What is Krokodil? Flesh-eating drug surfaces in Arizona

This Russian news report showed a Krokodil user whose flesh had rotted.  Credit: YouTube
This Russian news report showed a Krokodil user whose flesh had rotted.
Credit: YouTube

Krokodil, a popular drug in Russia, surfaced in Arizona this past week; the two instances are the first reported cases of the drug being used in the U.S.

Krokodil is a heroin substitute and is much cheaper than the opium-based drug. It is a codeine-based injectable drug that is extremely dangerous and attacks body tissue. Yuri Fedotov, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, told Reuters that the drug can kill people in as little time as a few weeks to two months.

Dr. Frank LoVecchio, co-medical director at Banner’s Poison Control Center, told KLTV in Phoenix that he is very concerned there are more users. He explained that the drug is made by mixing codeine with substances like gasoline, oil or alcohol and then filtering and boiling the mixture before injecting it; LoVecchio said filtering is not enough to remove all traces of the fuel. Thus, people end up injecting themselves with fuel, resulting in flesh that rots from the inside out.

Some people get crocodile skin-like patches on their bodies, which is how the moniker “Krokodil” originated. He told KLTV, “When [drug users] do it repeatedly, the skin sloughs. It causes hardening of their skin. It will cause necrosis.”

Krokodil is a major problem in Russia, where heroin users may number as many as 2 million, according to the Independent. As of 2011, the cost of a dose of heroin ran up to more than $30, whereas a bottle of codeine was $3 and could be cooked into Krokodil, reported the Independent. Krokodil users told the Independent that if they missed a vein while injecting the drug, an abscess in the flesh would follow.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.