What’s in that drug you’re about to ingest, inject or smoke? While you might think you’re taking ecstasy, cocaine or another drug, the truth is you have no idea and the reality can be much different to your expectations.
While it shouldn’t come as any surprise that many illegal drugs aren’t what they’re promoted to be, initial results from Australia’s first fixed-site drug testing clinic has shown just how widespread the problem is.
- Of five cocaine samples tested in the first month of the drug testing clinic’s operation, only three actually contained cocaine. None of the five samples had a purity level higher than 27 per cent.
- Of 19 MDMA (ecstasy) samples tested, six didn’t contain MDMA. Of the 13 samples that did, the purity ranged between 23 and 73 per cent.
- While all six heroin samples tested did contain heroin, the purity ranged between 31 and 63 per cent.
- Four samples of a substance believed to be methamphetamines were also drug tested. Three did contain methamphetamines while the fourth only contained sugar.
In an SBS News article, the clinic’s manager Stephanie Stephens said people were surprised when they found out the results and many disposed of their drugs.
“A lot of MDMA that wasn’t MDMA, often it was another drug like methamphetamine (ice) or it was cut with other fillers like cornflour, sugar, salt or caffeine,” Ms Stephens says in the SBS article.
“Caffeine might sound safe, but in the doses we’ve found and when it’s mixed in with other substances there is a high risk of overdose.
“There have also been times when people have thought they had a depressant but it turned out to be a stimulant, which can be quite a distressing experience for people if they ingest the substance.”
Drug mixing and contamination not new news
As we said in the intro, the issue is not new news. Just last year we highlighted a major concern in NSW, when it was identified by NSW Health that the highly strong acetyl-fentanyl was being mixed with drugs circulating around Sydney. The drug had been identified in people who believed they were using cocaine, methamphetamines and opiates.
The issue is that when you buy an illegal drug, you’re not purchasing a drug that has been manufactured by a responsible professional business. Most illegal drug manufacturers are only concerned with making profits. The health and safety of users is often of little concern.
What’s in that drug you’re about to ingest, inject or smoke? Credit Towfiqu barbhuiya https://unsplash.com/photos/uM5mnbNm8eA