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cocaine cutting agents san antonio recovery center

You’ve heard rumors about dealers diluting the purity of their cocaine, mixing in fentanyl or other substances, but you shrug this off. Sure it might happen in some cases, but it can’t be that common. How likely is it really?

The answer is, unfortunately, very likely. Research from the United Nations finds that almost all cocaine samples contain added substances, with pure cocaine only being found in a handful of cases.

At San Antonio Recovery Center, we answer questions like this all the time, focusing not just on treatment but education. We have the largest group of successful alumni in the San Antonio area because of this approach, offering support long after you leave.

So why does this happen – why is cocaine cut with other substances? Is it dangerous? And what else might be in that small white bag?

Why Is Cocaine Cut?

Mixing other substances with cocaine is known as “cutting” it. You may hear this referred to as diluting, adulterating, or even “stepping” on it. Dealers may cut cocaine for a variety of reasons. However, there are two primary purposes when cocaine is cut with another substance.

First, this is done to stretch the dealer’s supply, getting them more money for the same amount of cocaine. This is often done with sugars or flour, as these are low-cost powders that can help boost the dealer’s profits.

Second, cocaine may be cut with other psychoactive substances. These can be other stimulants, local anesthetics, or even stronger items such as fentanyl. This is done to boost or change the feeling and experience of the cocaine.

What Is Cocaine Cut With?

Cocaine is rarely sold in its pure form on the street; it’s usually mixed with a variety of other substances. These additives and fillers are known as cutting agents or adulterants. A wide range of substances are used as cocaine cutting agents. They generally fall into two categories:

Psychoactive Cutting Agents

These influence the feelings or effects of cocaine. You should be particularly cautious when these are in the local supply, as in some instances cocaine can be contaminated or “laced” accidentally with these products. They may include:

  • Caffeine
  • Amphetamines
  • PCP (“Wack”)
  • Heroin (“Speedball”)
  • Fentanyl

Diluting Cutting Agents

These are added simply to increase the product's weight. Importantly, these are often specifically chosen to prevent the consumer from realizing that the substance is not pure cocaine. Thay may include:

  • Baking soda
  • Laxative powder
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Creatine

cocaine cutting agents

How Do Additives and Fillers in Cocaine Impact the Body?

The effects these will have on your body largely depend on the specific substances used to cut the cocaine.

For diluting agents such as sugar or flour, effects can be relatively minor. Some of these agents, particularly laxative or protein powders, can have more adverse effects. These range from gastrointestinal issues, to cramps, to uncomfortable water retention.

For psychoactive additives, the impact is much more dangerous. While the effects of cocaine already include an increased heart rate and elevated body temperatures, many stimulants can exacerbate these to dangerous levels. Other substances, such as heroin or PCP, can have severe health consequences. These may lead to depression, memory problems, and even overdose.

If an individual becomes unresponsive or experiences chest pain, seek immediate medical attention.

Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine

Dealers will sometimes mix cocaine with fentanyl, often for the same reasons they will heroin. Fentanyl is many times more potent than heroin, and this allows the dealer to offer a stronger high for the same amount of product.

This can be incredibly dangerous. Research shows that fentanyl remains one of the leading causes of overdose deaths each year. However, a secondary threat remains accidental contamination. Fentanyl is incredibly powerful, and only a few grams can be lethal. Even a tiny amount of contamination into what is viewed as straight cocaine may end in disaster.

How Can I Recognize Cut Cocaine?

It is virtually impossible for you to visually recognize whether cocaine has been cut with some other substance. In many cases, this is the point. However, there are some things to be aware of when assessing cocaine.

  • Unusual taste or smell
  • Burning sensation when snorted
  • Effects are weaker than expected
  • Numbness sets in faster than expected

Outside of these few signs, the only real option is a cocaine purity kit or strips. These can be a quick way to see if cocaine has been cut with other substances, but will still not be able to say which substances those are.

san antonio recovery center cocaine cutting agents

Getting Help for Cocaine Addiction

If you find yourself wondering what might be in your cocaine, it can feel overwhelming. The desire for the next hit fighting against your fear of what might happen. This can make you feel powerless, like you’re trapped in place. It’s important that you know you aren’t alone, and that you can break out of this cycle.

There is help available from a team of dedicated staff who are a part of your community. Our cocaine addiction rehab programs are designed with you in mind. We believe in a holistic approach, focusing on you as an individual. Our alumni ecosystem stays with you at every step, even after treatment, helping you toward recovery in the way that best suits your needs.

At San Antonio Recovery Center, we are available at 866-957-7885, or online through our website. Our diverse and community-focused center treats you as an individual, approaching your recovery through every avenue unique to you. If you are ready to take the first steps toward your recovery, please connect with us today.

Strength. Acceptance. Recovery. Community.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.

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