5 of the Most Dangerous Impurities Added to Cocaine

cocaine useSuppliers of cocaine have found that selling this highly dangerous substance becomes more profitable when using adulterants, impurities that pad the drug during a sale. There are many substances that may be used to lace cocaine, but these are the top five most dangerous adulterants in the trade.

1. Benzocaine – This drug is known as a local anesthetic, typically found in topical, over-the-counter products such as creams and suntan lotions. While Benzocaine is commonly found in oral care products, regular ingestion can bring about very serious results, including a potentially life-threatening condition called methemoglobinemia, wherein the user will have dangerously abnormal levels of the hemoglobin called methemoglobin in the bloodstream. Further danger is present because while the more common onset of this condition occurs over time through the use of Benzocaine, there are also cases when the condition can present even with just a one-time exposure, such as in adulterated cocaine use.

2. Boric Acid – One of the reasons why boric acid is sometimes added to cocaine supplies is that it heightens the anesthetic effects, while also having the physical appearance of cocaine crystals. However, boric acid is also one of the most dangerous adulterants to encounter with cocaine use, particularly because it is considered a dangerous poison. Imagine having to ingest boric acid, when it is used in products such as glass fiber manufacturing, rodent and ant pesticides, photography chemicals, and a fireproofing agent for timber.

3. Lignocaine/Lidocaine – Lignocaine, also known as Lidocaine, can be used to lace cocaine due to its similar physical properties and anesthetic effects. The danger in its usage lies in the seriousness of allergic reactions, and may include tremors or seizures, uneven heartbeat, confusion, drowsiness and blurred vision. The non-recreational use of Lidocaine has to be cleared with a doctor, which is why cocaine use involving this substance makes the abuser even more susceptible to serious side effects.

cocaine use4. Mannitol – Mannitol is commonly seen as an additive in heroin. It is also considered a successful adulterant for cocaine because of its anti-caking properties, used to keep the drug in its powdered state. The ingestion of Mannitol also comes with precautions, especially in cocaine use, as those who have allergic reactions to the substance, a history of heart failure or heart disease, or other problems involving the kidney, brain, or lungs, are already forewarned against the use of Mannitol.

5. Phenacetin – Among the many negative effects that come with the use of Phenacetin are dizziness, loss of consciousness, heart failure, severe swelling of the tongue, low blood pressure, and even death. Reports have also shown that Phenacetin has suspected cancer-causing properties, leading to a ban of the substance in the UK.


Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Cocaine Rehab and a clickable link back to this page.

Leave a Comment