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

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…