Some frightening drugs, from illegal marijuana to highly addictive opioids, are currently plaguing the streets of the United States. Now, reports indicate an especially dangerous drug may have been creeping into our cities. Recent reports have revealed that several addicts from Arizona had suffered severe lesions and rotting flesh, side effects that are commonly associated with krokodil, a drug that is part of a growing epidemic in Russia. The idea of this krokodil leaking into US streets terrifies health experts and authorities, who have investigated several cases that may be related to its use. Let’s take a more in-depth look at this dangerous drug and take note of the warning signs of abuse or addiction.
The Beast Krokodil
An appropriately labeled “beast” of illegal drugs, krokodil is a notorious home-cooked drug that can be constructed by mixing codeine pills with deadly chemicals like gasoline, red phosphorous (found on match tips), iodine, and alcohol. The name “krokodil” is the Russian word for “crocodile” and refers to the substance’s nasty ability to cause human skin to rot, creating lesions that resemble reptile skin. Typically, addicts inject the drug to receive a stronger and faster “high,” which can typically take place in 5 to 10 minutes.
Health experts have reported that krokodil instigates an overpowering sense of euphoria and power (similar to heroin). However, unlike other addictive drugs, the “high” from krokodil lasts for approximately 90 minutes in contrast to a couple of hours (like morphine). This, experts argue, is a primary reason why the Russian drug may be so deadly. Drugs that induce a shorter, more powerful “high” can be more addictive than other variants.
However, what makes this drug particularly frightening is its most infamous side effect. Krokodil cuts off normal blood flow to the skin. This lack of oxygen and nutrients ultimately causes human flesh to decompose from the inside out. Long-term users can suffer from horrible injuries including deep sores to decomposing fingers, as well as green-colored, scaly skin. These effects can ultimately produce gangrene and severe infections.
Has Krokodil Entered the United States?
As of now, there is are not definitive studies that have officially proven that krokodil has entered the United States, but health experts have grown concerned over several cases. In 2013, two addicts in Arizona were suffering from the same side effects as krokodil addicts. Similarly, five addicts from Chicago, Illinois were suspected to have been using krokodil.
However, experts argue that heroin is still the preferred alternative over krokodil. While both drugs are cheap, addicts will be warier of the more deadly and detrimental side effects of the Russian variant.
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