Krokodil Comes to America

The pictures tell a gruesome tale: Gangrenous limbs, scaly skin, abscesses and painful lesions. It’s the work of a dangerous new drug called krokodil. It’s pronounced just like the green swamp dwellers found in Florida, but its bite can be even more deadly. Also known as “the flesh-eating drug,” it’s arrived on our shores from Russia and Eastern Europe, where it grew in popularity for providing the high of heroin at 10 percent of the price.

So far, the drug has surfaced in Arizona and a Chicago suburb, where patients have shown symptoms consistent with krokodil abuse, according to local hospitals. Not that the cases are officially confirmed, though. For that to happen, the DEA is requesting the original substance. Since most drug users don’t keep extra stock on hand, though, that’s proving difficult. Still, medical professional and drug treatment experts believe the cases they’ve seen are definitely the work of the deadly drug.

Just what are we dealing with here?

actually a drug called desomorphine. It is derived from codeine processed with ordinary ingredients including paint thinner, iodine, hydrochloric acid, red phosphorus, gasoline and lighter fluid. Due to those dangerous ingredients, krokodil has the power to ravage the flesh, often leading to amputation.

Because of its extreme nature, krokodil is hardly a recreational drug. Instead, it’s a last resort. Serious addicts turn to krokodil for its powerful high at a budget price. By the time they begin to experience ill effects, it’s already too late.

If you or someone you love needs treatment for an addiction and co-occurring disorder, call The Oaks at La Paloma at the toll-free helpline on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.

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