Shocking images have emerged showing how regular cocaine use can rot the skin and genitals.

Sales of the Class A drug are expected to soar as lockdown restrictions are lifted and pubs re-open - but those who give in to temptation may want to think again.

Around two thirds of the 'party drug' coming into the UK is laced with chemical levamisole, used to treat parasitic worm infections in cows and horses.

Until 2000, levamisole was used to treat arthritis and bowel cancer before human consumption was banned due to severe side effects, including skin rotting.

The medication is cheap in South America, with drug gangs increasingly using it to cut the product before shipment, when years ago it was sent in purer form.

And because it acts as a stimulant, it's difficult for the average user to detect.

Colombian doctors published details in BMJ Case Reports of 11 patients in their 30s who had taken the Class A drug mixed with levamisole, causing body parts to rot, as well as joint and lung problems.

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A man in Colombia whose ear had turned black and started to die after his blood was poisoned by the chemical laced drug
A man whose ear turned black and started to die

Three of them found the skin on their genitals had turned black due to lack of blood supply.

Other cases include a woman in the Netherlands, aged 42, who had ulcerating sores on her legs and face after taking cut cocaine.

While another user, a woman, 68, from Texas, USA, saw a blood-filled blister appear on her nose, while her arms and face became covered in fleshy sores before being diagnosed with inflammatory disease vasculitis.

She had these huge blisters all over her forearm which were dark and painful
Huge blisters on a woman's forearm

Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of Patient Access, told The Sun : "Unscrupulous drug dealers often ‘cut’ their drug with other, cheaper products to increase their profits even further. And they don’t care how dangerous those other products are.

"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."

A 68-year-old woman from Texas, USA, went to doctors with a red blood blister on the end of her nose having taken cocaine that had been cut with the veterinary medicine
A red blood blister on the end of a cocaine user's nose
One man's penis was left rotting and had turned black after he took drugs laced with the chemical
One man's penis was left rotting and had turned black

It comes following reports drug dealers are urging people to book time slots as they take advantage of the surge in demand after months of isolating.

Some even claim they won't bother entertaining orders of lower than two grams - or around £80-worth, reports the Metro.

A dealer told the news outlet that sales had not completely fallen off during the pandemic but many were now looking to "get on it" with Boris Johnson's road map to recovery taking a major step on Monday.

Cocaine is the most commonly used illicit stimulant drug in the EU, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

While statistics in recent months also suggest that Londoners take more coke than people in the likes of Barcelona and Amsterdam.