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A Drugs Expert Tells Us The Problem With Taking 100% Pure Cocaine

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A Drugs Expert Tells Us The Problem With Taking 100% Pure Cocaine

Whilst some people were overjoyed that some 'extremely good' cocaine had made its way to the UK, Sussex Police issued a warning after officers seized a batch of coke that they said was nearly 100 percent pure. They claim that at least two people have had fatal overdoses of the drug in Eastbourne and there's a risk for anyone else taking it.

Cocaine is usually mixed with impurities (things that weren't deliberately added), adulterants (caffeine or ephedrine) or diluents (sugar, lactose, mannitol etc) to bulk up the product. But coke, MDMA and heroin have been found to be rising in purity over the last few years.

Harry Shapiro from charity Drugwise has told LADbible the rising purity is a result of a few factors: "The wholesale price has come down - that might be because of over-production in the producer countries like Columbia.

"Next to that you've got the various powders that are used to cut powdered drugs like cocaine. The enforcement agencies have been cracking down quite heavily on people who supply those powders to drug traffickers, almost treating them as drug traffickers themselves, so cutting those drugs have become more of a risk."

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Mr Shapiro also says that even though most recreational drugs are illegal, that doesn't mean that there's no competition to be the best. He says: "There are lots of people competing in the market, so if there's less incentive to cut the drug, it means that at the street level, they can get into this kind of 'my gear is better than his'.

"There's a misconception that drugs like this are cut with rat poison and things like that, to which the answer is... well, if you were trying to get your customers to come back, why would you do that? It is a commercial product even though it's illegal."

But Harry doubts that the cocaine being found in the UK is 100 percent pure. According to him, the product coming out of South America is only 90 percent pure. But it appears that the practice of bulking it out as it is exchanged through dealers is slowly being weeded out.

Now, you might be thinking 'the better the purity, the less bad it is for you'. Well, while the drug's high might be much more pronounced, it's certainly not better for you. Mr Shapiro says: "The drug is a powerful stimulant, which is going to impact on heart rate, blood pressure and all those kinds of things.

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"If you've got any type of heart condition or high blood pressure, and it might not even be something that you know about; the higher the purity of cocaine, the bigger the risk that you're running."

The latest information from the Global Drug Survey, shows that cocaine was in the lower half of drugs that caused ER admissions around the world. The global average for methamphetamine was 4.8 percent of respondents, compared to just one percent for cocaine. Brazil is the biggest user of the drug, followed by Italy, Colombia, Switzerland and Canada.

Drugs survery from the GDS
Drugs survery from the GDS

Credit: Global Drug Survey

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The problem that cocaine presents, compared with MDMA and ecstasy, is that there is no street level testing kit that users can buy cheaply over the internet. After a spate of drug overdoses at music festivals, users were encouraged to get their gear examined with a simple test which told them what was lurking in their pill or bag. But people buying coke generally don't have access to tests which can tell them how pure their product is, or if it's been cut with anything.

You've been warned.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Cocaine, Drugs

Stewart Perrie
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