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Messy cocktail

There's more adulterated cocaine available as ?pushers? mix it with heroin for extra profit, writes Anupam Thapa.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2006 23:18 IST

The drug story gets an adulterous twist. It’s not just the issue of cocaine but its adulteration with heroin that has added a new dimension to the Rahul Mahajan-Vivek Moitra episode. The fact that the cocaine allegedly consumed by the duo was mixed with heroin has proved that coke adulteration is reaching a new high.

Adulteration of cocaine with heroin (known as speedball) is not new. But what’s important is that the quantity of heroin in cocaine is getting higher with every change of hand that the packet undergoes. According to the cops, “In one case, we found the cocaine sample adulterated. And the lab report proved that it was mixed with heroin.”

Fouling pure coke

Delhiites enjoy the dubious reputation of being freeloaders and this has affected the ‘business’ of cocaine too. According to a cokehead, “Only users who buy directly from the suppliers get pure stuff. Those who buy from pushers (users who also peddle it) get impure cocaine, which is mixed with heroin or some other substance.”

The modus operandi is simple. To get free cocaine, users become pushers. They buy uncut cocaine from the dealer, take out a small quantity for personal use and mix the rest with heroin for further sale. The more hands it changes, the more impure it gets.

According to cops, “Some of the DJs and managers of discotheques in Vasant Vihar, South Extension and New Delhi district sell coke. Since they are also users, they become pushers to ensure a free supply of coke for personal use.”

Even in terms of pure business, pushers make money by adulterating coke with heroin as a gram of cocaine costs a minimum of Rs 4,000 while a gram of heroin costs Rs 1,500.

Lethal combo

However, there’s another angle to this cocaine-heroin cocktail. Says a doctor of Lady Hardinge Medical College, “According to medical science, taking cocaine and heroin together (speedball) is deadly. It is usually taken for an immediate and sustained high. It can be snorted, injected or taken orally. A speedball injection kills the user immediately. But even if it is snorted or taken orally, it can prove fatal, as in the recent Moitra’s case.” Speedball is potentially lethal because cocaine acts as a stimulant, raising the heartbeat, whereas heroin slows the heart. As a result, it is possible to experience a delayed overdose.

Thus many drug addicts use speedball in order to achieve the purported effect. Some people who use heroin also combine it with smoked freebase cocaine (crack) that is known as a moonrock. But isn’t life worth much more?

First Published: Jun 11, 2006 15:41 IST