The flesh-eating drug, known as krokodil or desomorphine, which actually seems to turn people into zombie-like creatures, has apparently made its way to America. The ghastly drug gets its name partly because users report getting green or black scaly skin as one of the side effects. Five people in the Chicago area have been recently hospitalized, having symptoms which are similar to cases that have been reported in Arizona, Oklahoma and Utah.
Dr. Abhin Singla said he thought that a woman he treated this weekend was suffering from krokodil addiction. Singla is an internist and addiction specialist in Joliet, IL, St. Joseph Medical Center. The patient ended up losing most of each of her legs.
This really is a zombie drug. It will literally kill you from your inside out, Singla said. If you want a nasty way to die, this is it. Krokodil causes severe damage to the body’s veins and creates soft tissue infections. That is followed by rapidly developing necrosis and gangrene. The soft tissue destruction occurs around the injection location. The drug also seems to bunch up inside the veins as it fails to melt completely in the blood stream. These clumps try to move to distant parts of the body and in the process, they damage tissue, stated Dr. Robert Geller, Georgia Poison Center medical director.
Geller said he hopes the zombie drug does not show up in Georgia but stated that doctors across the country are on the alert for it if it does. As of yet, there are no official confirmed American cases of krokodil abuse. To have such, the Drug Enforcement Administration needs a sample of the drug which caused the problem.
A DEA fact sheet about the zombie drug was published this month, but it is not yet known how wide the usage is in the U.S., Geller said. Oklahoma officials will not confirm or deny any of their possible cases at this time.
In Russia and Ukraine, there are many confirmed krokodil abuse cases. In fact there are at least 100,000 established cases in Russia and around 20,000 in Ukraine. Experts hypothesize the drug first started to move across Ukraine and Russia when heroin turned out to be less available.
Krokodil is much cheaper than heroin and is simply cooked up in a home similar to meth. People that make krokodil mix painkillers such as codeine with easily accessible chemicals such as rubbing alcohol, iodine, kitchen and bathroom cleaners, hydrochloric acid, phosphorous from matches, and/or solvents such as gasoline or paint thinner. Because of all this, death rates are very high among the users, according to the study.
In Russia, users often are younger people with fairly short drug histories, the study also discovered. And medical help is usually pursued only after the users have reached the late stages of addiction and have come down with severe health problems such as bone infections, rotting gums, decaying jaws, facial bone problems, and open infected sores on the ears and head. They usually also are suffering from kidney and other internal problems.
Drug binges are reported to last for numerous days. During this time, the user may show absurd behavior and experience sleep deficiency and also memory loss, speech problems and go through exhaustion.
In Chicago, the five people who were brought in and believed to have used krokodil all stated they thought they were purchasing heroin.
Sadly this seems to be just the beginning of it all. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better, stated Singla. He is right, now that the flesh eating zombie drug has been unleashed on the United States.
Written by: Kimberly Ruble