BARRIO – A bright pink drug from Colombia is gaining traction among drug users in Europe.
Known to buyers as “tusi”, and by the media and police as “pink cocaine”, even though it contains no cocaine, the concoction is increasingly being taken by drug users and seized by police in Spain, and is surfacing elsewhere in Europe.
In Colombia’s major cities, the drug has become synonymous with a new generation of young narcos who are making and selling the drug for use in the country’s late-night club scenes.
Marketed by dealers on the back of its colour as a high more exclusive than cocaine, tusi is more of a brand than a specific substance.
The drug first appeared on Colombia’s streets in around 2010. The pink powder, dyed with food colouring to make it stand out from other powders and usually smelling of strawberry, was called “tusi” because it contained the psychedelic drug 2CB.
Now tusi is the fifth most popular drug in Colombia and is a regular on the narcotic menu in countries such as Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay, Chile and Panama.
“Contrary to the belief that “pink cocaine” is a drug of the elites, used by models and rich people, this product is being used by people from every level,” said Claudio Vidal, a director at Energy Control. “Although at the beginning it was found mainly in big cities like Madrid or Barcelona, or touristic locations like Ibiza, Costa del Sol, today it has spread to other cities.”
It should be known that tusi, like fentanyl, can be more unpredictable and deadly.