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.
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 use and preparation of krokodil has been spreading to countries neighboring Russia and farther into Europe, according to various media reports. In December 2011, Poland's Medical University of Silesia reported at least one death from krokodil use in Warsaw, and also said cases of the drug being used had been confirmed in Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, France, Belgium, Sweden and Norway.
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