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Krokodil: Newest Drug Scare or False Alarm?

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Krokodil is the latest drug scare that comes with dire symptoms, but now drug officials are not sure whether the drug is in the United States or not. Krokodil is the opiate desomorphine, a drug homemade in rural Russia as a substitute for heroin, which is scarce there. Russian drug addicts create krokodil by combining codeine (readily available) with gasoline, paint thinner, lighter fluid or other chemicals. The name krokodil comes from the drug’s side effects, which can include scaly skin that looks like a crocodile hide. Krokodil is more potent than morphine, with a shorter duration. The drug’s side effects can progress from scaly skin to tissue and blood vessel damage, gangrene and eventual loss of limbs or life. Anyone can just read that list to be warned away from the drug. But for addicts, seeing a more potent high for a much cheaper price, the side effects don’t matter. In addition, some people may not know that they’re taking krokodil. Some think it is heroin. Recent reports from hospitals in Arizona and Illinois first indicated that krokodil had arrived in the United States. The Drug Enforcement Administration is not certain. After the reports, DEA agents went out to make undercover drug buys. Despite numerous buys, they only found heroin in drugs. The DEA is monitoring the situation and thinks the side effects of krokodil make it unlikely to catch on in the United States, where heroin is more readily available. Don’t struggle with heroin addiction alone. Call Stepping Stone Center for Recovery at 866-957-4960 and get into drug detox and rehab immediately.

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