A flesh-eating narcotic drug from Russia called Krokodil has finally hit the US with two cases reported in Arizona by the Banner Poison Control Center.
Krokodil is a home cooked, desomorphine-based mixture of codeine and other ingredients such as gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, iodine and red phosphorous scraped from the striking pads on matchboxes that is injected directly into the vein. It gets its name from the rough, scaly, alligator-like texture of the user’s skin as the drug almost immediately begins to cause rot from within. Blood vessels burst, the surrounding tissue dies. Gangrene sets in and blackened flesh falls from the bone.
Amputation is the common result, as well as dissipation of porous bone tissue, especially in the jaw.
Another terrifying effect of the drug is swift and severe brain damage, causing addicts to be described as “krokodil zombies.”
Krokodil originated in the former Gulag towns of Siberia in 2002 and quickly spread through the poor population nationwide, where rising heroin prices have made it an affordable alternative. The short-lived high, as well as quick onset of painful withdrawal that can last up to a month, makes the drug extremely addictive.
The life expectancy of a krokodil addict is one to three years.