Articles, Blog

Can Cocaine Make Your Ears Rot?

August 17, 2019

Just in case you needed another reason not
to do drugs, cocaine is now being mixed with something that can make your skin rot (especially
your ear lobes.) I’m Anna Rothschild and this is Gross Science. Illegal drugs are often cut, or mixed, with
other substances. This is usually done to increase profits for the traffickers—allowing
them to make the same amount of money while giving away less of the pure product. Cocaine
has been mixed with lots of different things. Everything from powdered caffeine to white
flour. But today, it’s being cut with something totally disgusting: a deworming drug, called
levamisole. Levamisole was first developed as a prescription
drug in the 1960’s, and was used to treat different types of worm infections in both
humans and livestock. And it worked really well. In the 70s doctors actually started
using it to treat inflammatory diseases and certain types of cancer, too. And that’s
when they discovered that some patients treated with levamisole had pretty serious side effects. The drug destroyed the patients’ white blood
cells, making them susceptible to dangerous bacterial infections. But that’s not all.
Some patients’ skin started dying. When tissue or organs start dying it’s called
“necrosis,” and it especially affected the ears of people on levamisole. The drug has since been banned from use in
humans (but not in livestock) in the US and Canada. But recently it’s started making
a resurgence…in cocaine. In 2009, authorities estimated that it was in about 69% of the
cocaine seized in the US. And people who’ve done cocaine are coming into emergency rooms
showing levamisole’s side effects. Now, no one is quite sure why producers are
adding levamisole to cocaine. It’s actually way more expensive than most of the stuff
people usually mix with it. One idea is that it looks like cocaine, and acts a bit like
a stimulant, so it’s easy to fool buyers into thinking they’ve gotten a pure product.
Also, there’s some research indicating that it might increase the addictiveness of cocaine—though
that was just one study, and it wasn’t done in humans. Honestly, levamisole is not the only reason
to stay away from coke. Cocaine is one of the most common causes of heart attacks in
young people, and it can happen to first time users. But if that’s not enough to make
you think twice, maybe the thought of rotting earlobes will. Ew.


  • Reply zidus67 May 13, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    But if we don't mix cocaine with anything it's still a harmless drug.

  • Reply Neo Phoenix May 13, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Gross lol

  • Reply Biochem Guy May 13, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Cocaine causes heart attacks in young people on the first try in a small number of cases?  Are we sure those cases didn't involve young people with underlying medical conditions that made them more susceptible to that?  If so then it's not fair to say cocaine caused it so much as exacerbated an underlying condition.  This is what a lot of the scare tactics of drug programs use to keep people from trying drugs, and while for a good cause its the wrong way to go about it.

  • Reply BobbyBaboon May 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Drugs' illegality is primarily what makes them dangerous. If cocaine was legal, people could purchase a regulated product and people would not die from ingesting "cutting" agents. That being said, I'd still stay away from the stuff, but that's just me.

  • Reply I'm Jaime Rivera May 14, 2015 at 8:07 am

    The science of why we cringe looking at our old selves? If there is such a study.

  • Reply Jeff Freeman May 14, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Interesting that food companies do the same thing with their products for the same reasons. Consider fruit juice "cocktails," which have very little juice, and other, cheaper ingredients (high fructose corn syrup, among others) that allow them to, as you said, "make the same amount of money, while giving away less of the pure product." Just noting…
    Anyway, I'm going to disagree with your statement that cocaine is the leading cause of heart attack in young people. The Mayo Clinic says that two-thirds of the time, it is due to a heart abnormality. I agree that cocaine is dangerous, and that it must be used with great care, but I also believe that we should be completely truthful when talking about it.
    Finally, I think this "Gross Science" (excellent episode, by the way) is the fault of the government. If cocaine were legal and regulated (as it is on a medical level), it would be much safer, and would cost you your ears!

  • Reply Corner Universe May 15, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Why are women typically more easily grossed out then men?

  • Reply 7curucusis May 15, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Very interesting, but can someone please explain to me why in the world is the reporter smiling as she talks about a horrible drug that ruins your life, stop the smirk, IT"S NOT FUNNY

  • Reply Brandon Lester May 17, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Ive heard about this for a while now.

    Yet another consequence from the already failed tactic of prohibition.

    Unfortunately, a large portion of the population don't consider addicts as people worthy of caring about.

    Anyways, keep up with the gross science!!! Im Enjoying your videos a lot!

  • Reply Rocket Man May 20, 2015 at 2:49 am

    Anna is pretty!

  • Reply Speed Demo May 21, 2015 at 6:10 pm


  • Reply Litch May 27, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Make a video about the dangerous effects of injecting marijuana. Seriously, don't do it kids, it might relieve you of your ego and expand your consciousness. We do not want that to happen !

