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What Is Krokodil?

What Is Krokodil?Krokodil is a street name for desomorphine, a synthetic form of codeine that originated in Russia more than fifty years ago. This drug is exponentially stronger than morphine and heroin and comes with a slew of graphic side effects. It gains its name from one potential side effect, which is scaly skin and sores. These sores quickly rot, and skin begins to fall off, gaining Krokodil a reputation as a “flesh-eating” or “zombie” drug.

Dangers of Krokodil Use

Krokodil injection sites quickly form scaly sores as a result of the chemicals used in Krokodil manufacturing. These may include gasoline, paint thinner and lighter fluids, and these toxic chemicals create skin lesions that can become infected and gangrenous. Limbs may have to be amputated as a result of gangrene, and these infections contribute to the short life expectancy of Krokodil users. Surface infections aren’t the only dangers of Krokodil use. This drug also causes serious damage to veins and other soft tissue, creating further opportunities for infection. Once individuals start using Krokodil regularly, they only have 2 to 3 years to live, unless they find professional help to end their addiction.

Krokodil and Other Drug Use Patterns

Despite the extreme risks of Krokodil use, this drug is not a primary concern of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These organizations are concerned about Krokodil’s potential to spread in popularity but currently list the following drugs as the greatest threats:

  • MDMA/ecstasy
  • Prescription drugs
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Alcohol

While only a few Krokodil users have been identified in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention share that prescription drug abuse rates have risen over 200% among men since 1999 and over 400% among women. AMERICAblog, a progressive online journal, shares that even in Russia, where 100,000 individuals reportedly tried Krokodil in 2011, it is not used regularly, and heroin and methamphetamine remain the most commonly used drugs. However the drug is becoming easier to acquire, and because it is stronger than heroin and similar opiates, use and addiction rates may quickly increase.

Opiate Addiction Help

If you or a loved one is abusing Krokodil or other opiate drugs, don’t wait to get help. Take action to end the potentially fatal effects of drug abuse. We can help you arrange interventions or family mediation for a loved one, and we can help you find the treatment center that will best meet your unique recovery needs. You can find a health and drug-free life, and we can help. Please call our toll-free helpline today. Addiction counselors are available 24 hours a day to take your call.