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‘100 per cent’ pure cocaine is now circulating the UK

Police have issued a warning following two drug-related deaths

Police in the UK have issued a warning over a batch of super-strength cocaine that’s currently circulating the country. The drug, which was seized by officers in Eastbourne this weekend, is reportedly “100 per cent” pure – making it more than double the strength of cocaine typically sold on the street.

Concerns were raised after two drug-related deaths in the region, with police now urging users to take caution. “Since April there have been a number of drug overdoses in the town, and two drug-related deaths,” Detective Inspector Neil Ralph told the Eastbourne Herald. “Taking drugs in any form is dangerous, particularly when the user does not know the purity of the drug.”

Normally, cocaine in the UK gets cut with bulking agents, which significantly lowers its purity levels. Recent surveys have shown that standard street cocaine is mixed with glucose, caffeine, or – more commonly – a dental anaesthetic known as benzocaine. As a result, stats from 2015 show that the purity of the stuff typically bought on the London street rarely exceeds between 30 and 50 per cent.

That said, recent findings from the Global Drugs Survey suggest that this news should come as little surprise. Purity levels have been steadily rising over the last few years – something that’s been linked to the rise of dark web, and a growing amount of amateur manufacturers. Last year, it was revealed that ecstasy in the UK was hitting more than double its standard dosage (the average sits at around 150MG, but new pills popping up have tested upwards of 250MG).

“In terms of why pills are getting stronger, we spoke to some people in Holland and they put it down to manufacturers wanting to break into a market,” Dr Adam Winstock, of the Global Drug Survey, told Dazed at the time. “They want to differentiate their products, so that’s why we see physically bigger, stronger pills. It’s maybe a way of getting a reputation. It’s about getting their brand noticed in a really crowded marketplace. But they're mistaking big doses for what people want, and it's not.” 

He added: “Young people haven't learnt how to take drugs yet. It's easier to overheat, to dehydrate, and maybe take other things. High dosage and inexperience is a really bad cocktail, and a bit more education would be sensible.”