Researches and drug users from the UK reported a “dramatic” increase in cocaine purity. Spikes in purity, in the past, appeared only momentarily. Often followed by a nationwide decline, followed by an interesting decline in emergency room visits. Researchers in the UK, after some of the initial reports surfaced, sought answers to the supposed potency increase.
As often the case with drug-related changes or even perceived changes, the darknet immediately became the focus. Not a bad place to start either. As studies have shown, the new availability of drugs changed the landscape of street-level drug dealing.
One publication wrote that the spike in purity came from a “competition between darkweb dealers, posting high-purity cocaine to the UK.” Researchers considered this scenario, albeit not always with cocaine or in the UK, after shifts in a drug landscape. The 2015 Global Drug Survey exemplified this. Times have changed, however. Some drugs thrived on the darknet and some kept to the streets or usual methods of distribution.
Nevertheless, the darknet took the heat for the cocaine of increased potency. Very infrequently, if ever, does a darknet vendor sell their own cocaine. And fittingly, the cartels that run the cocaine industry very rarely set up their own vendor account and sell directly to customers via the darknet. Anyone with the slightest notion of cocaine experience—a search for the purest cocaine or research into cocaine’s lifecycle, for example—knows that as soon as the boat docks, the drug’s purity drops.
In a Gizmodo article titled “Cokeheads Beware: 100 Percent Pure Blow Has Hit the UK’s Street”
“That’s [100% pure cocaine] extra deadly, and is being blamed for at least two drug-related deaths in Eastbourne. Reports from Global Drug Survey in 2015 suggest that drug purity is on the rise thanks to darkweb dealers competing with one another to deliver the highest quality product.”
The author continued, “some street coke is 100 percent pure, and that’s not a good thing.
The Metro.co.uk spoke with Harry Shapiro of Drugwise who confirmed that street cocaine purity rose. He reported that some samples revealed cocaine with purity levels between 80 percent and 90 percent. “When cocaine is imported into the country, it’s never 100% pure – to find levels like what we’re seeing, it’s hardly being cut at all,” he added.
Shapiro further believed the darknet drug trade contributed very little to the recent spike in cocaine purity. Cocaine, he confirmed, is one of the drugs still sold by real-life entities and cellphones. In addition, he said, law enforcement recently cracked down on many of the agents used to cut cocaine. As a result, dealers must sell uncut cocaine. (Note: I try to avoid interjecting but levamisole, the primary cutting agent, is as easy to obtain as ever. He quite likely spoke of the other stimulants occasionally used as cutting agents.)
The two schools of thought on this highly purified coke provide no supporting arguments, so we will wait and see how this plays out. If a darknet vendor came out and took credit for it, that would be a publicity stunt of a lifetime.