In Russia, the war on drugs efforts to stunt the flow of Afghan heroin have resulted in a diminished dope supply with higher prices. To some, this may seem like a success, but expensive heroin did not result in fewer junkies.
Instead, Russian heroin addicts are turning to Krokodil – a devastating home-made substitute so addicting users will inject it long beyond the decay of their flesh, until they literally rot to death. Nearly inconceivable, the effects of the drug are horrifying, and so many Russians are using Krokodil it can be seen as approaching a national epidemic.
Desmorphine, a synthetic with similar effects of heroin made from house-held chemicals like codeine (available over the counter in Russia), iodine, lighter fluid, gasoline, and industrial cleaning oil, is street-named Krokodil for the way it literally devours its users (like the mean crocodile). Injection sites turn flesh grey, green and scaly until gangrene skin peels away and bone is exposed; it can lead to amputated limbs.
Photographs of addicts are shocking, to say the least. Exposed bone from wrist to elbow, arms look more like the half-devoured limbs of a zombie than a living human.
Also like the living dead, users can be identified by their smell. Iodine, the flesh-decaying component of Krokodil, causes a scent so pungent Russian drug treatment doctor Artyom Yegrov says “there’s no way to wash it out, all you can do is burn the clothes.”
What’s almost as shocking as the sight of these addicts is the number of them. An estimated 100,000 Russians are using the drug – that’s 100,000 of the walking dead.
Krokodil a new drug that eats addicts alive
Krokodil a New home made drug in Russia, addicts are using it until their skin fall offKrokodil a New home made drug in Russia, addicts are using it until their skin fall off