, and when taken in high doses often leads to a vicious cycle of drug use, overdose, withdrawal, and reuse.

Once a person becomes used to this cycle, it can develop into a chemical dependence which may be extremely difficult to break free from. 

Turning Point Understands Addiction

Turning Point of Tampa understands addiction from alcohol, drugs, and other substances. One of the best ways to help those in need is to seek assistance from a reputable treatment facility that specializes in addiction and offers a detoxification center like Turning Point. Taking this step can be the pivotal moment toward a life free of drugs and living in recovery.

We can provide an optimal environment to promote healing and consistent recovery. We have a medical detox program to aid in painful withdrawal symptoms and provide attentive care.

Once you complete the detoxification phase, you can move to a personalized residential program, which can include extensive counseling, peer support, and behavioral therapy to help you get the treatment options that you need. 

At Turning Point, you can begin to take steps toward the healthy and drug-free life that you deserve.


González D, Torrens M, Farré M. Acute Effects of the Novel Psychoactive Drug 2C-B on Emotions. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:643878. doi: 10.1155/2015/643878. Epub 2015 Oct 12. PMID: 26543863; PMCID: PMC4620274.

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