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Flesh Eating Krokodil Drug Resurfaces on American East Coast

Flesh Eating Krokodil Drug Resurfaces on American East Coast

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

Back in September of 2013 doctors in Arizona were understandably alarmed after two potentially related cases of a now infamous flesh eating Krokodil drug appeared in the state, one of the first ever reports of the drug in America. That year doctors in Illinois also reported treating individuals suffering serious damage due to use of the corrosive recreational narcotic. Since then the drug has seemingly been absent from the front lines of the opioid epidemic in America. However, after a few recent reports, some are worried it might make a surprising comeback. This time, it appears Krokodil has resurfaced on the East Coast.

What is Krokodil?

The main ingredient in Krokodil is the drug desomorphine. It is a derivative of morphine that is 8 to 10 times more potent. Desomorphine was first patented in the United States in 1932.

The drug got its now notorious nickname from the Russian word for crocodile; due to the fact users often develop scale-like, green skin. Other permanent effects of the drug include:

  • Speech impediments
  • Erratic movement

Krokodil can be manufactured illicitly from products such as:

  • Codeine
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Turpentine
  • Red phosphorus
  • Gasoline

However, artificially producing desomorphine like this causes the drug to be dangerously impure. It contains toxic and corrosive byproducts from the home-made chemical combination. The rotting effect these chemicals have on the flesh is why many people call it the ‘zombie drug’.

Krokodil in Europe

As a recreational and injectable drug, ill-reputed and home-made Krokodil was first reported in the middle and eastern areas of Siberia way back in 2002. According to medical reports, it then quickly spread across Russia and other Soviet republics with a distressing impact on those it came into contact with. The drug became so popular because compared to the more mainstream opioids like heroin the high is much stronger and it was extremely cheap to produce. The drug is also highly addictive.

This drug has devastating effects on its users, who have an average life span of only 2 to 3 years after they start using. The chemicals within Krokodil literally rot and eat people away from the inside.

Krokodil Coming to America

In 2013 the leg of a young woman in Lockport Illinois named Amber Neitzel, 26 at the time, was photographed because of the intense damage Krokodil had done to her tissue. Most of the previous reports of Krokodil in the U.S. appeared mostly in the Southwest. Now one story has some worried it’s back and getting around.

An overdose patient found all but rotting alive in Manchester, New Hampshire last week told responders he believed he’d been injecting the drug Krokodil. In relation to the story, reporters spoke with Chris Hickey with American Medical Response, who said,

“It’s pretty much the dirty sister of morphine and heroin,’ Hickey said. ‘A lot of times, it’s cut with something like gasoline or the ground-up red phosphorus from the tips of matches or drain cleaner.”

With someone who is literally rotting away in front of you it turns the stomach of even the most seasoned provider.”

The opioid epidemic is already affecting the vast majority of Americans in one way or another, whether they are struggling or someone they know, and most experts predict we still haven’t reached the pinnacle of the problem.

Already there are awfully hazardous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil being slipped into the illegal drug trade through heroin and home-pressed prescription pill form. These two substances alone have supplied most states with a surge of opioid overdoses and deaths.

If Krokodil is really making a comeback, how much worse could the opioid epidemic get and how quickly will law enforcement, public health officials and communities be ready to respond? Will this be the deciding factor in pushing the overdose death rates to new and demoralizing peaks?

Drugs like these are far too real and costing far too many people their lives. There is another way, but it begins with taking action. Seeking safe and effective treatment can be a crucial step to changing your life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Fentanyl Maker Donates $500,000 to Anti-Pot Legalization Campaign

Fentanyl Maker Donates $500,000 to Anti-Pot Legalization Campaign Author: Shernide Delva

A pharmaceutical company that manufactures a form of the painkiller fentanyl made a $500,000 contribution towards an anti-pot legalization campaign. Pro-marijuana reform advocates believe the company may be trying to “kill a non-pharmaceutical market for marijuana in order to line their own pockets.”

It would be hard to imagine a more controversial donor than Insys Therapeutics Inc. The company, based in Chandler, Arizona, makes a fentanyl sublingual spray called Subsys. Many argue that drug companies like Insys Therapeutics Inc., are eager to keep cannabis illegal to dominate the market with their often dangerous and addictive drugs. The donation from Insys Therapeutics Inc. makes up more than a third of all the funds raised by the group. Advocates for marijuana legalization criticized the contribution, citing a variety of legal issues around the company Insys.

Advocates for marijuana legalizations criticized the contribution, citing a variety of legal issues around the company Insys.

“[Our opponents] are now funding their campaign with profits from the sale of opioids—and maybe even the improper sale of opioids,” said J.P. Holyoak, chairman of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

“We hope that every Arizonan understands that Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy is now a complete misnomer. Their entire campaign is tainted by this money. Any time an ad airs against Proposition 205, the voters should know that it was paid for by highly suspect Big Pharma actors.”

