Krokodile: synthetic 'heroin' that eats the flesh

Krokodile: synthetic 'heroin' that eats the flesh

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It's called "Krokodile." But, unlike meth, this homemade heroin is only semi-synthetic.

Part of the drug is actually an opioid, usually codeine. The rest is made up of stuff you could buy in a hardware store: lighter fluid, paint thinner, and matchboxes. Scary when you think you're injecting this into your body.

A documentary from Russian, where Krokodile is said to be very prevalent, features some difficult scenes and images.

The homemade heroin is known to eat flesh, turning it greenish and scaly because it destroys tissue and blood vessels.

Doctors in Arizona and Illinois claim they have treated patients who said they used the drug and, subsequently, showed symptoms. In New York City, so far, no cases have been reported so far.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Phoenix House's medical director, told us he is not too worried about Krokodile.

"I wouldn't expect it to become a problem in the United States because we have a very easy availability, unfortunately, of drugs like heroin or Oxycontin or Vicodin," he said. "Where we've seen Krokodile become a problem is in parts of Eastern Europe where heroin became unavailable and people were able to obtain a weaker opioid, codeine, treat it with readily available concoction called Krokodile."

He said that in the U.S. no real reason exists to try to create the drug because real heroin is so readily available. He warned the much more serious problem is the epidemic of overdoses from heroin and painkillers.

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