Nearly a third of all cocaine seized in the United States is laced with a dangerous veterinary medicine â€” a livestock de-worming drug that might enhance cocaine’s effects but has been blamed in at least three deaths and scores of serious illnesses.
Sound familiar? Remember the rash of deaths from fentanyl-tainted heroin? Similar situation (although it doesn’t appear that levamisole is quite as dangerous as fentanyl).
So, what kind of information do we have to help people, when it’s part of a black market item?
“I would think it would be fair to say the vast majority of doctors in the United States have no idea this is going on,” said Eric Lavonas, assistant director of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in Denver, where as much as half of the cocaine is believed to contain levamisole. “You can’t diagnose a disease you’ve never heard of.” […]
“It’s hard to know where this contamination (is), in what part of the country it’s located, because there’s really no systematic testing for it,” said Dr. Joel McCullough, health officer for the Spokane area.
In other words, we got nothing. Unless you want to count DEA spokesman Paul Knierim’s glib and unhelpful remark:
“I think the message is the same: Don’t use cocaine, it’s a dangerous drug,” Knierim said.
Would that be his message if his whisky was adulterated with oil of creosote or industrial plasticizer as it might have been during alcohol prohibition?
Throughout the article, when reading the speculation for why cocaine may be cut with levamisole, you realize that every aspect of it is an indictment of prohibition.
The solution is clear, but always unspoken. Legalize and regulate.
Health officials including Lavonas say the public needs to be warned about the dangers.
“It’s not like you can put it on the bottle,” he said.