Cocaine – Implications for Family Court and Child Safety

The UK is facing a troubling reality. It is “fast becoming the largest consumer of cocaine in Europe,” something previously highlighted by former UK Security Minister, Ben Wallace and backed up by a recent report into global cocaine use. With this surge in demand, the pressing question arises: are suppliers adulterating cocaine more than ever before, and if so, with what?

In this article, we delve into the realm of cocaine cutting by examining trends in recently seized cocaine samples. We aim to shed light on this saturated market, especially concerning its relevance to family court cases and child protection.

Understanding Cocaine: Effects and Risks

Despite its social acceptance in many circles, cocaine currently stands as one of the leading causes of fatalities in drug-poisoning deaths in the UK.

Derived from the coca plant primarily grown in South America, cocaine is a potent stimulant that accelerates heart rate and breathing, inducing a state of hyperactivity in users. However, its effects are short-lived depending on the method of ingestion—commonly snorting, smoking, injecting, or oral consumption.

The short-term effects of cocaine include euphoria, heightened sensitivity, paranoia, loss of appetite, erratic behaviour, and nausea. However, additional substances known as cutting agents can further influence these effects.

Decoding Cutting Agents: What They Are and Their Implications

Cutting agents also referred to as adulterants, diluents, or contaminants, are supplementary elements mixed with illicit substances like cocaine.

Adulterants are pharmacologically active ingredients added to enhance the drug’s effects, while diluents serve to bulk up the product, thereby increasing dealers’ profits. Commonly used substances include Benzocaine, Lidocaine, and Creatine, often concealed in white powder form to mask their presence from consumers.

These cutting agents may also pose health risks, as they can cause adverse reactions or unintended consequences. For instance, the addition of local anaesthetics like Benzocaine and Lidocaine can numb the user’s nasal passages, mimicking cocaine’s effects, while contaminants introduced during production or distribution may lead to unpredictable outcomes.

Our lab also finds that cocaine is often cut with other harmful drugs – such as Ketamine and Amphetamines. This is why we recommend getting clients to take a 9-Panel drug test.

How we test for substances using the 9-panel hair drug test

We are continually updating our 9-panel hair drug test to reflect the trends in drug misuse. This means we are testing for the most commonly used drugs, leaving less room for drugs to go undetected in the Family Courts.

The effects of parents with drug and alcohol problems on children

The 9-Panel Drug Test:

The standard 9 Panel Drug Test was established as the best way to detect the most common drugs:

  1. Cocaine (CLASS A)
  2. Opiates  (CLASS A)
  3. Methadone  (CLASS A)
  4. Amphetamine (CLASS B)
  5. Methamphetamines (CLASS B)
  6. Cannabinoids (CLASS B)
  7. Ketamine  (CLASS B)
  8. Benzodiazepines  (CLASS C)
  9. Tramadol  (CLASS C)
Why the Family Court Should use Segmented Hair Drug Tests
Hair drug test analysis

The 9-panel drug hair test is much more cost-effective than single drug tests, costing a fraction of the price. As poly-substance misuse is a common issue among drug users either intentionally or unintentionally, using a test that screens for the most commonly used drugs will help identify them.

9 Panel Drug Test and Family Court Hair Testing

We urge all Family Judges and Family Law Solicitors to make the 9 Panel Drug Test a mandatory standard. As safeguarding professionals, we commit ourselves to upholding the best interests of the child and deem this test essential to achieve that. It’s the best way to give a full and accurate evidentiary picture.

Additionally, any party should further screen any additional substances declared or suspected of drugs.

The prevalence of adulterated cocaine raises significant concerns in the realm of family court cases and child protection. Given the heightened risks associated with cocaine use, accurate and comprehensive drug testing is imperative in safeguarding the well-being of children and families involved in legal proceedings.

By incorporating hair drug testing, which offers insights into the precise substances consumed, family courts can make informed decisions that prioritize child safety. Atkinson Lewis’ comprehensive testing services provide invaluable evidence, instilling confidence in the accuracy and reliability of drug testing results presented in court. Coupled with our MIFA reports – they help to form the fullest evidential picture.

In conclusion, the evolving landscape of cocaine adulteration underscores the importance of vigilant drug testing in family court cases and child protection matters. By staying abreast of emerging trends and leveraging advanced testing methodologies, we can ensure the safety and welfare of vulnerable individuals, offering them the protection they rightfully deserve.

For more on the 9 Panel test, click here.

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