The strength of cocaine and ecstasy for sale illegally on the Danish market has been going up.
According to the Danish health authority Sundhedsstyrelsen, the drugs are now stronger than they have been for 23 years, reports TV2 Nyheder.
“We can see from the statistics regarding numbers admitted to hospital through casualty departments that there is an increase in cocaine-related incidents,” said Kari Grasaasen, a chief consultant at the health authority.
In 2015, the purity of cocaine on the Danish market was around 37 percent but by 2017 this had risen to 60 percent. However, at the same time, it has been found that the level of purity varies greatly with anything from 6-89 percent, thus making it difficult for users to gauge a drug’s effects and avoid an overdose.
Up in the air
“It is very unpredictable when you take drugs whether you are getting a larger or smaller amount [of the active ingredient], so there is a very real risk of overdosing,” added Grasaasen.
The same kind of problem also exists with regard to ecstasy. “There is no correlation between the tablet’s physical size and its purity, and tablets that look the same regarding logo and shape can have completely different things in them,” said Grasaasen.
At the same time, new and potentially dangerous drugs are popping up on the market. Despite warnings from the health authority about cocaine and ecstasy, it is still drugs such as heroin and methadone that account for by far the largest number of the circa 250 drug-related deaths in Denmark each year.