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Horrific photos show how cocaine can rot your skin and genitals as experts say large quantities of the drug smuggled into the UK is cut with toxic horse dewormer.
It comes after police blasted "people speaking about drug-taking in such a casual way" after dealers openly bragged about record sales when punters returned to pubs this week.
A woman who had been taking the Class A drug cut with the dewormer levamisole noticed the skin on her face was starting to rot, the Sun reports.
Her horrific symptoms were shown in a photo published by the British Medical Journal Case Reports.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of Patient Access, says people need to know about the risks they are taking when using the drug.
She told the Sun: "Unscrupulous drug dealers often ‘cut’ their drug with other, cheaper products to increase their profits even further.
"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.
"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.”
Pictures in another case study showed a 56-year-old cocaine user with rotting dark purple rashes all over his body.
He was diagnosed with levamisole-induced vasculitis after the dewormer being banned in the US due to its toxicity in 1999.
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Researchers warned: "Levamisole-induced vasculitis classically manifests as painful purpura (blood spots) with a predilection for the ears, cheeks, trunk and extremities."
A separate 2015 case report said: "We present the case of a 42-year-old woman suffering from vasculitis due to levamisole-contaminated cocaine, who persistently denied substance abuse.
"Symptoms included ulcerating skin lesions, arthralgia (joint pain) and myalgia (muscle pain), and the occurrence of an ileal intussusception."
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The last condition is a serious illness where the intestine slides into an adjacent part of the intestine, according to www.mayoclinic.org.
Earlier this week drug users told the Metro that cocaine sales are to hit record levels this week as punters return to pubs.
Dealers in Birmingham had been asking customers to book in advance and refusing to make small delivery orders.
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West Midlands Superintendent Sally Simpson from Birmingham West told the Daily Star: “It is shocking to see people speaking about drug taking in such a casual way.
"Possession and supply of drugs is a criminal offence, and we want people to understand the wider implications of each and every drug purchase.
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“Activity surrounding drug dealing is often the cause of violence experienced in our communities, including knife crime and car theft.
"Children as young as 13 are being exploited and groomed into drug gangs and subjected to violence, fear and intimidation."
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