Question: I saw a TV report that stated 2 people were hospitalized because of a drug called krokodil and I’m curious as to what this is. Can you tell me what the attraction of this drug is to make people want to take it?
Answer: Originating in Russia, the flesh-eating drug is known as krokodil for the way it changes the skin to a dark green and scaly texture. Krokodil has arrived in the United States, where cases have been reported in Phoenix, Chicago, Ohio and Missouri.
Krokodil is a heroin-alternative made from a cocktail of codeine, gasoline, turpentine and several other chemicals, literally cooked at home, on a stovetop. Understand that roughly 50% of current heroin users originally chose heroin as a cheaper alternative to prescription painkillers (both are opiates). Heroin users are now trying krokodil for the same reason; it’s cheaper than heroin and delivers a similar high. However a krokodil high only lasts about 90 minutes compared to some 12 hours for heroin, keeping the users busy in the kitchen much of the day.
If addiction is not bad enough, this drug literally eats its users from the inside. One 30 year old man treated in the emergency room of a Missouri hospital revealed thighs, where skin was rotting away, creating deep abscesses, exposing the femur bone. He also had a missing finger on one hand stating it just fell off.
Little is known about how to treat an adverse reaction or overdose. Amputation seems like the only recourse where flesh, muscle and tendons have rotted away from limbs. Krokodil users, in Russia, have a life expectancy of 2-3 years and are predicted to be similar here in the USA. It is one of the most crippling and life consuming drugs on the planet.