Levamisole: 'Flesh-Eating Cocaine' (Krokodil is Worse)
'Flesh-Eating Cocaine' Laced with Levamisole
If you needed another reason to give up cocaine, here you go: your next line could be laced with Levamisole. According to an article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Levamisole-laced cocaine has been linked to several outbreaks of flesh-eating disease in Los Angeles and New York.
Levamisole is a deworming agent used in cattle, and it can cause soft tissue in humans to rot due to a triggered immune response. Levamisole is widely used as a cutting agent in cocaine, and thus "flesh-eating cocaine" was born. The DEA reports that up to 70% of cocaine found on American streets in 2010 contained at least traces of Levamisole.
Levamisole-Laced Cocaine 'Like HIV'
Aside from causing the body to attack blood vessels in soft tissue, Levamisole also prevents the formation of new white blood cells, making it comparable to having HIV.
The flesh-eating effect of the cocaine will end once the user stops using, and the drug is flushed from the system, but the damage done is permanent. It's a fairly difficult causal relationship to conclusively prove, though, since most patients would not tell their dermatologist if they are using cocaine.
... But Krokodil is Worse
If you thought flesh-eating cocaine was bad, you don't want to click on the link to a story about krokodil, a designer drug that's big in Russia. It has ingredients such as gasoline and hydrochloric acid, and has even more gruesome flesh-eating effects than Levamisole. Krokodil got its name from the green, scaly gangrene it causes among its users. (NSFW: krokodil effects)
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Los Angeles City, United States