Most street drugs are dangerous and addictive, but what’s worse is that they’re often laced or cut with other ingredients that can be even more dangerous. Lacing and cutting drugs are done by manufacturers and dealers either to bulk up drugs for more profit, or to enhance or replicate the effects of one drug or another.
Buyers, however, usually aren’t aware that the drugs they’re buying are laced or cut, so they have no idea what they’re actually taking. If you’ve ever wondered what’s really in street drugs, here’s a list of some of the more shocking ingredients that have been discovered.
1. Embalming Fluid and Formaldehyde
Among the worst ingredients that dealers use to lace drugs is formaldehyde, a carcinogenic substance that should never be consumed. Marijuana is the drug most often laced with embalming fluid and formaldehyde, either on its own or as a component in embalming fluid. When ingested, formaldehyde produces similar effects to the drug PCP, including euphoria, rage, panic, and hallucinations.
2. Rat and Bug Poisons
Rodenticides and insecticides, which often come in the form of white powders, are often used to cut white powder drugs like heroin and cocaine. By increasing the amount of powder they have to sell, dealers make more money, but this comes at the expense of their customers’ health because they end up ingesting toxic poisons as well as the drugs.
Levamisole is an anti-parasitic used by veterinarians to deworm livestock, but more and more often it’s showing up in cocaine. In fact, a few years ago, the DEA said that over three-quarters of the cocaine they had seized was cut with levamisole. In humans, this drug attacks white blood cells, weakens the immune system, and increases the risk of infections.
4. Laundry Detergent
As another white powder, laundry detergent is also used to cut heroin and cocaine. Because detergent often contains phosphates and acidic and alkaline substances, ingesting it can lead to vision loss, burning and irritation at contact sites, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and more.
5. Other Drugs
Lacing street drugs with other drugs is a common practice with narcotics, but one that can be especially unsafe when the lacing drugs are ones like Fentanyl, Xanax, and anesthetics.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that causes heart attacks, respiratory distress, and death. It is increasingly being found in cocaine, heroin, and counterfeit prescription drugs
Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication that suppresses the central nervous system and creates feelings of euphoria. It’s sometimes added to marijuana, and this combination can lead to coma, periods of blackout, and death.
Anesthetics such as lidocaine and benzocaine are sometimes found in cocaine, and when you combine a stimulant with anesthetics in this way, it can cause serious neurological, cardiac, and pulmonary problems.
Drug use is always problematic and requires proper treatment, but it’s even more dangerous because of the regularity of lacing and cutting. Drugs purchased on the street are rarely pure, and almost any drug could potentially be laced or cut with deadly substances.
If you’re worried about a loved one or yourself and need help with substance abuse issues, call the experts at Beachway Therapy at 877-284-0353 to get on the road to recovery.