  • Reply Lucas Silva May 27, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    I hope the channel gross …. oops… GROWS 😀 HAHAHAHAHA

  • Reply Marie June 9, 2015 at 10:07 am

    will now i no what to not have

  • Reply Macaco Macacão June 20, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    great do it please like meth…after one year of use…….lol :), its better to kill all adicts and new ones can see who bad they are

  • Reply Mathieu Leader July 4, 2015 at 5:21 pm


  • Reply fuliajulia July 5, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Why, humanity, why?!?!

  • Reply Andeyh 762 July 6, 2015 at 1:53 am

    I can't be the only one that reacted on 69% at 1:40 ?

  • Reply Dot McDotterson July 7, 2015 at 4:43 am

    You could not have found a better person to do these. She's fun to watch.

  • Reply The Goodly Dragon July 22, 2015 at 4:39 am

    Yikes. I got a friend who does cocaine. I should warn her.

  • Reply Chris Medina July 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Cocaine is one helluva drug.

  • Reply Scott Bayley July 29, 2015 at 3:10 am

    Anna Rothschild is the most charismatic figure on YouTube I have encountered in months.

  • Reply Sicko Sama August 11, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    durgz r dum

  • Reply Jay Panchal September 3, 2015 at 3:40 am

    that the cute voice on almost every video….

  • Reply Stephanie Hamilton September 9, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    It's also been cut with powdered baby milk haha

  • Reply xpez January 18, 2016 at 4:20 am

    ONly buy coke from a reputable source like a congressman or cop and just try a little at a time to gauge its effectiveness before you start sticking your nose in the pile like Tony Montana…

  • Reply CleverbeJeff //be Clever to do Fun Things February 7, 2016 at 9:11 am

    [69]% of seized Cocaine

  • Reply derek gulbranson February 11, 2016 at 5:00 am

    A great reason to make cocaine legal.

    During alcohol prohibition in the US, the US government required that poison be added to industrial alcohol so that people wouldn't drink it. It didn't work, they drank it anyway.

  • Reply Jalynn Bowman February 23, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Oh oook🤔🤔

  • Reply TheRolemodel1337 March 27, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    looks rather blau to me

  • Reply Srijan Bharati March 28, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I make my own Cocaine.

  • Reply 1Rekuiem March 31, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Ha I actually knew all this already, too bad it came after my left ear fell off!

  • Reply kala captain September 1, 2016 at 7:10 am


  • Reply Diako Unknown 12 November 18, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    more like Anna Rotchild

  • Reply StraightOuttaJarhois November 19, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Eh, still worth it.

  • Reply Soron Quenta December 14, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    …that is gross. 😨😖

  • Reply brian wilson December 17, 2016 at 4:00 am

    Why would you cut with that

  • Reply Tomb Vlogs January 13, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Is drinking too much water can kill you ?

  • Reply Union of Earth Soviet Socialist Republics January 26, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Sounds like something the CIA would do, put something more expensive in the drug than the cocaine itself.

  • Reply Obe4ken March 4, 2017 at 5:49 am

    I love Gross Science, but I have to watch it with my eyes mostly shut.

  • Reply yellowwoodstraveler March 13, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Actually, it is banned in Canada, even for use in livestock. It's one of the only things that works against Camallanus worm infestations in fish though so I'm going to have to order some from the US to treat my tank! Very informative video. Thanks!

  • Reply John Falconetti March 23, 2017 at 5:42 am

    damn. guess I can't buy coke from restaurants now

  • Reply Lari Vasquez April 1, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Pray for me I have food poisoning. 🤢 🤧

  • Reply Souad Tato April 2, 2017 at 5:14 am

    are you a rochchild familie?

  • Reply Hope Reyes April 4, 2017 at 5:22 am

    Well then don't freaking snort cocaine. Problem solved

  • Reply Literally the Minecraft Dirt block April 6, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Whatever. I'll smoke my weed everyday.

  • Reply Jehoven Dumapit April 8, 2017 at 1:54 am

    i choose memes over drugs Kappa

  • Reply Isabela April 8, 2017 at 2:29 am

    Maybe they mixed it with the cocaine so that people would stop buying…? I don't know if it makes sense. I imagine like an undercover cop selling this to kids and when they were in the hospital he would say "I told you not to do drugs". I REALLY DON'T KNOW IF THIS MAKES SENSE I'M SO CHILDISH FHUEWAIJFEW sorry k bye

  • Reply TOM Vlogs April 9, 2017 at 6:57 am

    krocodil is being added to cocaine as well on the east coast

  • Reply niteshade music April 10, 2017 at 10:14 am

    so the cokes kills your amune system n then this de-wormer kills it even more. then u get sinus infection….n then your ears rot off!

  • Reply gusy629 April 14, 2017 at 1:26 am

    Euuuu. Let's all drugs legal then.

  • Reply Caris Jordana April 15, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Cocaine is a waste of money.

