Is the Oxidado Epidemic in Brazil Worse than Crack?

Use of Oxidado, a cheap new drug made from cocaine paste, is growing rapidly in Brazil. Cheaper and more deadly than crack, the drug is transforming from one used primarily by lower classes to increasingly being used by more affluent drug users.


Oxidado is known as ‘the drug of death’ because it’s extremely harmful to the body and addictive right after the first try. “You use oxi once, and you want to use it two, five, ten, twenty times,” a 25-year-old oxi-addict told Brazilian TV.

Users take on a yellowish skin color, lose weight very quickly and develop liver problems. They start to look like emaciated living corpses in just a few weeks time. The drug causes stomach aches, vomiting and constant diarrhea, but perhaps the most alarming fact is that most users die within a year. In Sao Paulo, where the number of crack addicts grows at alarming levels, police found 5,000 oxidado rocks in the Heliopolis slum, the largest amount of the drug ever seized in the country.

“While crack needs a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and others, and still needs a little know-how to be done, oxi can be handmade, can be made by anyone,” she said.

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