A new designer drug, Krokodil or crocodile, is sweeping the streets of Russia quicker and quicker. Not only is it catching on in drug crowds, but it's killing them off. krokodil is referred to a morphines' 'dirty cousin' and is favored because it's cheap ingredients and simple cooking process.
Why Russia? Russia houses the most heroin addicts than any other country by far. The estimate is that there are over two million frequent heroin users in Russia. They are getting their heroin from the largest distributor in the world, Afghanistan, their nearby neighbor.
Heroin however costs about 20 to 60 dollars a dose. Most heroin addicts live short lives filled with crime, prison and an early death usually caused by HIV or Hepatitis C contraction. Much like how methamphetamine came into the world, so did krokodil, it was born out of necessity.
Krokodil is a desomorphine, a synthetic opiate that is many times more powerful than heroin, and many more times deadly. Krokodil is made from codeine based headache pills and iodine, as well as several other cheap household ingredients.
Krokodil gets it's name primarily from one of the many horrible side effects it wreaks on the body. If you have inferred from the name that the users' skin gets scales, yo guessed right. Not the green scales of the reptile it's named after, but sickly grey scales. Krokodil users can also be identified before they are even seen. The smell of iodine infuses with their clothes and their homes. Apartments of krokodil users are hardly ever usable after their residents leave because the iodine smell never goes away.
Among the scales and the smell, Krokodil users get rotting abscesses all over their body, if they miss the vein they gain an immediate abscess. After awhile, their grey skin begins to peel away from the body. Users of Krokodil literally rot to death for their high. The average Krokodil users only lives for two to three years. If your interest is peaked at what a krokodil user looks like, google it, the pictures are too graphic to even post. It's no exaggeration that the users skin literally peels off.
In Russia, about 30,000 people die from heroin use each year. However, Viktor Ivanov, head of Russia's drug control agency says that almost half of Russias' heroin users are using krokodil now because of the cheap price and the powerful high. Russia has began to control the distribution of headache pills as there has been a dramatic rise in purchases. It's unlikely that the Russian population has merely experienced a rise in headaches either.
The Krokodil drug is only about four years old and primarily found in Russia, but the popularity of it is on a huge spiking rise, it won't be long before it spread globally. The world can only hope that those prone to addiction are willing to say no to a good high when the price is having your flesh rot off. Though with Meth having similar effects and still having a large user base, it is unlikely they will be able to resist this deadly drug.