70% of Cocaine Contaminated With Livestock Deworming Drug

Published: June 28, 2011

A recent report for dermatologists has raised concerns about patients in New York and Los Angeles who developed serious skin reactions after smoking or snorting cocaine believed to be contaminated with a veterinary medication.

As much as 70 percent of the cocaine circulating in this country could be affected, because drug dealers are using levamisole – a drug that’s cheap, widely available, and commonly used for deworming livestock – to dilute or “cut” their product.

At least six patients developed purple-colored patches of necrotic skin on their ears, nose, cheeks, and other parts of their body and, in some instances, suffered permanent scarring after they had used cocaine.

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