Two people have died in Eastbourne in the past few weeks amid a rash of overdoses – and police are blaming it on some unusually strong batches of cocaine and heroin which have recently arrived in the south-coast town.
In fact, a couple of the coke stashes seized by police have been found to be close to 100% pure, a quality almost literally unheard of on our shores, and medical experts are issuing health warnings to users who might be unused to handling such quantities of the drug.
“Since April there have been a number of drug overdoses in the town and two drug-related deaths,” detective inspector Neil Ralph told the Eastbourne Herald. “We investigate all drug overdoses and drug-related deaths and look to identify who has supplied the drugs and seek a prosecution. This can be difficult at times because it is often the case the only person who knows the source of the drug is deceased. Taking drugs in any form is dangerous, particularly when the user does not know the purity of the drug.”
In this case, the police aren’t wrong. Most cocaine you can typically buy at street level in the UK is less than 20% pure – it tends to be cut at every level of sale, and generally even arrives here at no more than 60% purity. Even seasoned users might, if they’re buying the cheap stuff, be acclimatised to snorting grams that actually contain only a few hundred parts of bona fide cocaine – meaning that they’re totally unprepared for a few lines of the real stuff.
And if you do get your hands on the super-pure Eastbourne coke before it’s cut down by enterprising illicit businessmen, take extra care if you’re snorting it with one of the new fivers – so you don’t get “Winstoned” and cut your nose on the plastic.