Sickening is the word. A drug used to treat sick animals is being used in cocaine and causing necrosis in cocaine users in LA and New York. The drug, called Levamisole, is causing fatalities in about 10% of cases.
Cases of necrosis have been steadily increasing in recent months, and it’s now believed that the drug poses a serious public health risk. (Readers please note the above link includes a pretty gruesome video.)
In what seems to be a slow motion reaction to a known problem, publicity is now hitting the mainstream like a soggy piece of tissue paper. Good Morning America picked up the story recently, and that seems to be where the interest is coming from.
The effect of the drug is described as similar to gangrene or frostbite, but in some cases can affect the immune system like HIV.
Levamisole was discovered in the mid 60s and withdrawn from use in the US and Canada as a medication after the discovery of serious side effects. Obviously, someone still has access to a supply of the veterinary drug, and it has therefore been “donated” to organized crime.
Matters are not improved by the fact that it takes 24 hours to remove 3% of the Levamisole from the body from an oral dose. Chronic coke users would therefore be taking in more than they lose on a daily basis.
It’s rather unlikely that coke dealers will stage a recall of the drugs. About all anyone can really do is warn people to stay clear of this stuff.
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