Tainted Cocaine – Levamisole Enzyme Part 2


In the last part of “Contaminated Cocaine: Part 1″ we discussed the scary symptoms of cocaine contaminated with the anti worming agent Levamisole used as a cutting agent in cocaine that causes necrosis of the flesh.

Read Part 1 of Tainted Cocaine Here

Read Our Initial Coverage of the Tainted Cocaine from November 2009

We previously discussed the scary side effects of the anti worming agent Levamisole used as a cutting agent in cocaine.  This can lead to necrosis of the flesh, or rotting flesh.  The “additive” is considered a drug enhancer . But, as I said before, there’s more…much, much more!

Victims of tainted cocaine developed purple-colored patches of necrotic skin on their ears, nose, cheeks and other parts and suffered permanent scarring after they had used the contaminated cocaine.

Levamisole also effects bone marrow in a very negative way with the potential for a drop in white blood cell count. The US Center for Disease and Control and prevention said that in 2009 many cases emerged where people had problems with white blood cell count which were directly related to their cocaine use. This condition is called agranulocytosis, and happens when bone marrow fails to make enough white blood cells. It is a very serious illness and requires hospitalization for treatment, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Juliet Van Eenwyk, an epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health, who contributed information to the CDC report, said that the increase in confiscated cocaine containing Levamisole has been very rapid. Until a few years ago, she stated, probably less than 10% of cocaine supplies had it and now it is estimated to be up to 80%.

Once cocaine gets into our country through Mexico’s borders, dealers cut it to make a profit. Some substances that are used to “cut” the coke include:

  • baby powder
  • flour
  • vitamin C in crystal form
  • laxatives
  • epsom salts
  • chalk

All of the above are “normal” agents used to “stretch” the cocaine and make more money off it. These agents are also not too dangerous (minus instantaneous diarrhea from the laxative maybe). But, with Levamisole on the rise the prospects for serious danger rise too.

On June 20, 2011 doctors warned once again of  potential health epidemic due to many reports on patients in Los Angeles and New York who developed strong skin reactions after using cocaine. Tests proved for Levamisole. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology said six patients developed purple-colored patches of necrotic skin on their ears, nose, cheeks and other parts and suffered permanent scarring after they had used the contaminated cocaine.

Many more cases have been reported since this report two days ago. One user of cocaine who suffered from the effects of this contaminated cocaine (rather than taking a break from partying) switched dealers and the skin problem cleared up. A few questions keep turning over in my head. The first question is how will this affect meth use? What does this means for the future of cocaine use in the United States of America ?

If you need treatment for cocaine addiction, contact our facility.