I came across this article in The Guardian on “Oxi,” a drug that has reportedly “exploded” in South America. According to The Guardian, Oxi is a “highly addictive and hallucinogenic blend of cocaine paste, gasoline, kerosene and quicklime (calcium oxide).”
From the story:
“The difference between cocaine and oxi is like the difference between drinking beer and pure alcohol,” said a federal police operative on the Peru-Brazil border, who refused to be named.
Further down in the story, however, another police officer is quoted saying ” “It is a new thing and we don’t yet have all the technical details of what oxi really is and the damage it can cause to someone who becomes addicted and uses it constantly.”
The Al Jazeera story cites a researcher named Mendes who claims to have done a study of 80 oxi users. Mendes claims that users die about one year after starting to use the drug. That’s an insanely high mortality rate, but there’s no indication as to how the study was conducted, what the users actually died from or what sorts of controls were used. (Still, makes me think of Substance D – a drug everyone knows will kill them, but they keep taking anyway).
There’s a paradox that makes the stories particularly weird. If Oxi is so pure, why is it so cheap? One poster on the forums suggests:
Crack can be made straight from coca paste without having to be reverted from cocaine HCL.
The process in making cocaine goes: coca leaves> coca paste > cocaine base (crack) > cocaine HCL.
Its just that street crack always comes from being made from cocaine HCL
My guess is oxi is just cocaine base made straight from coca paste; so oxi would be more pure because it isnt being reverted back to cocaine base from cut cocaine.
The idea, I guess, is that on the black market most coca paste usually goes towards making cocaine hcl, so that anyone wanting to make crack has traditionally used cocaine hcl. What’s happening now is that more people are realizing they can skip the cocaine hcl period and make a cheaper, purer product straight from the paste.
Another poster suggested it might not actually be purer at all, but it might actually be the impurities (not to mention residues left by gasoline or kerosene) that create a different experience:
Sort of like the difference between East Coast USA H4 heroin (a highly purified powder mostly consisting of diacetylmorphine) & West Coast USA Black Tar Heroin (a very crude, not very purified mass containing DAM as well as morphine, 6-MAM & other assorted alkaloids)?
While H4 is obviously the cleaner, “superior” product, many people prefer the unrefined-ness of BTH, because of the nuanced high provided by the different alkaloids.
A few years ago, similar stories about a drug called “Paco” were circulating. From The Christian Science Monitor in 2006:
The paco sold here is a chemical byproduct, a leftover when Andean coca leaves are turned into a paste, then formulated into cocaine bound for US and European markets. Paco was once discarded as laboratory trash, says Dr. Ricardo Nadra, an Argentine government psychiatrist who works with paco addicts. But Argentina’s devastating financial collapse in 2001 left the poorest even poorer, creating an impoverished demand for “cocaine’s garbage,” he says.
“People were broke and they couldn’t afford to buy anything else,” says Dr. Nadra, adding that drug dealers took the leftovers, which look like salt crystals, and added substances such as ground up glass as a filler in order to increase their profits. “Drug dealers could keep selling pure cocaine in Europe or the US but now they could sell paco in [Argentina’s poorer neighborhoods],” he says.
The Monitor notes that rich kids were starting to use the drug as well.
The Guardian ran its own story on paco just last year. The Guardian claims that “Paco is cocaine base paste, a byproduct of the refining process, cut with chemicals such as sulphuric acid and kerosene as well as glue, rat poison and crushed glass.”
Sounds very similar, except that The Guardian is describing paco as being made from a waste “paste” as opposed to an essential ingredient being used in a different way. But I can’t help but wonder if they are indeed the same drug. Some of the comments on The Guardian story on Oxi say it is, and Vaughan Bell att Mind Hacks says the same thing. In which case, this has been a known problem in Brazil and Argentina since at least 2001. It reminds me of some of the stories I saw about ya ba a few years ago, as if it were a “new” form of speed.