Imagine a drug so toxic that following injection, gangrene and scaly, green flesh grows on users, often resulting in amputation and death. Krokodil —the Russian word for “crocodile” — is causing enormous damage overseas as well as the U.S. and produces a heroin-like high. It is a newer drug that combines the narcotic painkiller codeine and solvents such as lighter fluid, and it was originally discovered in Eastern Europe and Russia. Abusing krokodil produces “hideous” physical wounds that often require major surgical intervention.
The Smell of Rotting Flesh
An Illinois physician reported five cases in one week of krokodil abuse, which provides users with an opiate-like high but with terrible physical wounds that often require skin grafts or amputation. It is also sometimes fatal. “The smell of rotting flesh permeates the room,” Dr. Abhin Singla told the Chicago Tribune.
Singla has spent 16 years working in the addiction medicine field.
Chicago-area public health officials and addiction experts question Singla’s account, saying that krokodil is popular in countries such as the Ukraine because codeine is available over the counter, and heroin — the drug whose effects krokodil mimics — is not. These experts note that the gangrene and infected abscesses seen by Singla may have been the result of impure heroin, a sloppy injection technique, or sharing dirty needs; they also note that heroin is cheap and relatively easy to come by in the United States.
Despite these conflicting reports, public health officials are nevertheless adding krokodil to the list of drugs to watch out for. Because of the severe physical toll krokodil takes on those who abuse it, if you or someone you love is considering using or has already used this dangerous substance, the time to get help is now.
An inpatient drug treatment program such as the rehab provided by Clarity Way help people who abuse drugs get clean with medically monitored detox. Next, we will develop a customized therapy plan that will address the client’s specific needs, including physical strength, emotional health, proper nutrition, and fulfilling activities. Do not wait until it is too late — let Clarity Way help you or your loved one stay on the path to recovery.