While cocaine comes from a naturally occurring plant, it’s a processed substance that can be extremely addictive. The drug is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, and at one time, it was used for medical purposes in the United States.
As medicine has evolved, cocaine was abandoned as a common medication, while other less deadly medications were used in its place. Today, cocaine is used illegally as a recreational drug.
As you might expect from other illicit drugs, cocaine causes adverse side effects even when used in small doses. Even in its purest form, it can be dangerous, but the real dangers come when you abuse a version of the substance that’s not genuine.
It’s unlikely that you’ll find cocaine in its purest form at the street level. Unfortunately, it’s commonly contaminated with other substances in a process known as “cutting.” Cocaine may be cut with various adulterants to increase profits for drug dealers.
Unfortunately, drug dealers care more about making profits than your life, and they will do it by any means necessary. Sometimes they add cheap stimulants to boost the strength of an already weakened product. Unfortunately, due to the low cost of fentanyl, we have heard cases of depressants added as well.
Various additives and fillers are found in cocaine supplies, making it challenging to know if you are buying cocaine or cutting agents. The following list contains ingredients that are among the most commonly added to cocaine today.
Drug dealers try to enhance the effects of cocaine to cover up a weak batch, and they do so by adding other stimulants to the powder. Amphetamines are often used in conjunction with cocaine to add to its stimulant properties.
The additives might increase your chances of developing a chemical dependency. In addition to dependence, stimulants will also cause heart-related side effects, which include tachycardia (rapid heart rate), hypertension, and heart palpitations. The symptoms can be fatal if you consume high doses of contaminated cocaine.
Cocaine numbs parts of the body that it comes into contact with, and when someone chews coca leaves, it will leave their mouth and tongue numb. The process of snorting cocaine may also cause a numbing sensation in the throat and nose. Because of this, anesthetics will be added to cocaine and enhance these natural effects.
Some anesthetics like lidocaine, procaine, benzocaine, and tetracaine are used to improve what users believe is the quality of the drug. One such study highlighted that 66 percent of cocaine seizures contained lidocaine.
When you mix uppers and downers, it will give you a false sense of tolerance. Both drugs counteract each other, which makes you feel like you need more. This can result in an overdose. The combination is known as a speedball, and it combines the stimulant effects of cocaine with the euphoria of opioids. As of late, seized cocaine has shown significant levels of fentanyl, which is an opioid 50 times stronger than heroin.
Although toxic or otherwise poisonous ingredients are not common, they are still sometimes found in cocaine. Substances such as strychnine and levamisole have been found in cocaine and are deadly when used. Strychnine is the main ingredient in rat poison, which is dangerous to humans.