Ever Wonder What The Fake Cocaine Actors Snort in Movies Really Is?

Movie Trivia by Joey Paur

Last month I attended the Sundance Film Festival, and as always, there were a lot of films that featured lots of characters snorting lots of cocaine. Sundance films like their cocaine, but we see actors snorting a cocaine-like substance up their noses all the time in the movies. It’s obviously not really cocaine, though.

If you’ve ever wondered what the actors are really snorting, I have the answer for you, thanks to the Independent. What Hollywood has used has changed over the years, and in the past, like back in the 70s and 80s, they were using powdered milk and baking soda. These days, though, when you see an actor snorting something up their nose is a powered called inositol, which is also used as a cutting agent for actual cocaine.

Inositol is a vitamin B powder that actually gives you a “slight energy lift.” It’s used in a lot of the energy shot drinks that are sold. So the person snorting the inositol is still going to get a kick of energy, just not as much as actual cocaine would give them. It’s also a vitamin, so it’s healthy for you! It’s like a diet cocaine!

According to veteran prop master Jeff Butcher, who has worked on a lot of movies with drugs in it, Mickey Rourke freaked out on the set of The Wrestler when he found out he was snorting inositol. He explained:

“He was like, ‘I have anxiety issues—now you tell me?'He was truly upset. But he was okay a couple minutes later.”

Here’s the thing. The nose isn’t really meant for ingesting things into your body. I’ve never sniffed anything up my nose, because why would I do that?! Apparently, Al Pacino had issues with his nasal passages for years after he made Scarface because of all the stuff he snorted during the production of the film. It’s not going to kill you, but there are obviously some side effects so snorting stuff even if it's not cocaine. 

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