  • Reply Taylor Janoski April 24, 2017 at 3:24 am

    #1 Drug

  • Reply Kat P April 24, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    [email protected]consizzeling&thereforyougetlongerlungcapcityfortherealshit

  • Reply uckBay Nguyen April 29, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    finally, I don't feel condescending warning people the dangers of cocaine. I can properly introduce this video instead. Thanks

  • Reply SoupErman Soup May 20, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    just DON'T DO DRUGS.
    Thanks Gross Sience

  • Reply Diego Cepeda May 24, 2017 at 5:06 am

    WTF! Wow I didn't knew that.

  • Reply Kasey's Works May 30, 2017 at 10:26 am

    I call this safe science

  • Reply mahnoor ahsan July 1, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    when I was small there was a girl in the grade above me and her ear was black like it was rotting I didn't know why

    now I do.

  • Reply Alexandria School of Science July 6, 2017 at 4:57 am

    So it has nothing to do with cocaine. The answer is No.

  • Reply Kaitlin Henry July 10, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Heheheheheh….. 69%
    I'm a five year old child

  • Reply Pam Dannels July 20, 2017 at 11:06 am


  • Reply Drachenfrau July 31, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Do a video on Krokodil? That nastiness has been the rage in Eastern Europe for several years and it REALLY destroys your body. Think meth… on crack… on PCP. That shite is EVIL.

  • Reply John: 1515 August 2, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    How are they getting it?

  • Reply Alex Darum August 14, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    well i guess this might help lessen drug trafficking

  • Reply Chihiro Kikuchi September 3, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    snooort what was that?

  • Reply Madokies September 6, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Looks like the results of Krokodil, its a russian cheap substitute to heroin.

  • Reply DarkDragon Animation September 13, 2017 at 6:29 am

    basicly.. dont be illegal

  • Reply commerceserver September 15, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    i thought it said "can cocaine make your ears riot?"

  • Reply Shejustdidnotsaythatshit Gorlplease September 24, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Drugs are a hell of cocaine.

  • Reply Tutor online September 28, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I choose tf2 scout x sniper over drugs!☺
    I love your channel!😄🐜🐛🐌

  • Reply snake698 September 28, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Cocaine is one of the few drugs I will never recommend to try even once. I'm ok with new experiences, but both it's toxicity and adictiveness are stupidly high. And that's not the only reason, I've been told that its effects last very little time, so you might run out of fuel 20 minutes after taking it… what are you going to do now to keep up the party? more cocaine?
    And I personally am umcomfortable with things inside noses and needles/things directly in bloodstream

  • Reply SuryaDas October 1, 2017 at 6:50 am

    What did she say?!? I couldn't hear her, I've got this problem with my ears…. 😱

  • Reply SIMBA Dabs October 1, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Cocaine is a hell'va drug

  • Reply SIMBA Dabs October 1, 2017 at 3:58 pm


  • Reply Oscar Montes October 6, 2017 at 4:57 am

    This is why I stick to Crystal Meth 😎

  • Reply Jose Ortiz October 20, 2017 at 12:39 am

    We only no that the original coke had the drug and today coke maybe doesn't contain it

  • Reply A. J.M. Keeney November 1, 2017 at 1:15 am

    Nevie asks: does our butt detect the toilet so we can go to the bathroom?

  • Reply ginger cox November 15, 2017 at 1:05 am

    It looks like the plague

  • Reply Cora Tolsma November 28, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Why is it still okay to use it for animals? Do they not suffer any side effects? Even if they dont if these animals are used for production ( like meat and milk etc ) arent humans still at risk of contracting it?

  • Reply Jason Reynolds April 22, 2018 at 6:00 am

    My question is WHY is this nasty levamisole stuff used as cutting agents? The only reason I can fathom for drug dealers to use one cutting agent over another would be cost. However, wouldn't lactose or even the flour mentioned in this video be less costly than a cattle deworming agent?

  • Reply Ender-chan Screams and Animates May 7, 2018 at 1:21 am

    *Barfs at the sight of the ear*

  • Reply POTATO MAN June 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Moral of the story: Don't do drugs kids!

  • Reply MUDDU KRISHNA MOOD August 5, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Ur hosting is sooo nice that i can't even resist to subscribe

  • Reply magic maniac January 7, 2019 at 6:43 am


  • Reply Victor Andrei Amante January 26, 2019 at 6:32 am

    When i was grade one my teachers gave all of my classmates 1 of medicine that kills worm and u poop it out.

  • Reply Joel Smith March 16, 2019 at 10:01 am

    People who take drugs are zombies has a new meaning now 😂😂😂

  • Reply William Lillevik April 7, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Worth it!

  • Reply Michael Rauch April 16, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Their own fault, suck up the side effects.

  • Reply Dominique Starbuck June 14, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Hi, I work for the Daily Star, please may we use your video on our site with a credit to your channel? Thanks, Dominique

  • Reply ruby’s cat August 5, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    1:38 Nice

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