Is There a Krokodil in Your Neighborhood?

KrokodilIs there a “Krokodil” crawling in your neighborhood? And no we are not talking about the four-legged cold-blooded predator – Crocodile. We are talking about the newest illegal drug that is creeping its way into America’s Heartland. 

The drug Krokodil has been on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s radar since 2011 and recent claims by doctors at a suburban Chicago hospital report they have treated three people who used the caustic, flesh eating drug; evidence that this nightmare drug, which originated in Russia, has reached American soil.  

Krokodil is made by cooking codeine with various toxic chemicals, including lighter fluid, gasoline and industrial cleaners which are similar manufacturing techniques used to make methamphetamine.  The combination of codeine tablets and toxic chemicals produce the narcotic called desomorphine which is said to be ten times as powerful as morphine and three times more potent than heroin and roughly one-third the cost.  The drug leaves users with green sores that develop near injection sites, scaly and rough skin, the smell of rotten flesh and an addiction often far too powerful to overcome.  

Intensive treatment and skin grafts are required, but they are often not enough to save limbs or lives.  Severe withdrawal, spread of HIV through contaminated needles and death are other known consequences of use.  Many Krokodil users have affirmed that they became addicted the very second that the drug hit the bloodstream. 

Desomoprhine is not available as a prescription drug anywhere in the free world. Its only known form is that of “Krokodil.” Fortunately, in the United States, codeine tablets are not available as over-the-counter medication and this control will make it more difficult for the drug to get a foothold here. But hold your breath because, “where there is a will, there is a way”.  This leaves drug testing laboratories scrambling to develop the protocols needed to identify the substance.…until then any suspected use should be reported to local law enforcement.