In addition to selling Subsys, Insys Therapeutics Inc. has developed Syndros, a synthetic version of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The drug received approval from the FDA in July 2016 for the treatment of AIDS and cancer patients.

Still, while the contribution is a victory for the opposition, the initiative itself remains a contest for either side to claim. A recent poll found that 50% of Arizona voters favor

While the contribution is a victory for the opposition, the initiative itself remains a contest for either side to claim. A recent poll discovered 50 percent of registered Arizona voters favor legalization, 40 percent oppose the measure, and 10 percent are undecided

Insys said in a statement that its opposition to the legalization of cannabis was “because it fails to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens, and particularly its children.”

Furthermore, there have been studies revealing some negative health effects of marijuana. Some of these studies link marijuana to a variety of side effects.

In a report from the American Medical Association, they stated:

“Heavy cannabis use in adolescence causes persistent impairments in neurocognitive performance and IQ, and use is associated with increased rates of anxiety, mood and psychotic thought disorders.”

Many in opposition to marijuana legalization believe the drug can be addictive for some people. Also, some worry about the easy-access child may have to the drug if legalized.

Proposition 205: The Final Verdict

On November 8, 2016, Arizona residents will vote on the ballot regarding Proposition 205:

  • A “yes” vote supports this measure to legalize the possession and consumption of marijuana by persons who are 21 years of age or older.
  • A “no” vote opposes this measure to legalize the possession and consumption of marijuana by persons who are 21 years of age or older.

Marijuana legalization will continue to be a hot topic across the country.  Many believe marijuana legalization would put a strain on the recovery community. Still, when it comes to sobriety, it is up to the individual to commit to the lifestyle of recovery. If you are struggling with any form of addiction, legal or illegal, we can help. Call toll-free today.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

In the News: Selena Gomez Secretly Goes to Rehab

In the News: Selena Gomez Secretly Goes to Rehab

It seems that all the celebrities have decided to be open about their addiction issues and get help. Selena Gomez recently did a two week stint at Arizona’s Dawn at the Meadows on Jan. 5. Gomez’s rep denies rumors that the former Disney Channel star was struggling with drugs or alcohol. It has been stated that she voluntarily spent time at Meadows but not for substance abuse.

The 21-year-old actress and singer’s stay in rehab came shortly after the brunette beauty declared her tour cancelation in December, telling fans that despite her choice, they are so important to her and she would “never want to disappoint them.” Radar Online was first to report Gomez’s stay in rehab and a source told the gossip site that before she left she was “partying very hard,” and had been “experimenting with marijuana and prescription drugs, including Xanax and Ambien.”

A source told TMZ that the pop star’s decision to seek help had a lot to do with what she was exposed to when near ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber and his friends. Her 2 week stay in the rehab wasn’t exactly a full treatment program. Selena Gomez had checked into the Meadows clinic’s 6 week DAWN program to deal with issues with marijuana, Ambien and alcohol. She ended up leaving early to attend the Sundance Film Festival for her new movie titled Rudderless.

She did complete the signature workshop at the Meadows, called Survivor’s Week, which deals with early childhood trauma and discovers the origins of adult dysfunctional behaviors and is said to be the hardest week of the program. Gomez says she thinks she is fine right now and doesn’t need to go back in for further treatment. But as an addict and alcoholic, I know that whenever I thought I had it and everything was under control and fine that shortly after that I would lose control again.

Addiction is the constant recurrence of a behavior regardless of adverse consequences, or a nerve impairment leading to such behaviors. Addiction is also a disease that can’t just be cured in a 2 week period of time in treatment. I’m unsure of what is actually going on with Selena Gomez but if she is trying to recover from any sort of addiction, the longer amount of time in treatment and away from the world the better chance she has at recovering. The staff at the Meadows has said that for her to achieve recovery she would need to complete all three phases of the DAWN program.

She is so young and I really hope that with all the overdoses and other celebrities, like Ke$ha, being public about their issues that she can get help and then help others. It’s crazy to me how many stars have been all over the media with their addiction and eating disorder issues lately! Hopefully one of them can get through to other people out there who are struggling and encourage they seek help, too. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.


In the News: Recreational Pot Sales Start in Colorado

In the News: Recreational Pot Sales Start in Colorado

Colorado has just become the first state in the country where small amounts of recreational pot can be legally sold in specially designated stores.

In November of 2012, Colorado voters approved Amendment 64, which makes it legal for its residents over 21 years of age to buy small amounts of marijuana for recreational use. This is different from the already-established legal pot in Colorado and other states like California, where people with a doctor’s prescription can legally purchase and possess medical marijuana. Some can even grow their own – in small amounts.

