This is why cocaine is so insanely strong in Britain right now – by an expert
Police issued a warning this week that some street cocaine in Britain was now up to 100% pure – and potentially deadly.
Previous reports suggested that this could be down to competition between darkweb dealers, posting high-purity cocaine to the UK.
Metro.co.uk spoke to Harry Shapiro of drugs charity Drugwise – who said that cocaine in the UK has seen a ‘dramatic’ rise in purity, with street samples up to 80% or 90% pure.
Shapiro said, ‘When cocaine is imported into the coutnry, it’s never 100% pure – to find levels like what we’re seeing, it’s hardly being cut at all’.
Shapiro says that he doesn’t believe that the change is due to ‘darkweb’ dealers – and that most cocaine is still sold via dealers who operate via mobile phones.
Shapiro says, ‘One reason might be that there’s been a big crackdown on the people who supply the chemicals used to cut drugs. So it’s a bit harder to get hold of the actual powders you’d use to cut cocaine – and it’s probably more of a risk.’
This is why cocaine is so insanely strong in Britain right now - by an expert
Shapiro says it could also simply be demand – there is high demand for cocaine in the UK at the moment, and dealers are competing by offering stronger and stronger drugs.
Another factor could be supply – with some cocaine-growing areas producing too much drugs.
Shapiro says, ‘Another possible reason that there could be oversupply in places like Colombia.
‘The FARC rebels who control a lot of the cocaine might be growing frantically – as they know they are not going to be able to grow so much once the peace treaty kicks in.
Here's what your 'casual' coke habit is doing to your body
Blow, beak, bugle, chang, gak, gear, marching powder, nose-up – whatever you call it, Britain gets through a hell of a lot of the white stuff each and every weekend.
But it’s OK if you’re only hoofing a couple of lines every weekend, right?
Er, no, actually, according to experts speaking to Vice – in fact, doing coke every weekend is actually plenty bad for you, far worse than a bit of MDMA.
Doing coke overworks your heart – leading to tiny micro-lacerations on your heart muscles, which can have serious consequences over time.
Dr Adam Winstock, founder of the Global Drugs Survey says, ‘Doing a gram of coke every weekend is not healthy, nor can it even really be called casual or average use.
‘Cocaine is a vasoconstrictor – it makes the heart pump faster while narrowing the blood vessels. It’s like putting your foot on the accelerator while pinching the fuel line.
‘Obviously, if you’re an overweight, 50-year-old smoker, your heart will be under more pressure than if you’re a 20-year-old athlete. But even so, the danger here is about prolonged use over years. It’s also about how you use the drug.
The size of the lines you’re doing makes a big difference, Winstock says – so it might be an idea to reconsider if you’re doing heart-stoppers about the size of a chunky chip.
Winstock says, ‘On average, 0.5 percent of cocaine users find themselves in hospital with acute reactions to the drug – and users in most countries get, on average, about ten lines out of a gram. But in Brazil they average six lines per gram, and their rate of acute hospital admissions is 3.5 percent