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Graphic Images Show How Cocaine Laced With Chemicals Can Rot Skin And Genitals

Graphic Images Show How Cocaine Laced With Chemicals Can Rot Skin And Genitals

Photos published by the British Medical Journal show how damaging cocaine cut with levasimole can be

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman


Graphic photos show the damage cocaine can have on the body, as ingredients the drug is sometimes laced with have been found to rot the skin and genital area.

According to a new report from The Sun, around two thirds of the cocaine smuggled into Britain is cut with levamisole, which is fed to cows and horses.

Photos published by the British Medical Journal show its impact on the body, with one image showing a woman whose face had begun to rot after she took cocaine cut with the dewormer levamisole.

Another shows the ear of a man in Colombia, which had turned black and began to die after his blood was poisoned by the chemicals the drug had been laced with - while in another Colombian case, the subject's stomach had turned black and was rotting away.

BMJ Case Reports

In Texas, United States, a 68-year-old woman went to the doctors after developing a red blood blister on the end of her nose, having taken cocaine cut with levamisole.

Her forearms and face were also covered in dark and painful fleshy sores, with doctors diagnosing her with vasculitis - an inflammation of the blood vessels.

After she was told to stop using the drugs, her condition cleared up in six months.

BMJ Case Reports

Case studies show that genital areas can be affected as well, with one man's penis turning black and rotting after he took cocaine with the veterinary chemical.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of Patient Access, says people need to know about the risks of taking the Class A drug.

Speaking to The Sun, she said: "When you buy recreational drugs, you're not just putting yourself at risk from the drug itself.

"Unscrupulous drug dealers often 'cut' their drug with other, cheaper products to increase their profits even further. And they don't care how dangerous those other products are.

"Levamisole is one such product - it's used to deworm cattle but used to be used to treat cancer in humans before it was taken off the market because of safety concerns.

BMJ Case Reports

"It can cause complete collapse of your immune system and even cause your skin to rot.

"There is no cure for either of these side effects - people just have to be admitted to hospital and given therapy to try and prevent life-threatening complications."

The Sun reports that while cocaine used to arrive in the UK from South America in pure form, these days gangs cut the product before it is shipped.

As levasimole is cheap in countries including Colombia and Venezuela, and acts as a stimuland, it's easy to disguise.

Jarvis added: "It can cause heart attacks even in young, otherwise healthy people; seizures and brain damage; and severe mental health problems, including paranoid ideas."

Featured Image Credit: BMJ Case Reports

Topics: World News, News, Cocaine, Drugs