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Fears have been sparked by a report suggesting huge amounts of the A-class drug cocaine has been laced with de-worming chemicals which could rot users faces away. The drug which is commonly snorted through the nose is being cut with a chemical called levamisole by international gangs.

The de-worming chemical is intended for farm animals and could have devastating health risks. The poisoning can cause skin lesions and discoloration and rotting of the skin when blood cells rupture, particularly in the ears, nose, and fingers. Doctors claim the drug, used on pigs, cows, and horses leave people “feeling they have HIV”.

Drug deaths hit record levels as the purity of heroin and cocaine increased, according to figures released last year. But the risk to users is now even higher because of the powerful de-worming agent used to ‘bulk up’ the class A drug.

A study in the British Medical Journal said doctors were trying to treat a woman with mysterious open skin lesions and severe abdominal and joint pain but were stumped as to the cause of her symptoms.

The Mirror online reports that after running chemical tests on her hair, the team realized that the condition was caused by levamisole-tainted cocaine she’d taken.

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