While the consumption of narcotics substances is potentially lethal in itself, a more potent menace is the increasing supply of spurious drugs that is leading to a higher casualty rate among drug users in India, especially when consumed with alcohol, according to experts.
'The 'impure' drugs are more dangerous as quite often the users do not even know about the presence of impurities. Especially in the case of cocaine and heroin, paracetamol and diazepam tablets are crushed and mixed with them to increase the overall volume,' a senior Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) official said.
'Even a small dose of an impure heroin or cocaine can prove fatal,' the official told IANS.
'According to our information, a growing number of drug dealers are mixing cocaine and heroin with such substances these days. These 'cocktail drugs' are sold in the market as pure heroin and cocaine, fetching up to Rs.10 million (about $218,000) per kg,' said the official on the condition of anonymity.
'In the recent past, investigating agencies have often seized white powdery substances passed on as pure heroin and cocaine though they contained less than one percent of these drugs,' a senior Delhi Police official said.
Most dangerous of these impure drugs is 'synthetic heroin'. 'Drug cartels operating in India manufacture it locally by mixing crushed tablets of paracetamol and diazepam, and sprinkling it with morphine,' the NCB official explained.
'It gives the user the same kick as pure heroin but can cause much more harm to the body. Even a small dose of synthetic heroin could prove fatal - not only for a first-time user but even for regular users,' he added.
'The white powdery substance sold in party circuits of New Delhi and Mumbai as 'Afghan heroin', considered to be the best in the international market, is in fact nothing but synthetic heroin,' revealed a senior functionary of the narcotics branch of Delhi Police.
'The cost of synthetic heroin and other spurious drugs is much less than the 'pure drugs'. That has resulted in a phenomenal growth of spurious drugs. The trend is expected to gain further momentum,' the NCB official said.
(Source: IANS News)