Cocaine Will Eat the Flesh Off Your Face

That cocaine you're planning to enjoy this weekend -- because really, how else can you appreciate those amazing beats blasting on Lincoln Road -- might contain more than coca. Actually, a new study says if you're snorting it in Miami, it's probably chock full of a compound that will eat the skin right off your face and make your immune system attack your bone marrow.

So when you're trembling in a Jackson Memorial bed with a black rash destroying your face, remember to thank the South American drug lords who've been stretching profits by adding a veterinary chemical with those truly unfortunate side effects.


The new findings in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology show that an amazing three-quarters of all cocaine bricks seized in the U.S. now contain a drug called levamisole.

Levamisole is actually a deworming medication meant for livestock, but it's cheaper than real cocaine and can cause similarly "improved mood" and "hyperalertness," reports Scientific American.

So South American drug gangs have begun using it en masse to get more bang from every batch of coke.

There's just one problem. It often causes "pupura" -- a severe rash fueled by internal bleeding in the skin. Two different medical papers have documented a spike in cocaine users stumbling into ERs with black, dying skin on their faces and extremities.

"It's become almost routine," Noah Craft, a California doctor who authored one such study, tells Scientific American.

If that's not gross enough, levamisole can also trigger human immune systems to attack bone marrow, potentially leading to fatally low counts of white blood cells.

Geez! It's like drug gangs don't even care about our health anymore.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >