(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:
- Hydrochloric acid
- Red phosphorus
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
Photo Credit: www.aninews.in
Fans are extremely dissatisfied by a new law passed by President Vladimir Putin’s government stopping alcohol from being sold at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Local authorities have also forbidden booze being sold within 50 meters of some sports stadiums and the people have been annoyed to find most of the beer stands within the Olympic Park provide non-alcoholic beverage, the Daily Star stated.
Russia is hosting what the Wall Street Journal has called the driest Olympics in memory; which is crazy to me because when I think of Russia, I think of drinking vodka all-night long. It’s mostly the Americans who are irritated, which makes you curious if the Russians did it on purpose. Most Americans have never watched an ice hockey game sober and they were very surprised to see those big white fridges dispensing non-alcoholic beverages only.
It was raised at a curling press conference by a journalist; they may not be the sporting world’s most masculine of fans, but it turns out they do like a drink or two. “It’s traditional for the losers to buy the winners a drink like a hot toddy after the game, why is that not happening?” rose a plaintive voice. He’s correct – it’s even got a title: ‘the Spirit of Curling’. Also known as ‘stacking the brooms’. He got a dismissal reply from the US curling team, a group of sober Minnesotans in more ways than one.
According to Mr. Chernyshenko, everything is in accordance with Russian guidelines and laws and he feels no regrets for there being alcohol restriction in the Olympic sites. Last year the Russians passed a federal law eliminating the sale of alcohol inside sports arenas and stadiums. The journalists could be directed to a nice place to drink if they were so inclined, said IOC spokesman Mark Adams. It was also pointed out by IOC’s Gilbert Felli that it would be good practice for Rio, where there are related laws in place.
According to Time magazine, Russia has also banned hot dogs and other fried foods which has just escalated the anger of ice hockey fans. And smoking is allegedly forbidden throughout Sochi’s Olympic Village, though the amount of butts on the ground proposes the Russians have struggled giving up their favourite substance. It must be especially hard seeing as the smoking rates in Russia are over the top and the cigarettes are very cheap. But have no fear; the rumour mill has it that you can discover a real beer at the ice hockey, if you know whom to probe, and elsewhere in the park, if you know where to look. And there’s also a vodka pavilion at the top of the Mountain Carousel hotel in the mountains.
I think there are many pros and cons to banning alcohol at the Sochi 2014; people are going to be sneaking in alcohol and hiding it now instead of just outwardly having a few drinks. It can be a good thing to say they don’t want booze present at the Olympics, but at what cost? People are going to do what they want either way, this just seems to be making it more of a challenge for them. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.
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.