Drug dealers are cutting cocaine with a substance which can cause skin to erupt into large sores, a medical journal has claimed.
The British Medical Journal reported that some batches of the class A drug in the UK include a substance called Levamisole, which has been banned for human consumption. Levamisole is used to de-worm horses and cows and when consumed by people it can cause their blood vessels to become inflamed and rupture.
The report said that one 42-year-old woman had to be admitted to hospital after taking cocaine which had been cut with the substance. The woman was suffering from severe pain in her joints, muscles and stomach and she had sores and lesions on her skin.
Drug testing was carried out on a sample of the woman’s hair which discovered evidence of both cocaine and Levamisole close to the root of the hair strand, indicating the drug had been taken recently.
Government-ordered tests were carried out on shipments of cocaine which were seized during an attempt to smuggle them into the UK. These revealed the veterinary drug was present in 80% of all batches of the class-A drug being brought into the country.
Batches are being contaminated at source
This means there is a high chance that someone who takes cocaine will also be consuming Levamisole. In the past, drug dealers often cut cocaine themselves with baking soda but now the livestock de-wormer is being added by cocaine producers in South America meaning it is already contaminated before it arrives in the UK.
Even without the presence of drugs intended for animals, cocaine is a dangerous substance. If someone takes too much, it can cause a cardiac arrest as it stimulates both the heart and the nervous system.
Long term use can also lead to depression and if cocaine is snorted regularly, it can damage the cartilage in your nose and affect your sense of smell.
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