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Ingredients In Cocaine
In understanding ingredients in cocaine, know that in this game, the dealer has a few objectives. They don’t want to get caught, and they want to get the most money they can for their product. Users want to get the most bang for their buck. Neither party is operating under any restrictions because the whole deal is outside of the law anyhow.
So ask yourself… as a savvy dealer, what prevents you from adding anything you have around to mix ingredients in cocaine?
Nothing really. And that’s why the ingredients in cocaine are so varied and add another dimension of harm.
If there is anything that keeps dealers from selling powdered laundry detergent, it’s the fact that experienced addicts might be able to pick up on the “fresh scent” ingredients in cocaine or not get the expected effect when they do a trial line. So there are a few guidelines when altering the ingredients of cocaine – you want to be able to fool your customers.
Diluents and Adulterants Ingredients in Cocaine
A diluent is something added to give bulk to powdered cocaine. It usually has no effect at all on the body (although it may have serious side effects). Diluents are things like powdered sugar or other substance that looks enough like cocaine to pass visual inspection.
An adulterant is something added that mimics the effect of cocaine itself or has another desirable physical effect. There are a host of “numbing agents” that can be used. These are the type of things you’d find in hemorrhoid medications. They are called topical anesthetics, and while they mimic the numbing that happens when cocaine is rubbed on tissue (like the inside of the mouth) they do not have the mental effects that cocaine has. The most popular by far is Lidocaine. When users rub low quality cocaine on their gums to test it, the Lidocaine gives the numbing sensation they expect.
Ingredients in Cocaine: What’s in there?
Studies show that actual additives vary with ingredients in cocaine. To a large degree, dealers simply use whatever they can get their hands on. One detailed study showed that 95% of samples showed some type of sugar as a diluent and 87% had an adulterant. Lidocaine was the most popular adulterant but caffeine and creatine were also common.
It’s an error to think that other forms of cocaine (crack for instance) are somehow purer. While the process that makes cocaine, or cocaine production, into crack will remove some impurities, many of the common diluents are water soluble, so they end up in the crack rock as well. Sugars are especially a problem for crack dealers though, because they leave a black, gooey residue when smoked (and taste bad) which customers will notice.
The bottom line is that users can never know, without an actual lab analysis, just what ingredients in cocaine are and what they are snorting or smoking. Dealers have a strong incentive here. They do not have to smuggle in the additives – they can literally double the amount of powder they have to sell by adding legal, off-the-shelf crap.
How about some ground glass? Adding that to the mix causes microcuts in the nostrils and sinuses, allowing whatever cocaine is in the mix to absorb faster. This gives the impression of higher quality because of the quick onset.
One of the worst dangers comes when addicts inject cocaine. They think by dissolving it in water, they are safe. This is absolutely not the case. Imagine injecting ground glass or Lidocaine (a drug used in heart attack because of its effects on the heart). Unfortunately, the damage has been done long before they can make it to an emergency room.