Cocaine Evaluation 3rd Quarter 2022

Cocaine evaluation 3rd quarter 2022

In the third quarter of 2022 (July to September), 245 samples declared as cocaine were handed in for analysis at the Drug Information Center (DIZ) and at three mobile drug check-ups in Zurich. The results published here are not representative of the entire substance market in the city of Zurich.

Cocaine is a substance with a comparatively high potential for harm and dependence. In addition to the known risks, the frequent occurrence of pharmacologically active extenders poses an additional health risk that is difficult to assess, especially for regular users. These are rarely acute side effects, but primarily long-term effects. The evaluation shows that even samples with high cocaine content frequently contained pharmacologically active extenders. In addition, the highly fluctuating cocaine content represents an often underestimated consumption risk. The higher the cocaine content, the greater the risk of overdose. High-dose cocaine can place a heavy burden on the cardiovascular system and, under certain circumstances and physical conditions, can trigger a heart attack or stroke. Information and recommendations for low-risk consumption can be found on this homepage.

In the third quarter of 2022, the average cocaine content of samples analyzed at the DIZ or during mobile drug checking was 85.3 % cocaine*HCl. Compared to the second quarter of 2022, the average drug content increased by 5.2 %. The cocaine content of the samples analyzed varied widely, ranging from 27.8 % to 99.9 %.

In the third quarter of 2022, 19.8 % of all cocaine samples submitted for analysis at the DIZ and during mobile operations were laced with at least one pharmacologically active substance. Levamisole (in 15.3 % of the samples) was the most frequently added substance. Other extenders included the local anesthetic procaine (2.5%), phenacetin (2.1%), and caffeine (1.7%). In addition, three misdeclared samples were provided in the third quarter of 2022, two of which contained only ketamine instead of cocaine.

Graph 1:Distribution of extenders in cocaine samples, in percent, Q3 2022 (n=242).

More info about cocaine extender

A detailed evaluation and risk assessment of samples declared as cocaine in the third quarter of 2022 can be found and downloaded in the blog attachment.


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