The Mystery of the Tainted Cocaine

What's a drug used to deworm livestock—a drug that can obliterate your immune system—doing in your cocaine? Nobody knows.

Comments

105
This article was highly informative and well-researched; it also probably saved my life. So, thank you.

What about test kits for those living in other states?
106
At this point, we're only distributing test kits in Seattle. But anyone with some basic lab know-how can make a kit. The recipe/protocol is here.
107
This article worried me a bit, it's the first time I hear from this (Belgian here, the story wasn't ever in our media as far as I remember). A couple of years ago, around 2009-2010, after a broken relationship and the loss of my job, I fell into a depression and used cocaine every week for about 6 months, sometimes 2-3 times a week. I remember getting a lot of symptoms which are described here for agranulocytosis. I developed a lot of sores on my back, was often feverish, and it took another half a year after quitting for these to disappear. I can't find much detailed information of the recovery of the malady but as it seems the situation was worse than I had anticipated back then.

While reading the comments here I came to think about the idea that only legalisation and controlled delivery by the state can end, well at least nip in the bud this war on drugs that is running more and more rampant each year.

I know that the pharmaceutical industry and the academics are trying to find a good substitution drug for cocaine addicts comparable with methadone or sibutex for opiate addicts, one that doesn't provide euphoria and is a partial agonist at the neurotransmitter receptor site.

Perhaps it would be a better idea, although somewhat unethical, to research compounds that give a similar effect as cocaine (thus including the unethical factor, euphoria) but with the highest possible safety margin and synthesized in an economical fashion by the industry (regulated by the government of course, free market for narcotics would be very unwise needless to say).

In this manner a country can produce its own and take care of its addicts, the emphasis on kicking the habit and the reintroduction into society, and not having to rely the importation of such a dangerous goods ike cocaine. In that way the motherland can take full control over production, distribution and medical care of its troubled citizens.
108
My partner died suddenly and inexplicably while on vacation in 2009. I am only just beginning to accept his death. He had been drug free for a number of years so it never occured to me that he may have had a slip up. A year later, a friend confessed she had given him a chunk of coke two nights before he died. This revelation sent me into a tailspin. I agonized over what caused his death and the icu team were baffled by what was happening to him. It was as if his immune system had simply switched off and a blood infection among other things ravaged his body. A short 12 hours from the time he exhibited symptoms to death. This article is the first time in these following years that gives me some understanding and a step closer to closure.
Its a long shot but I wonder if any blood samples still exist to test?
109
Levamisole here in vancouver canada is mostly used to cut crack , because they doble their money , if a dealer cooks one ounce of coke, he adds another ounce of levamisole to it , becoming all together two ounces , and the users cant tell abd they think its base rock because they see only oil in the pipe and no dust left from the old cut that was baking soda .. Thats the reality of why they add levamisole to cocaine here in vancouver .. They sell the levamisole here for 1000 per kilo ..
110
Good article, but just re the test kits--if levamisole is added before the drug reaches the US, and it's present in 70% or 80% of the product, what good is testing your drugs really going to do? The guy you're buying cocaine from has no control over whether it contains levamisole or not. You could switch dealers but it's still just a crapshoot and the odds aren't good.
111
One theory I've heard that I don't think was mentioned is that the cartels include levamisole so they can spot independent dealers in the states who source their cocaine from someone other than the cartel.

In other words, if the dealer isn't selling cocaine with levamisole, he's getting it from someone else, and should therefore be taken care of.
112
This article is outstanding! It is point for point exactly what needs to be known and understood about this dangerous issue but by and large has not been! There has not been a dependable voice or trustable source by which to hear it from and this journalist as well as Dr. Clark, Dancesafe, and everyone else working harm reduction on the streets have done just that! Thank you so much for your time, research, effort and caring! Addicts are people too. It means a lot to people who need it!
113
I was a daily cocaine user from 2008 to 2010. Definitely had some weird health shit happen, including a shellfish allergy that popped up during that time - instant anaphylactic shock before I could even swallow one bite. It went away completely when I gave up the coke.
114
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115
My best friend just died yesterday from the effects of levamisole....after several surgeries of digging out the dead skin from his body...he lost too much blood. I live in the midwest Spfld, Il....cocaine is bad everywhere.