Krokodil, The Drug that Eats You Alive [Graphic Images]

Two people have been hospitalized in the recent week in the Phoenix area displaying symptoms that are consistent with Krokodil, though that remains yet to be confirmed. Krokodil eats the flesh and creates green tinted, scab like crusty sores that bare a resemblance to the skin of a crocodile, giving the drug its name.

Krokodil is a home concocted opiate, crafted with codeine based head ache medications, combined with gasoline, alcohol or paint thinner, and iodine. Desomorphine is the real name for Krokodil and is an opidoid imitation of morphine. The user extracts the drug from the potent combination believing that the oil and gasoline is gone, but remnants of them remain.  “Imagine the great damaged caused by just injecting a little into your veins,” said Dr. LoVecchio, Co-director of the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug information Center.

The high that it gives you is similar to the high you get from heroin, except it lasts, on average, about 90 minutes. The appeal is that it is at least three times less than the cost of heroin and ten times as addictive with an instantaneous high.

You must inject it straight into your blood stream, but, because of the impurities that linger at the injection site, it kills the veins around the area. Dr. LoVecchio claims that the damage to the tissue depends on the frequency of the use and the dosage. Even speech impediments and brain damage have been reported in these cases as well as the flesh deteriorating clear down to the bone.

Treatments available include cleaning the infected tissue and administering antibiotics, but others require skin & muscle grafts. In worse cases amputation is the only way to save the user’s life.  The drug will eat flesh and bones throughout the body, it isn’t limited to the injection site. Usually within 2 years of avidly using the drug, the user will die of massive infection. MedScape reports that the flesh will often times simply fall off leaving behind gaping wounds and exposed bones. “It eats you from the inside out,” Stated Dr. LoVecchio.

The drug was developed in Russia around the year of 2002, but it took only 5 years for the use of the drug to triple. The fear now is that the drug will go main stream. This easy to create little syringe cocktail brings out the curiosity in addicts already hooked on hard time drugs. According to the New York’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services over 1 million people in Russia have or are using Krokodil. The DEA so far has ruled the Arizona cases anecdotal, though other reports of the drug’s use were found in Alabama and Arkansas, although that could not be confirmed. DEA spokes person Rusty Payne says he remains skeptical that the drug has entered the US, stating that he will only be convinced when he see’s it on a lab report.  But, even with Paynes own skepticism Arizona toxicologists at the poison control center remain concerned.

Dr. LoVecchio, who is looking over the cases in Arizona, says these cases are call for some real concern. “We aren’t one hundred percent certain that Krokodil is the cause, we still must run more urine and blood tests,” though if the tests prove that it is Krokodil then the US will have its first official cases and possibility of several more to follow.

“Where there is smoke there is fire,” Dr. LoVecchio said, “The trick now is putting it out before it spreads.”

Written By: KyAuna Alonzo

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22 Responses to Krokodil, The Drug that Eats You Alive [Graphic Images]

  1. mary November 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    why would anyone want to take take a drug that eats away your flesh this is the most disgusting i have ever seen what is wrong with these people.

  2. lona October 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Check the time of the post, September 30th obviously there has been time since then to figure all of that out.

  3. maryhagerty October 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    This drug has been debunked. They have not found a single real case. Every single case they think they have found has been proven to be false.

    • brian November 2, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      Here’s a nice documentary:

  4. Anthony October 20, 2013 at 1:43 am

    My god was up whit government seen this stuff they should make herion legal as marijuana as well and sold real heroin in pharmacys so nobody accidentally grab this garbage of kocodrile herion users are humans like any other person.God doesn’t makes junkies

  5. Katherine. Mychajlowskyj October 17, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Do ppl not understand that heroin addicts thinking they are getting a bag of dope are being handed this..a much cheaper to make substitution for heroin…do u honestly think they knowingly are shooting flesh eating drugs..I’m sorry but as iv user and recovering addict of 7 years..i tend to get alil frustrated with the lack of empathy for addicts..i certainly wouldn’t have shot this crap knowing it did this but if i was dope sick and thought it was plain street dope..i would have fell victim as well

    • S January 2, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      That was a brave thing to say.

  6.  iStone  (@iStones) October 14, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    The article is true, and the drug is deadly. The photo, however, is of frostbitten fingers. It is a stock photo. If you want to be taken as credible, it would be wise to use an actual photo of the damage that Krokodil does, and not some old stock photo of what is obviously frostbite.

  7. Kathy Somers October 14, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    @jim you wouldn’t say that if it were your kids using this drug!

  8. Kathy Somers October 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    @jim you wouldn’t say that if it were your kids taking the drug.

  9. Max Dotsenko October 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    They looks like a zombies

  10. suzanne freilinger October 11, 2013 at 11:39 am

    I have been told by several the first image of the hand is actually an old image of gangrene. Krocodil images are truly just as horrific but I wanted to let you know. Its very scary that this is being presented as heroin and many potential victims will not know what they are using…..

    • KyAuna October 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Taking Korokodil will often lead to gangrene.

  11. Ken O October 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Population control.

  12. Rock October 7, 2013 at 7:26 am

    No sh*t. But this is hell of a drug. It should be totally banned.

    • brian November 2, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      You mean like every other drug?

  13. jim October 6, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    who cares let the dummies kill themselves,really how stupid can a person be to put stuff like this in your body

  14. renee jongerden October 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    this make me even more convinced drugs should be legal; so they can be controled, regulated and quality-labeled! (i´m of Dutch origin)
    Renée Jongerden, father of three kids, 13, 15 and 22

  15. Theresa Barranco October 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Wow So is it really worth it?? Omg It was true about the Zombie prediction, S*&^ just got Real!!!

  16. Betty Mills October 1, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Oh, wow, what an informative article! How frightening to think this could catch on with druggies. The photos ought to keep a potential user to change their mind, if the article doesn’t…


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