A super strength batch of coke is making rounds in Britain. Police in Eastbourne issued a safety warning after two people died in the East Sussex region after taking cocaine that was "100% pure."
Seized by officers this weekend, the drug was found to be up to three times purer than standard cocaine, which is usually cut with adulterants such as glucose (sugar) and benzocaine (a dental anesthetic).
Common cocaine's strength is usually between 30% and 50%. Detective Inspector Neil Ralph told the Eastbourne Herald:
"Since April there have been a number of drug overdoses in the town, and two drug-related deaths. Taking drugs in any form is dangerous, particularly when the user does not know the purity of the drug."
It is likely that those who have come into contact with the 100% pure cocaine will have taken more than usual, thinking its strength was far less than what they usually take.
According to the 2015 Global Drugs Survey, drug purity levels have been steadily rising over the years, with cocaine and ecstasy amongst those stronger than they were some years ago.
The survey suggested that this may be due to the rise of the dark web, where a growing number of people are buying they – purer – drugs. Drugs bought there usually come with reviews and exact strength details, whereas drugs bought on the street have no labels and ingredients are undisclosed.
For better or for worse, this drive to buy identifiable drugs online has prompted drug dealers to compete with each other to deliver high-quality product.
While the tragic news reminds us all of the dangers of drugs, people are still going to take them. We need to education people, young and old, about the ins and outs of drugs to ensure people stop dying from them.