Tainted Cocaine – Levamisole

We’ve reported before of contaminated cocaine coming onto the market in the Unites States. Unfortunately, Levamisole has been showing up more often in our backyard of L.A.

In June of 2010 contaminated cocaine came onto the market in the Unites States. In
Peru more than four tons of cocaine tainted with a milk enzyme that causes necrotic tissue damage were seized at the airport in Lima. It is now estimated that almost 80% of the cocaine coming into the USA includes a milk enzyme, “Levamisole,” an anti worming agent used in barnyard animals, that also causes necrosis of the flesh. Alright! Count me in!!!

Cocaine abusers are already at risk for:

  • abnormal heartbeat
  • blood pressure problems
  • convulsions
  • stroke
  • psychological damage

Now cocaine users can add rotting flesh as yet another potential complication to the list of already numerous and fun side effects.

Last evening on NBC news, reports of this similar strain of Levamisole tainted cocaine were reported to have been found all throughout the southl and Los Angeles. News media outlets reported that 70% of cocaine was tainted with for this anti worming enzyme.

Users of cocaine should be advised that cocaine can never be considered safe or clean because the source cannot be accounted for. It passes hands a number of times before it reaches your nose or veins and along the way can have many, many encounters with the shadiest of people. Let’s not even mention muling.

In the Annals of Medicine, doctors form the University of Rochester Medical Center
discussed two cases involving women with a past history of cocaine use who noticed purplish splotches on their cheeks, earlobes and other body parts. They showed positive for testings of Levamisole in their system. Used now as a medication for anti-worming in cattle and pigs, it was once used to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases and kidney problems in humans but was discontinued and is no longer approved for use in the United Sates because of these adverse side effects we have mentioned above.

Symptoms of tainted cocaine are purplish splotches on their cheeks, earlobes and other body parts.

Levamisole is mixed in with cocaine some say because it enhances the effects of the drug,
producing stronger euphoric sensations and surges in energy in the user.  Others say it is used to cut the drug and increase profits. Either way, if you use cocaine, you’re getting Levamisole into your brain. This is a scary thought. Levamisole can also cause the death of the skin’s outer layer causing a skin legion followed by tissue death and rot.

We have discussed the scary side effects of the anti worming agent Levamisole used as a cutting agent in cocaine.  This can lead to necrosis of the flesh, or rotting flesh.  The “additive” is considered a drug enhancer . But, as I said before, there’s more…much, much more!

Victims of tainted cocaine developed purple-colored patches of necrotic skin on their ears, nose, cheeks and other parts and suffered permanent scarring after they had used the contaminated cocaine.

Levamisole also effects bone marrow in a very negative way with the potential for a drop in white blood cell count. The US Center for Disease and Control and prevention said that in 2009 many cases emerged where people had problems with white blood cell count which were directly related to their cocaine use. This condition is called agranulocytosis, and happens when bone marrow fails to make enough white blood cells. It is a very serious illness and requires hospitalization for treatment, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Juliet Van Eenwyk, an epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health, who contributed information to the CDC report, said that the increase in confiscated cocaine containing Levamisole has been very rapid. Until a few years ago, she stated, probably less than 10% of cocaine supplies had it and now it is estimated to be up to 80%.

Once cocaine gets into our country through Mexico’s borders, dealers cut it to make a profit. Some substances that are used to “cut” the coke include:

  • baby powder
  • flour
  • vitamin C in crystal form
  • laxatives
  • epsom salts
  • chalk

All of the above are “normal” agents used to “stretch” the cocaine and make more money off it. These agents are also not too dangerous (minus instantaneous diarrhea from the laxative maybe). But, with Levamisole on the rise the prospects for serious danger rise too.

On June 20, 2011 doctors warned once again of  potential health epidemic due to many reports on patients in Los Angeles and New York who developed strong skin reactions after using cocaine. Tests proved for Levamisole. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology said six patients developed purple-colored patches of necrotic skin on their ears, nose, cheeks and other parts and suffered permanent scarring after they had used the contaminated cocaine.

Many more cases have been reported since this report two days ago. One user of cocaine who suffered from the effects of this contaminated cocaine (rather than taking a break from partying) switched dealers and the skin problem cleared up. A few questions keep turning over in my head. The first question is how will this affect meth use? What does this means for the future of cocaine use in the United States of America?

Click here to read more about cocaine abuse.