Cocaine is one of the most widely used drugs on the planet and like any other drug it is often cut to expand profit. Do we really know what we’re putting up our nose?!
The popularity of cocaine faded in the 50s and by the late 50s many considered the drug to be a problem of the past. Cocaine became popular in America again in the 60s, undergoing a re-emergence of kind.In the 1970s and 1980s, the drug became particularly popular in the disco culture as cocaine usage was very common and popular in many discos such as Studio 54. Survey found the proportion of American students reporting use of powdered cocaine rose during the 1990s. In 1991, 2.3% of eighth-graders stated that they had used cocaine in their lifetime. This figure rose to 4.7% in 1999 and 6.8% in 2014.
Here are some interesting facts about the drug we’re all so crazy about…
1. ‘An ounce of cocaine is never more than 22 to 25 percent purity’
That’s according to Lawrence Gibbons, Senior Operations Manager for Drugs at the National Crime Agency. And that is before it’s even reached the dealers. They cut it repeatedly adding all kinds of nasty things; anything to boost profits! There have only been one or two grams that have been seized in the USA over the last couple of years, that have reached over the seventy percent purity mark.
2. A large proportion of what you snort is benzocaine
Benzocaine is a dental anaesthetic that mimics coke’s numbing effect. It’s seriously cheap and can be purchased for around £12 a kilo from China. It can then be cut into cocaine at a ratio as high as 10:1 or more. In June last year, Cornwall police sentenced 20 men to more than 100 years for dealing in over 1.5 million worth of cocaine. The drugs that were seized had a purity of only 17 percent and were cut with, you guessed it, benzocaine.
3. Rats will choose cocaine over food or water
In experiments done in the mid 1960’s rats would choose cocaine over food or water every time, to the point that they would die. It gives an indication of how addictive the substance is.
4. An Australian gram costs 240 US dollars
Australian users are forced to pay over five times the normal street value for coke. This is because Australia is an island a long way from anywhere! All contraband has to be flown or shipped in and that’s expensive. The markets just not big enough to make it cost effective. So why don’t they grow their own you might ask? Well Coca usually grows at between 1,650 and 4,950 feet, in an unusual level of humidity maintained by the Amazon. There’s hardly anywhere else on the planet where you can grow the stuff. Tough luck Australia!
5. Coke used to have the drug in it!
The soft drink Coca-Cola originally contained an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per serving, which combined with caffeine to create the drink’s powerful stimulating effects. While cocaine was officially removed from the drink’s ingredients in 1903, a cocaine-free version of the coca leaf is still used as a flavour additive in the soda.