Flesh-eating Cocaine Epidemic in New York, LA

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

More than 80 percent of the United States’ cocaine supply is cut with the veterinary drug levamisole, which is used to treat farm animals — it can rot the skin off of noses, ears, and cheeks, and is a likely culprit in a flesh-eating disease in New York and Los Angeles.

ABC News reports that a case study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Noah Craft has described six cocaine users recently plagued by the dark purple patches of dying flesh. The sounds surface days after a hit because of an immune reaction that attacks the blood vessels supplying the skin, and without blood, the skin suffocates.

Studies in rats have suggested levamisole acts on the same brain receptors as cocaine, possibly being added as a cheap way to enhance or extend the cocaine’s effects.

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