What do we know about this new flesh eating Krokodil?
- It first appeared in Eastern Russia in 2002 as a cheaper home-made alternative to heroin.
- It causes skin to deteriorate from the inside out.
- It’s deadly–in fact most people die within two to three years of using the drug.
- Its Krokodil (Russian for crocodile) and it may have made its way to the United States.
Possible cases of Krokodil use in the United States
In September 2013 two cases of possible krokodil use from Arizona were reported by the Los Angeles Times. A group of doctors informed the Banner Good Samaritan Poison Control Center that they spotted symptomsconsistent with krokodil in two individuals. Toxocology reports have not confirmed the presence of krokodil in both cases, however the symptoms appear very consistent with cases in Russia.
According to the news report, “the drug ravages the flesh, exposing the bones, destroying internal organs and leaving users vulnerable to infection. Users quickly develop abscesses and gangrene, and often amputation is the only way to protect a patient’s life.”
There have been no suspected cases of Krokodil in Florida at the time this blog post was published however it is expected that once Krokodil is confirmed in the U.S. it will be coming to Florida very quickly.
History of Krokodil
Krokodil first appeared in Siberia and the Russian Far East around 2002. In the last three years the drug has spread throughout the country. It has increased 23-fold, according to the Russian Federal Drug Control Service. One article reports that by 2011 it was estimated that 100,000 people were addicted to Crocodile in Russia. In the first three months of 2012, the Federal Drug Control Service reported that it confiscated 65 million doses of the drug. In addition, two Russian governors stated that krokodil accounts for about half of all addictions and drug-related deaths in their regions.
Krokodil spread the fastest in the poorest and most remote parts of Russia. In one area of the country known as Gulag (a former prison camp), the winters last approximately 8 months and some youth turn to Krokodil out of boredom according to the Time Magazine article.
What is Krokodil?
Krokodil is a homemade version of desomorphine-which was first introduced in the United States in 1932 as a less addictive version of morphine. A study published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases found that desomorphine turned out to be more addictive and up to 10 times stronger than morphine, so it was mostly discontinued.
According to New York’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services krokodil is made of paint thinner, codeine, iodine, hydrochloric acid, red phosphorus, gasoline and lighter fluid.
What are the side effects of Krokodil?
Krokodil earned its name because of one of the side effects that user’s experience. That effect is green, scaly skin similar to that of a crocodile which occurs at places on the body where the drug is injected. Other side effects of drug use include:
- Skin Deterioration/ Skin Rotting causing bone and tissue exposure
- Gangrene and amputation of limbs after repeated use
- Increased risk of death after 2-4 years of drug use
- Busting/destroying of blood vessels
Users of krokodil typically inject the drug because it delivers a faster high than in tablet form. The high that individuals experience is similar to that of heroin however Krokodil is also significantly cheaper than heroin. In addition because the drug is made from legal house hold products and takes approximately 30 minutes to cook and prepare then it is more accessible and easier to obtain.
Future of Krokodil in the United States
According to the LA Times, The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has been tracking use of krokodil abroad for at least two years. An agency spokesman for the DEA stated that there were still no lab reports or evidence that Krokodil has entered the U.S. drug market. While this is the case, toxicologists at the Arizona poison control center said they remain worried about krokodil use in the United States because new drug habits and cases are usually seen first by local doctors.
Contacting a Drug Criminal Defense Attorney
Drug manufacturing charges in South Florida can be serious offense; if convicted, you could face imprisonment, large fines, and a permanent criminal record. At the Falk & Ross Law Firm, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of residents accused of committing criminal offenses. To learn how we can help, and to receive a complimentary consultation on your Miami or other Florida case, call a drug defense attorney at 877-663-5110 today.
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