Keep Your Teens Safe: Guide On What Specific Drugs Smell Like

There is nothing more alarming than having to wonder if your child is using drugs. There might be occasions when you smell something strange as you enter your teenager’s room and can not quite pinpoint what it is. Or you might have found yourself hitching a ride in your child’s car and there is something smelling odd inside.

Using drugs has become scarily prevalent among a lot of teens these days that you should always be on your toes to shield your child from the evils of addiction and abuse. There will be some whose change in behavior gives away the fact that they are using drugs. Others will opt to open up to their parents about the situation. As to the majority, the parents will be left wondering and suspecting about the situation. The latter, of course, is nerve-racking.

But you do not have to be petrified wondering about what is happening. You just need to have a keen sense of smell.


What’s In A Smell?

Having knowledge about what drugs smell like will make a big difference in curtailing the problem. Here is a quick guide to aid parents in deciphering which scent to be wary about:

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The thing about this drug is it is odorless when we talk about its purest, most common form. When it is already manipulated, you get an acidic, vinegar-like smell. Nevertheless, each kind of heroin gives a different odor in relation to the geographical regions they were produced.

China White, for example, has a barely noticeable stink. The lethal combination of heroin and fentanyl, meanwhile, hardly gives out a smell. This is what’s scary about this drug. Parents would narrowly notice if their kid is using it because the smell of smoked heroin disappears like a flash. The smoke itself is also lost to sight almost instantaneously.


Many associate the smell of methamphetamines to that of strong chemicals. The scent is so potent that people think of it as a scent that is close home cleaners or even paints. In some instances, it emits a vinegar or ammonia scent.

It will be a different story once the meth is smoked. It would give out a more subtle, lighter, and almost sweet smell. In the event a person uses great amounts this substance, said individuals’ sweat tends to smell like ammonia.


There is no straightforward answer as to how marijuana or cannabis smells like because the scent depends on its specific strain. These strains – skunk, super lemon haze, bubble gum and sour diesel – have the aromas associated with their names.

However, there is an overlapping smell that is common to all strains. This is rooted in the chemical composition of this drug. Once smoked, it smells like skunk jumbled with herbs. This is the scent that usually sticks to the clothes. The smell is so strong and stays for quite some time. It is also a drug of its own class as it is the only that can be noticed prior to it being lit or even moments thereafter.

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This drug is among the few hallucinogens in the market. It works in several ways such as a painkiller, stimulant, or anesthetic. It all depends upon how much is taken. This drug is also known as Rocket Fuel, Supergrass, and Angel Dust.

To use, PCP is generally smoked. It is during this process of burning that it exudes the smell similar to a permanent marker.


Among the pills available, opiates are the only ones that are generally smoked. Pills such as Percocet or Oxycontin emits a certain degree of sweet smell when they are burned. Those who have used it claim that the smoke smells and tastes like burnt marshmallow. Additionally, they have that sugary taste.

Crack Cocaine

One of the drugs that give out an unpleasant smell is crack. This is an impure form of cocaine but it is very strong leading users to look like they are intoxicated in varying degrees. Many associates its smoke’s smell as a combination of a burning plastic and chemical. If you must, go to your nail salon so you will have an idea of what it smells like. It also has a scent that is almost identical to that of methamphetamine.

Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano Executive Rehab Facility can help? Feel free to call 949-276-2886 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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