Cocaine on the streets now in New York and Los Angeles is cut with a drug that’s causing users skin to rot off, doctors say.According to KTLA, physicians at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute say drug dealers are cutting cocaine with levamisole, a chemical used by veterinarians for deworming livestock.
Levamisole damages blood vessels under the skin, causing the rotting.
A study by the Journal of the American Academy of
Dermatology looked at six cocaine users who ingested the drug. On each, skin from their face, ears, nose and torso was rotting.Several more cases have been reported since the paper was written.
The Department of Justice says up to 70 per cent of cocaine in the U.S. is tainted with levamisole. The dewormer is cheap, easily available, and gives a small additional high to the cocaine.
“We believe these cases of skin reactions and illnesses
linked to contaminated cocaine are just the tip of the iceberg in a looming public health problem posed by levamisole,” said study author Noah Craft, MD, PhD, Los Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical centre.Health warnings have also been issued in Delaware, Washington, New Mexico, and Canada.
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