In 2001, in Argentina, an economic crisis began that affected society as a whole . In poorer neighborhoods, a new drug known as PACO has become fashionable among young people. The word PACO is the abbreviation for cocaine paste, also known as base paste.
Its consumption is not limited to Argentina, as this phenomenon also occurs in large Latin American cities (in Peru it is known by the term Basuco, which means cocaine waste).
When prepared at home and without the need for laboratories, cocaine paste becomes a valid alternative for small- scale drug trafficking .
Elaboration, consumption and effects on the body
In laboratories where cocaine is traditionally manufactured, cocaine sulfate is separated into a paste. This substance similar to white powder is considered an unfit for consumption waste. However, there was a change in drug trafficking strategy and so they added ground glass, kerosene, sodium bicarbonate, caffeine and other substances to cocaine sulfate to create an extremely addictive new product, PACO.
Users of this drug usually smoke the paste in an aluminum pipe, in the bottom the tobacco is introduced so that the paste ignites better and maintains the heat. Before long, consumers see their cognitive ability deteriorate and thus start to disconnect from reality like “zombies”.
In most cases, PACO addicts experience brain sequelae , severe respiratory problems and weight loss.
Cocaine paste is very destructive and in a few months it can kill. Its effects on the body are almost immediate and its addictive capacity is very fast. Generates state of euphoria, hallucinations and lack of coordination .
In its origins, cocaine paste began to be consumed among the marginal classes because of its low price and its immediate effects, but in a short time some sectors of the middle class began to become familiar with this drug.
In the city of Buenos Aires
According to several studies, in the capital of Argentina, PACO is the third most consumed drug, behind alcohol and psychotropic drugs and ahead of marijuana and cocaine.
In some neighborhoods in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, there are young people involved in the small-scale trafficking of cocaine paste. They start the addiction as a child and consequently drop out of schools prematurely and start with crimes.