An analysis of cocaine powder in the Netherlands: content and health hazards due to adulterants
Article first published online: 7 APR 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 104, Issue 5, pages 798–805, May 2009
How to Cite
Brunt, T. M., Rigter, S., Hoek, J., Vogels, N., Van Dijk, P. and Niesink, R. J. M. (2009), An analysis of cocaine powder in the Netherlands: content and health hazards due to adulterants. Addiction, 104: 798–805. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02532.x
- Issue published online: 7 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 7 APR 2009
- Submitted 4 August 2008; initial review completed 8 October 2008; final version accepted 9 January 2009
Aims To report on trends in the content and adulterants present in street cocaine (powder) in the Netherlands and to describe the associated health hazards.
Design and participants Drug consumers handed in samples of cocaine powder from 1999 to 2007 for analysis. Reports were compiled of users' experiences with the samples received.
Measurements and analysis Linear regression analysis was used to assess the trend in adulterated cocaine powder across the study period, and comparison of reported adverse effects of adulterated with those of unadulterated cocaine by Fisher's exact test.
Findings There has been a statistically significant upward trend in the occurrence of adulterated cocaine powder over the years. Adulterated cocaine was associated more frequently with reported adverse effects than unadulterated cocaine. Phenacetin, hydroxyzine and diltiazem appeared to be three adulterants contributing to these adverse effects.
Conclusions An increase in adulterants was detected in the analysed cocaine powder between 1999 and 2007. This increase is associated with relatively more adverse effects with cocaine use. The cardiac and hallucinatory effects that were reported more frequently are not understood clearly. Adverse effects are likely to be due to several factors, including interactions of adulterants with cocaine and the route of administration.