Krokodil made its first appearance in Russia in 2002. This relatively new drug has since spread throughout that country and the first reports of it reaching the United States appeared in the press in 2013. There are a number of substances that are both addictive and have the potential to cause serious physical damage to the body, but this one is in a league all its own.
Krokodil is also known by its medical name, desomorphine. Users and sellers manufacture it at home by taking codeine and cooking it with gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid), lighter fluid and other ingredients. The highly dangerous and toxic liquid is then injected directly into a vein.
A Krokodil high lasts from an hour-and-a half to two hours. Mixing up a batch of the drug takes about a half hour. Addicts don’t do much other than get the ingredients, cook up batches, inject it, and then repeat the process.
Side Effects Of Krokodil Use
Using this drug causes the skin to turn a scaly, green color around the area where it has been injected. It takes its name from the Russian word for “crocodile.”
With repeated use, an addict will see smelly, infected sores, as well as ruptured blood vessels. The skin and muscle tissue will rot from the inside out. In extreme cases, bones can be seen through gaping holes in the skin.
Krokodil use can also cause permanent brain damage, which will result in both spastic movements and speech impediments. When combined with the skin symptoms, this side effect has led some people to call it the “zombie drug.”
Some krokodil users think that they have the means to filter the harmful chemicals out of the mixture before injecting it, leaving it relatively “safe. “ This is not the case. Even trace amounts of these chemicals in the bloodstream can cause hazardous damage to the body.
After Knowing All This, Why Do People Still Use Krokodil?
The main reason an addict would turn to krokodil is that it is very cheap compared to heroin. The ingredients to make a batch of krokodil can be obtained very easily.
Unfortunately, like heroin, getting off krokodil is very difficult. Once the high ends after about two hours, painful withdrawal symptoms start. They can last over a month, unlike heroin, whose withdrawal symptoms last about seven days.
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