Marijuana Globally

In other parts of the world, marijuana isn’t such a big deal. For example, the Netherlands has long had an informal decriminalization policy, and Amsterdam is known for its “coffee shops,” where patrons can buy marijuana products. Uruguay has also approved state-sanctioned marijuana sales – similar to those in Colorado, which are not yet up and running.

How is Colorado Different?

Colorado is thought to be the first jurisdiction in the world where marijuana is openly sold in specialty pot shops and tracked by the government from seed to store.

Washington State has already passed something similar to that of Colorado; however, officials say they won’t be ready to open stores until later this year. Other states considering relaxing their marijuana laws are California, Arizona, and Oregon.


If you are a resident of Colorado, you can buy up to an ounce of marijuana at a time. Those living out-of-state can buy up to a quarter ounce. There’s no restriction from shopping from store to store but, under state law, only possession of 1 ounce at a time is permitted. It’s unclear how this will be regulated.

In Colorado, the new law states that possession of more than 1 ounce but less than 8 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor that carries fines up to $5,000 as well as up to 18 months in jail. Having more than 8 ounces is felony possession and that carries as much as $100,000 in fines and up to three years in prison.


  • Smoking inside a public building is a violation of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act
  • Prohibition of marijuana clubs or salons (think cigar bars) also as specified by the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act
  • Smoking in public outdoor spaces, such as parks, national parks, ski resorts, and forests, is also off-limits.
  • Smoking at a private residence is allowed, but for renters it’s the landlord’s discretion
  • Driving while impaired is prohibited
  • Transporting marijuana over state lines by car or plane is prohibited

Federal law still considers marijuana illegal, which typically trumps state law. However, the Justice Department has issued a memo in August saying that federal authorities should not pursue prosecution for recreational pot in both Colorado and Washington.

Retail Marijuana and the Economy

Retail pot comes with quite a hefty state tax of 25% in addition to the usual sales tax which is 2.9%. Some estimate that retail pot sales will generate $67 million a year, $27.5 million of which is designated for schools, officials said.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.




Opinion: Is Krokodil a real threat or just media hype?

Like with any other hard-to-believe story, the case of the drug Krokodil is being sensationalized in the news. The drug is very real and now that there have been at least a handful of cases, we are seeing more and more coverage about it in the news.

Krokodil is a nasty drug that is said to give you a higher high but at the fraction of the price of heroin. The trade-off, however, is that it literally costs you an arm and a leg: it’s an opiate unlike any other opiate – one that is mixed with a series of dangerous poisons that lead to tissue death in the addict’s body resulting in amputation.

Krokodil, whose medical name is desomorphine, has been called a ‘moonshine drug’ because addicts are often able to cook the narcotic at home. Reports have stated that krokodil can have gasoline, bleach, oil, paint thinner, and who knows what else. This concoction can leave traces of toxins in the final product – which is then injected.

You can’t take this drug without actually poisoning yourself. You are literally poisoning yourself when you use krokodil. It’s very corrosive and toxic. The drug gets its name from the green, scaly sores that users often develop. Horrific photos of the drug’s side effects have circulated on the Internet. Pictures and videos of users in Russia show blackened fingertips, large open wounds, and even exposed bone where skin has fallen off. Prolonged or even short-term use can damage blood vessels, muscle, cartilage, and bone, and amputation is frequently the only way to save a patient’s life.

In September, doctors in Arizona sounded the alarm after two potentially related cases of krokodil abuse were reported in the state. And, over the past few weeks, doctors in Arizona and Illinois have reported treating users of krokodil. One such doctor describes the experience: “the smell of rotten flesh permeates the room. Intensive treatment and skin grafts are required, but they are often not enough to save limbs or lives.” He went on to say, “If you want to kill yourself, this is the way to do it.”

Doctors have warned of the horrifying side effects of the homemade drug, which is said to give a more powerful high than heroin and is much cheaper to produce. The finished product isn’t purified and may contain toxic substances left over from the cooking process, which cause tissue damage to the veins and flesh and can result in gangrene, or body tissue that rots and dies. Some addicts in Russia have developed brain damage and speech impediments in addition to the horrific scars.

Prevalent in Siberia and the Russian Far East, the explosion of users first began in 2002. The numbers of Russians using the drug is thought to have tripled over the past five years. Although krokodil first took hold in Russia, where hundreds of thousands of users were reported in 2010, the drug has apparently arrived in the United States.

And so, even though there have only been a few cases of krokodil use in the US so far, the mere existence of this drug makes it news-worthy. And the fact that this drug is so highly addictive that its use spreads like wildfire, as seen across Germany and Russia, it is a real threat.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or drug addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.





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