Warning: This post is not funny, is not appropriate for kids, and contains gruesome images.
Until this week, Krokodil (Russian for Crocodile) was “their” problem. “Them” were poor Russian youth creating, using, and nearly dying from the newest designer drug: technically known as desomorphine. In 2011, the Russian Federal Drug Control Agency confiscated 65 million doses of this lethal drug. Estimates are that 5% of all Russian drug users (100,000 people) have used Krokodil.
Krokodil is a highly addictive drug similar in effects to heroin. However it differs in two terrifying ways:
Ease and Cost of Production
Like meth, it takes a stove, a pan, and 30 minutes to make Krokodil.
-Codeine (available over the counter in Russia) Sure, liberalizing our DEA policies is a good idea
-Red phosphorous (the match lighting substance)
These are cooked together with gasoline and paint thinner.
1. At the site of injection, the skin will turn green, scaly and gangrenous.
2. Eventually, the flesh is eaten through often revealing the muscles and bones beneath.
3. Other long term effects include speech impediments and jerking movements.
Users of Krokodil have an average lifespan of 2-3 years. Those that survive and manage to quit, are almost always disfigured.
Why Should We Care
1. This drug was originally patented in the US in 1938
2. This week, two potential cases of Krokodil use were reported to The Poison Control Center in Arizona.
While reports cannot be confirmed as there are no drug samples for analysis, this is chilling news.
Heroin addicts are not the most sensible bunch–they are notorious for making bad choices. Quite possibly, using heroin in the first place is NOT the worst choice they will make. Opting for the no-frills version is. Zhena, a former Krokodil addict explained that she was
“dreaming of heroin, of something that feels clean and not like poison. But you can’t afford it, so you keep doing the krokodil. Until you die.”
We are about due for another not-so-subtle drug conversation with our kids. I may just show them these images. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words (or at least 363.)