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CDC: Two-thirds of cocaine seized on US borders cut with cancer drug

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If you’re doing cocaine, chances are this story will not make you quit. But it may make you think twice about your supplier.

A new report by the Centers for Disease control follows 21 cases of the otherwise rare disorder known as agranulocytosis, which is hallmarked by a severe weakening of immune function.

The condition is brought on by the drug levamisole, which used to be given to colon cancer patients. It is also widely used to deworm cattle.

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Citing the Drug Enforcement Agency, the CDC report claimed that 69 percent of all cocaine seized at US borders contains levamisole. The average concentration was near 10 percent. Tainted cocaine was also seized in New Mexico and Washington.

While only one death is known to have been caused by the substance, the report warned that other cases may have gone unnoticed since the DEA first began tracking the increasing rate of levamisole contamination in 2002. Cocaine users, the CDC said, may be less likely to seek medical treatment; and even if they did, the patient may not disclose cocaine use to their doctor.

As for why the drug taints such a large portion of cocaine in the United States, the CDC does not venture a guess. “The reason why levamisole is added to cocaine remains unclear,” the agency said. It added that levamisol was found in less than three percent of heroin seizures, and it was at much lower concentrations than those typically found in cocaine.

“Some studies suggest it intensifies the high by boosting dopamine levels in the brain,” Bloomberg News noted. “Other reports say it is used to dilute, or cut, the drug.”

The CDC said almost all of those suffering from agranulocytosis experienced “fevers and most also had sore throats,” MedPage added. “Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and mouth sores were common. A few patients reported pain and/or sores elsewhere in the body.

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“CDC has begun national surveillance for agranulocytosis in association with suspected cocaine or heroin use, collecting information via medical abstraction form and patient interview,” the CDC added. “As of December 15, eight states had agreed to participate.”


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Buffalo officers who shoved elderly man to the ground arrested: report

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On Saturday, ABC News reported that the two police officers who pushed an elderly man to the ground have been arrested.

"Two Buffalo, New York, police officers are now facing criminal charges in connection with the graphic caught-on-video shove of a 75-year-old man during a protest, a law enforcement source told ABC News."

"The Thursday protest at Niagara Square had less than 20 demonstrators and several members of Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team, officials said," according to the report. "Both officers were suspended and the Erie County District Attorney John Flynn launched an investigation."

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Buffalo cops dispute mass resignation was in solidarity with suspended officers who shoved elderly man: report

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In an exclusive report with WKBW, two police officers who were part the Buffalo Police Department’s Emergency Response Team disputed reports that all of the officers resigned in support of two of the colleagues who were suspended and may face criminal charges for shoving a peaceful 75-year-old protester to the ground where he was severely injured.

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GOP scrambling to find delegates willing to attend Trump’s convention after he bailed on North Carolina: report

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On Saturday, The New York Times reported that Republicans are struggling to find delegates to attend the GOP convention.

"Adding to the uncertainty surrounding the convention is the trepidation delegates are feeling about attending a crowded gathering," reported Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman. "Already, states like Indiana are having difficulty filling both their delegate and alternate spots. Many convention delegates are over 60 and therefore more vulnerable to the virus."

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