When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!
Sources

Bad To Worse: Cocaine In Brazil Is Filled With Lots Of Other Junk Too

Drug dealers often "cut" their pure product with other substances to increase profit margins. A seven-year-long Brazilian police study found such relatively benign substances as caffeine to some pretty awful stuff.

But what's inside? (wstryder)
But what's inside? (wstryder)
Fernando Mello

BRASÍLIA - After seven years of steady lab research, Brazilian Federal Police have unveiled the "DNA" of several illicit drugs on the market. Confiscated drugs were put under the microscope to identify the chemical makeup, with specialists now able to tell the level of purity of cocaine, crack and other drugs — and to specify what other kinds of substances have been added to them.

Cocaine, for instance, is mixed with antithermics, caffeine, anesthetics, and even vermicides typically used to kill intestinal worms. These substances may increase the health risk of a substance already considered deleterious.

Called "Pequi" (a short for "chemical profile" in Portuguese), the drug profiling project was developed in 2005. However, it was not before 2009 that the police started to send regular samples of drugs anytime a seizure of five kilograms or more was made.

Phenacetin, a forbidden antithermic and anesthetic, was found in 35% of all cocaine samples. In 11% of it there was also levamisole, a vermicide used for animals.

Now Federal Police have also begun analyzing the makeup of marijuana, ecstasy and other drugs.

In some cases, the same sample of cocaine contains more than one add-on. These products are utilized to reduce the amount of pure drug in each dose sold to the final consumer, thus raising the dealers' profit.

According to psychiatrist Dartiu Xavier, from the São Paulo-based Orientation and Care for Addicts Program, there has been insufficient studies of the consequences of such substances when mixed with cocaine. However, he says there is clearly reason for concern.

"Cocaine offers risks of heart attack, for example, and this may be increased when mixed with substances like caffeine," says Xavier.

Read the original article in Portuguese

Photo - wstryder

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Coronavirus

Chinese Students' "Absurd" Protest Against COVID Rules: Public Crawling

While street demonstrations have spread in China to protest the strict Zero-COVID regulations, some Chinese university students have taken up public acts of crawling to show what extended harsh lockdowns are doing to their mental state.

​Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling on a soccer pitch

Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling

Shuyue Chen

Since last Friday, the world has watched a wave of street protests have taken place across China as frustration against extended lockdowns reached a boiling point. But even before protesters took to the streets, Chinese university students had begun a public demonstration that challenges and shames the state's zero-COVID rules in a different way: public displays of crawling, as a kind of absurdist expression of their repressed anger under three years of strict pandemic control.

Xin’s heart was beating fast as her knees reached the ground. It was her first time joining the strange scene at the university sports field, so she put on her hat and face mask to cover her identity.

Kneeling down, with her forearms supporting her body from the ground, Xin started crawling with three other girls as a group, within a larger demonstration of other small groups. As they crawled on, she felt the sense of fear and embarrassment start to disappear. It was replaced by a liberating sense of joy, which had been absent in her life as a university student in lockdown for so long.

Yes, crawling in public has become a popular activity among Chinese university students recently. There have been posters and videos of "volunteer crawling" across universities in China. At first, it was for the sake of "fun." Xin, like many who participated, thought it was a "cult-like ritual" in the beginning, but she changed her mind. "You don't care about anything when crawling, not thinking about the reason why, what the consequences are. You just enjoy it."

The reality out there for Chinese university students has been grim. For Xin, her university started daily COVID-19 testing in November, and deliveries, including food, are banned. Apart from the school gate, all exits have been padlock sealed.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest