One of the trending synthetic drugs of abuse during 2013 is known as “Krokodil”; a highly toxic homemade opioid. Until recently this drug was used primarily in Russia as cheap substitute for heroin in lower economic areas. During 2013 reports of Krokodil use here in the U.S. began to surface from various news sources. However, as of yet the DEA has not yet confirmed the presence of Krokodil here in America. As a synthetic form of heroin, this substance is not only very addictive but highly toxic to its users.
It is created from extremely noxious chemicals and is made by combining codeine tablets with various toxic chemicals including lighter fluid and industrial cleaners. Krokodil’s affects the user’s brain in a similar way to heroin but is considered more powerful with a shorter duration. One of the most interesting, yet highly concerning facts about Krokodil (the Russian word for crocodile) is how it got its name. The name comes from the fact that when the user injects the drug it causes scaly, gray-green skin to form at their injection site. The user’s flesh is destroyed and dies due to the drug. From there the user’s skin will become gangrenous – with the worst case scenario being limb amputation to save the drug user’s life.