The Dangerous Effects of Krokodil
Krokodil, a frightening and deadly drug, recently turned up in the United States. Several cases of people of people using, and overdosing from, it have been reported in Arizona and Florida.
What is Krokodil?
Krokodil (the street name for Desomorphine) is a powerful synthetic opioid. Krokodil’s gained popularity in Russia during the last few years, thanks in large part to how easy it to to synthesize. All you need to cook up some Krokodil is codeine based medication, paint thinner, gasoline, iodine, and phosphorus.
The high is similar to that of heroin or morphine, though much stronger and much shorter. Desomorphine is approximately three times stronger than heroin. The high produced lasts for about an hour and a half. This leads the user to buy more quicker than other opiates.
How Does It Work?
Desomorphine, in its pure form, eats away at people’s skin. This is due to the iodine and phosphorus present in the drug, a byproduct of the synthesis. Now, that’s Desomorphine in its pure form. Think for a minute about homemade Krokodil.
Much like street meth is a chemically impure version of methamphetamine, Krokodil is a chemically impure version of Desomorphine. The damage done to addicts’ bodies is enormous. Krokodil quickly eats the skin surrounding the injection site.
Other complications of Krokodil use include: gangrene, phlebitis, blood clots, pneumonia, meningitis, blood infection, rotting bones, bone infection, liver damage, kidney damage, and brain damage.
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What are the Effects of Krokodil?
– The high itself is like very strong heroin
– Turns skin scaly and green
– Festering sores
– Loss of skin
– Dissolves jawbones and teeth
– Susceptible to HIV, HCV, and other blood-borne illnesses
– Speech impediments
– 30 day withdrawal pain
– Life expectancy: 2-3 years
How is Krokodil Made?
Although Desomorphine has been around since the 1930’s, Krokodil only came into production during the early 2000’s in Siberia. This is thought to have been because of a global heroin shortage, mixed with the difficulty of smuggling drugs to Siberia. Today, it’s estimated there are over one million Krokodil addicts in Russia.
Krokodil is made by taking codeine based pills (think Tylenol 3, etc.) and dissolving them in gasoline or paint thinner. Iodine and Phosphorus are then added to the concoction. There are several other steps (omitted here, so no one decides to cook Krokodil based on this article).
Finally, the end product is Krokodil. The user then injects the drug. It’s estimated that half of all patients in Russian treatment centers are there for Krokodil addiction. This dangerous drug trend has begun to spread to America, with several confirmed cases of Krokodil overdose.