CUT. A guide to Adulterants, Bulking agents and other Contaminants found in illicit drugs

Author(s): 
Cole C, Jones L, McVeigh J et al.
Published: 
2010
Publisher: 
Centre for Public Health - Faculty of Health and Applied Social Sciences - Liverpool John Moores University

Abstract

This document is an evidence-based overview of adulterants, their effects on health and the development of messages and other public health interventions to reduce their impact.This document has reviewed the evidence for the presence of adulterants in illicit drugs, namely heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, amphetamine and methamphetamine, ecstasy, cannabis, GHB, ketamine and LSD. The evidence suggests that illicit drugs are more commonly adulterated with benign substances (such as sugars), substances that will enhance or mimic the effects of the illicit drug (such as quinine in heroin) or substances that will facilitate the administration of illicit drugs (such as caffeine in heroin and cocaine which facilitates smoking).

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