The drug – which is a combination of codeine and hydrocarbons such as gasoline, alcohol, paint thinner or oil – has been reported in two Arizona medical cases this past week according to doctors at the Banner Poison Control Center.
Dr. Frank LoVecchio who is a co-medical director at the Banner Poison Control Center says that these two cases are the first cases found in the United States and admits that it’s extremely frightening. According to the report, persons who use these drugs filter and boil the drug before injecting it as they think the process purifies the drug. According to LoVecchio, this is not true because the impurities remain.
The injection of Krokodil causes one’s blood vessels and tissue damage that starts the flesh of the user to rot from the inside out. The flesh sores that some of these drug users develop appear much like crocodile skin – naturally, giving the drug its “street” name of Krokodil. A Krokodil user usually dies in approximately 3 years.
The drug is believed to have swept Russia in 2010, infecting as many as one million users. Many of the images of Krokodil’s effects on users are believed to have been taken in that country.
The attraction for Krokodil - also known as desomorphine – to its users is apparently that it is inexpensive. It is said to be 20 times cheaper than the cost of heroin but has similar effects on the user.