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

  1. Alger Hiss   December 17, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    this drug DOES NOT exist. total bunk. the picture above, if you look closely, is a sub sandwich overlayed on a picture of an arm. You can even see lettuce. total bullsheep…

    • Robo   April 29, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      I am eating a Subway’s sub sandwich, thank you!
      … It’s making me even more hungry.

  2. Alex   February 28, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    That’s a picture of frostbite.

  3. lindsey   July 23, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Obviously you’re not a struggling addict that will try anything that is cheaper, gets you high, and keeps you from getting sick.

  4. Def   July 17, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    You aren’t very bright are you?

  5. ceanf   July 17, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    if governments and their drug warriors didn’t do everything in their power to drive up the cost of heroin and other opiates via prohibition, there would be no ‘krokadil’. the opiate, in this case desomorphine, is not what is killing people. the impurities, which are a result of the clandestine production process, are. a curious person might ask themselves, what keeps that process clandestine and the results impure?

    • Chris   July 17, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you for having the sense to not blame it on the user when in reality the war on drugs is creating more problems than it is solving

      • Connor   July 20, 2015 at 11:02 am

        Thank you for being a complete and utter moron and not blaming the user. Who out of their own state of mind decided to take it upon themselves to inject themselves with the impurities. So it is their fault for using the drug. It is the users fault.

  6. amy   August 31, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    As a former opiate user I have as well as many of my friends concocted this in our kitchen. The process is simple and takes little time. The DEA’S denials that this has entered the U.S is ludicrous. In my small town outside of Asheville North Carolina, when the other opiates run dry this is the go to method. Luckily I escaped without any visible damage and as far as I know most of the people who was users at the same time have also been symptom free. However this drug is deadly and if used frequently all users will jot ice foul smelling lessons at the injection site, as did I. Thankfully I got clean before any real harm but that cannot be said for everyone. If the DEA will acknowledge the fact that it is here maybe an effort can b made to curb its use before it claims lives. And devastates an already drug riddled country.

  7. Ive seen too much   August 30, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Dispite what the DEA says this drug is without a doubt real and in the US(I know someone who died from infection due to krokodil) ! Most addicts start using at a young age causing their minds to stop maturing which is why many addicts behave like children. Unfortunately a childish mind more often than not will make reckless choices and fail to consider the warnings of others ! Opioids can cause terrible withdrawals making the addict willing to do ANYTHING to make the withdrawal stop and help is NOT as easy to find as government officials would like people to believe.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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:

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13.  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.

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

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

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

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

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

    They looks like a zombies

  17. 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.

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

    Population control.

  19. 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?

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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!!!

  23. 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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