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
National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

International

U.S., European airlines halt flights to Israel due…

U.S. and European airlines halted flights to Tel Aviv in an effort to ensure passenger safety as turmoil in Israel and the region has intensified.

Local

Eric Garner death prompts NYPD retraining, pols demanding…

The New York City Police Department will revise training procedures for its officers following the death of Staten Island man Eric Garner after an arrest gone awry.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.