Cocaine: Laxatives As Cutting Agents

can cocaine be cut with laxative

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that is often cut with other substances by dealers to increase their profits. While some fillers and additives are harmless, many can be dangerous or even deadly. Common cutting agents include other drugs such as heroin, MDMA, and fentanyl, as well as household goods like flour, baking soda, and talcum powder. These substances are chosen because they are cheap, similar in colour and texture to cocaine, or have a similar melting point. Using cocaine cut with laxatives specifically was not found, however, due to the wide range of substances cocaine can be cut with, it is possible that it could be cut with laxatives.

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Laxatives as cutting agents

Laxatives are not mentioned as a cutting agent for cocaine in any of the sources I found. However, I did find information on other substances that are used as cutting agents.

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that is derived from the leaves of the coca plant. The manufactured product is estimated to be between 90–100% pure cocaine, but as dealers move the drug to other countries like the United States, it is often cut and diluted multiple times before reaching the user. Dealers cut cocaine with other substances to increase their profits by allowing them to sell a higher volume of product. The use of cutting agents also allows dealers to intensify the high so that customers will buy from them and get hooked, and to stretch their supply when their own supplies are low.

There are two types of cutting agents used in cocaine: those that increase the potency and those that increase the bulk of the product. Common cutting agents that increase potency include stimulants such as synthetic cathinones (sometimes called "bath salts"), benzocaine, lidocaine, and other street drugs like LSD, marijuana, and heroin. Cutting agents that increase the bulk of the product, also known as visual dilutants, include levamisole (a cattle dewormer), caffeine, meat tenderizer, and household goods such as laundry detergent, flour, baking soda, and talcum powder.

It is difficult to tell if cocaine has been cut with another substance, as adulterants often have a similar colour, taste, and consistency to pure cocaine. This means that people who think they are using pure cocaine may actually be ingesting a wide range of dangerous substances. For example, cocaine cut with fentanyl, a cheap and potent opioid, has been linked to overdose and death.

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Why cocaine is cut with other substances

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that is made from the leaves of the coca plant, native to Central and South America. When cocaine is first extracted from coca leaves, the manufactured product is estimated to be between 90%–100% pure cocaine. However, as dealers move the drug to other countries, it is often cut and diluted multiple times before it reaches the end-user.

Drug manufacturers and dealers often cut cocaine with other substances to increase their profits by enabling them to sell a higher volume of product. The most common cocaine additives are typically cheaper than the original substance and appear similar in colour and texture, so they are easily mixed into the product without the user knowing.

  • To increase profits: Dealers can increase their profits by bulking up the product and selling a higher volume.
  • To intensify the high: Dealers may use a cutting agent to intensify the high so that customers will buy from them. Once the customers are hooked, dealers can then use less powerful cutting agents so that customers get less of a high dose, prompting them to buy more to achieve the same high.
  • To compensate for low supply: Cutting agents are used when fewer drugs are available from suppliers due to interception and seizure at border crossings or significant busts. This allows dealers to keep selling until their supplies are restored.
  • To mask bitter taste: Dealers may choose cutting agents that can mimic the bitter taste of cocaine.
  • To mimic the appearance of cocaine: Dealers may choose cutting agents that have a similar colour, texture, or melting point to cocaine so that they are easily mixed into the product without the user knowing.

While some fillers and additives are harmless, many can cause health problems and put users at risk of potentially lethal side effects. Some common cutting agents for cocaine include synthetic cathinones (sometimes called "bath salts"), fentanyl, benzocaine, lidocaine, levamisole, and other street drugs like LSD, marijuana, and heroin.

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The dangers of using cocaine cut with laxatives

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that is derived from the leaves of the coca plant. Drug manufacturers and dealers often cut cocaine with other substances to increase their profits by stretching their supply and selling a higher volume of product.

The person who purchases cocaine may not be aware that they are buying cocaine cut with other substances, which can place them at risk of using harmful or deadly substances. Dealers often use cutting agents that are inexpensive, readily accessible, and that have a similar colour, texture, melting point, or taste to cocaine.

Cocaine cut with laxatives can cause digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Long-term use of cocaine cut with laxatives can lead to severe bowel decay, intestinal perforations, and abdominal complications, which can be life-threatening.

Other common cutting agents for cocaine include:

  • Fentanyl: a deadly opioid that increases the potency of cocaine and the risk of fatal overdose.
  • Synthetic cathinones (bath salts)
  • Benzocaine and Lidocaine
  • Other street drugs like LSD, marijuana, and heroin
  • Levamisole: a cattle dewormer
  • Caffeine
  • Meat tenderizer

Using cocaine cut with any of these substances can be dangerous, even if they seem safe. For example, while caffeine is generally safe to consume, it can burn the mucous membranes in the nose when snorted and have a different effect on the body and brain when it is inhaled rather than consumed orally.

Overdosing on cocaine cut with laxatives or other substances is possible and dangerous, as the cutting agents used can be toxic. When someone overdoses on cocaine, they may experience seizures, heart attacks, strokes, internal bleeding, and even death.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to cocaine, it is important to seek help from a doctor or a rehabilitation centre. Treatment options include cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational incentives for not using drugs, therapeutic communities, and community-based recovery groups.

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How to recognise cocaine cut with laxatives

It is difficult to tell if cocaine has been cut with laxatives or any other substance. Dealers often use cutting agents that have a similar colour, taste, and consistency to cocaine, making it indistinguishable from "pure" cocaine.

However, there are some ways to reduce the risk of ingesting cocaine cut with harmful substances. Fentanyl testing strips, for example, can be used to test cocaine for the presence of fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is increasingly being added to cocaine and other drugs. These strips are often available at local health department centres, needle exchange programs, or other community outreach programs.

It is important to note that any type of cocaine, whether cut or not, can be addictive and harmful. If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction, seeking professional help and treatment is crucial.

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Treatment for cocaine addiction

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends the following methods of rehabilitation therapy when treating stimulant misuse:

  • Motivational interviewing: This is usually the first step in therapy when a patient begins treatment, helping patients recognize the ways addiction comes between them and their goals and strains their relationships.
  • Contingency management: Stimulants are highly addictive as they hijack the brain's reward circuits. Contingency management works to repair these faulty patterns by rewarding positive behaviours.
  • Community reinforcement: This method emphasizes the positive behaviours identified in contingency management by building a supportive social network around the patient.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy: With cognitive-behavioural therapy, patients learn to avoid the obstacles that threaten their sobriety and overcome unhealthy thought patterns.

While there are no medications designed specifically to treat cocaine addiction, some medications with other purposes can be helpful, such as antidepressants. Alternative therapies such as exercise, hypnosis, acupuncture, and herbs may also help, but more research is required to determine their effectiveness.

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