Substance Abuse

The Role of Toxic Adulterants in Street Drugs

The world of unregulated drug distribution is a frightening reality everyone should be aware of. To better avoid the traps that are out there, families need to educate themselves on these illicit elements. Aside from the mere existence of illegal drugs, few people realize that dealers actively tamper with substances.

The role of toxic adulterants in street drugs is to alter the nature of a drug in an unregulated and dangerous way that makes them appealing to unsuspecting individuals. At Chapman Rehab, we are dedicated to helping your teen overcome addiction and educating the public on the risks of uncontrolled chemicals.

What Is an Adulterant?

Adulteration refers to additional substances that are added to a final product. The term differs from additives in that the latter entails approved chemicals that are added for a known benefit. For instance, different types of minerals and nutrients are additives in many types of foods that otherwise lack those advantages. Whether the chemical added is good or bad for the end-user is irrelevant in adulterants.

Adulterants are added without any approval system (illegally, in other words) and exist strictly to boost profits. As such, adulteration of consumer goods poses a tremendous threat to the general welfare, as there are no quality checks to ensure added flavorings, colors, and other sellable factors are not dangerous or toxic.

Adulteration in Illicit Drugs

Many drugs found in illegal markets started as pharmaceuticals and ordinary treatment options. The transition from federally supervised distribution to street dealing means a cease in expertise, more than anything. Drug dealers can do anything with their stock and have to answer to no one. One method commonly used to increase interest in illegal drugs is to adulterate them into a more palatable form. Hard drugs are frequently adjusted to carry appealing flavors such as candy and fruit.

Besides this, there is no way to tell that one drug hasn’t been cut with another, more destructive and addictive one. For instance, expensive cocaine and heroin are often cut with relatively cheaper drugs like fentanyl so the dealer can reserve more of one drug to maximize profits. Little concern is given to the individuals whose health will be deeply impacted by taking unknowable mixtures of dangerous illegal chemicals.

How Adulteration Impacts Substance Abuse

Needless to say, the lack of control over substances is a significant concern. Imagine the suffering of families whose loved ones made a bad decision, became unexpectedly hooked on morphine, and had to enter a fentanyl rehab program as a result. Many less fortunate individuals may even pay the ultimate price after falling prey to greedy drug dealers looking to build an income stream out of other people’s addictions.

The role of toxic adulterants in street drugs is to serve the guiles of these individuals as they look for money anywhere they can. Virtually any substance can be cut or tweaked to make it more appealing and more addictive.


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