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Cocaine users are being fooled by drug dealers who are cutting powder cocaine by 90%, and in some cases, up to 100% with other substances which mimic the appearance and some of the effects of cocaine.
It is always difficult to know for sure whether street drugs are actually the substance the dealer claims they are. And while cocaine users accept that they are never likely to be getting 100% pure cocaine, they rely on interpretation of cocaine effects, such as the feeling of numbness in the nose and throat after snorting, to judge whether what they have purchased is cocaine.
But drug dealers have figured out a way to fool cocaine users by cutting cocaine with cheap and legal local anaesthetics, such as Benzocaine, a local anaestheic used in dental procedures that produces a similar "freezing" sensation when snorted or rubbed on the gums. A recent report by the BBC said that the problem of drug dealers using Benzocaine to cut cocaine is so great, that police are now targeting illicit supplies of the cutting agent as a means to interrupt cocaine production and distribution in the UK.
So while many cocaine users wonder whether cocaine is really addictive, the fact is, they may not be using cocaine at all, or they may be taking much smaller amounts of cocaine than they realize. An experienced cocaine user who tests for numbness then discovers the cocaine just isn't producing the psychoactive or intoxication effects they are looking for, may inadvertently think they were simply developing tolerance to cocaine, and increase their dose. This could have the unfortunate effect of causing cocaine withdrawal symptoms or, worst case scenario, an overdose if the next batch the user purchases has a higher cocaine content, and the user takes the same amount as they did with the heavily cut batch.
So maybe you are being duped. And whether or not you are using real cocaine, or some other concoction, this might be a good time to reflect on why you are taking cocaine in the first place.
For many, it is described as a "social thing," but do your friends really have your best interests at heart if they subject you to peer pressure to use drugs?
If you are using cocaine as a way of coping with low self esteem or self-medicating feelings of depression, there are much more effective ways of doing both.
If you need help with overcoming abuse or addiction to any drug, support and services are more available than ever before. My blog on finding a rehab program will give you all the information you need to take the next step to recovery.