Just in time for Halloween - krokodil

  1. Scary stuff...
    Flesh-eating drug makes appearance in Chicago suburb

    By Haley BeMiller, NBCChicago.com

    A flesh-eating drug that became popular in Russia has made its way across the ocean and to a Chicago suburb.

    Dr. Abhin Singla of Presence St. Joseph Medical Center said the Joliet, Ill., facility this week treated three patients who said they used the drug known as "krokodil."

    The substance is similar to morphine, Singla said, and possesses some of the same properties as methamphetamine. However, it's cheaper to obtain, and like meth, users can make it with codeine and everyday products such as gasoline and paint thinner.

    Krokodil, which is the Russian word for crocodile, causes gangrene and abscesses on the user's body, Singla said, noting it has maimed his patients' arms and legs.

    "It is a horrific way to get sick," he said. "The smell of rotten flesh permeates the room. Intensive treatment and skin grafts are required, but they often are not enough to save limbs or lives."

    Singla said some cases are so serious that muscles and bones become visible. The dead skin can also lead to infections that result in amputation or even death.The drug can be injected or taken orally and has become a cheap alternative to heroin. Because of this, Singla said, these incidents might not mark the end of its use in Joliet.

    Last edit by tom on Oct 11, '13 : Reason: Adding Video
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  3. by   realnursealso/LPN

    In September 2013, Dr. Frank LoVecchio, the co-medical director at the Banner Poison Control Center, announced that the first two U.S. cases of suspected Krokodil use had been reported in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. Krokodil is described as being a drug concoction popular in Russia that can produce necrosis in users who inject it, causing skin to harden, slough, turn green, and rot: [SIZE=2"]
    Toxicologists at the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center in Phoenix say they have been consulted on a "handful of cases" of patients suspected of abusing Krokodil, so-called for the scaly and green appearance of sores that form on the user's skin.

    Abuse of the home-made narcotic was first reported in middle and eastern Siberia in 2002, but has since spread throughout Russia and the neighboring former Soviet republics, according to medical reports. The new suspected cases, if confirmed, would be among the first recorded in the United States.

    The cheap and highly addictive opiate is typically prepared in an injectable form by cooking up codeine with caustic chemicals including hydrochloric acid and turpentine, which rot the flesh, leaving bone and muscle tissue exposed, doctors say.

    Banner Health said its toxicologists have consulted with doctors caring for a "handful" of critically ill patients in the Phoenix area who are suspected of having used Krokodil.
    Read more at http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/...cGzCu4oVBks.99
    Last edit by Esme12 on Oct 11, '13 : Reason: fixed link...the pictures are graphic
  4. by   AZ_LPN_8_26_13
    The real problem here the way I see it is a psychological one. You can inject just about any substance into yourself and get some sort of "high". Of course a lot of these things will eventually kill you. It's to the point now where people are becoming home chemists and ingesting all sorts of crap that was never intended for human consumption. The natural question is what sort of person in their right mind would do this?
  5. by   kbrn2002
    Agree with AZ_LPN...why on earth would anybody take a drug with known side effects like that??? It can't even really be blamed on addiction to the drug as every addict had to make the choice to take that drug that first time. I don't understand what would possess a person to say to themselves "gee, maybe I'll try that."
  6. by   amoLucia
    Quote from kbrn2002
    Agree with AZ_LPN...why on earth would anybody take a drug with known side effects like that??? It can't even really be blamed on addiction to the drug as every addict had to make the choice to take that drug that first time. I don't understand what would possess a person to say to themselves "gee, maybe I'll try that."
    I think it's the same mentality that causes folk to try other similarly crazy things, like homemade alcohol, huff various inhalants, eat roots & tree bark, etc.
    Anything for the high!
  7. by   Brian
    Here is more drug information on Krokodil on wikipedia:
    Desomorphine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Desomorphine (dihydrodesoxymorphine, Permonid, street name krokodil) is an opioid first patented in 1932 in the United States that is a derivative ofmorphine, where the 6-hydroxyl group and the 7,8 double bond have been reduced.[1] It has sedative and analgesic effects, and is around 8-10 times more potent than morphine.[2][3][4][5] It was used in Switzerland under the brand name Permonid[6] and was described as having a fast onset and a short duration of action, with relatively little nausea or respiratory depression compared to equivalent doses of morphine. The traditional synthesis of desomorphine starts fromα-chlorocodide, which is itself obtained by reacting thionyl chloride with codeine. By catalytic reduction, α-chlorocodide gives dihydrodesoxycodeine, which yields desomorphine on demethylation.[7][8]
    Desomorphine attracted attention in 2010 in Russia due to an increase in clandestine production, presumably due to its relatively simple synthesis fromcodeine. Reports of its use there date back to 2003.[9] The drug is easily made from codeine, iodine and red phosphorus,[10] in a process similar to the manufacture of methamphetamine from pseudoephedrine; like methamphetamine, desomorphine made this way is often highly impure and is contaminated with various toxic and corrosive byproducts. The street name in Russia for homemade desomorphine is "krokodil" (Russian: крокодил, crocodile), reportedly due to the scale-like appearance of skin of its users and the derivation from chlorocodide.[11] Due to difficulties in procuring heroin, combined with easy and cheap access to over-the-counter pharmacy products containing codeine in Russia, use of "krokodil" has increased. The high associated with krokodil is akin to that of heroin, but lasts a much shorter period. While the effects of heroin use can last four to eight hours, the effects of krokodil do not usually extend past one and a half hours,[12] with the symptoms of withdrawal setting in soon after. Krokodil takes roughly 30 minutes to an hour to prepare with over-the-counter ingredients in a kitchen.[13] Since the homemade mix is routinely injected immediately with little or no further purification, "krokodil" has become notorious for producing severe tissue damage, phlebitis and gangrene, sometimes requiring limb amputation in long-term users.[14] Although there are not many, addicts' life expectancies are said to be as low as two to three years due to injecting drug users' high susceptibility to infections and gangrene.[15][16][17]Abuse of homemade desomorphine was first reported in middle and eastern Siberia in 2002, but has since spread throughout Russia and the neighboring former Soviet republics. One death in Poland in December 2011 was also believed to be caused by "krokodil" use, and its use has been confirmed among Russian expatriate communities in a number of other European countries.[18]
    Possibly the first discovery of use of the drug in the United States was reported by the Banner Poison Control Center in Phoenix, Arizona, in September 2013.[19][20] In October 2013, numerous cases of krokodil-related hospitalizations were reported in Joliet, Illinois, 44 miles southwest of Chicago[21]

    Other ingredients

    While crude amateur attempts to make krokodil will almost invariably still contain some remaining codeine, as well as other "accidentally produced" synthetic opioids such as iodocodeine, some of the krokodil produced also contains other drugs. For example, the codeine pills sold in Russia may also contain ingredients such as caffeine, paracetamol, or diphenhydramine (coincidentally an opioid potentiator); while chemicals such as tropicamide, found in over the counter eyedrops, may also be added to the mixture in attempt to prolong or enhance the experience.[22]
  8. by   Guttercat
    Saw some info related to this.

  9. by   VivaLasViejas
    My oldest daughter told me about this Thursday night, and at first I didn't believe it. I mean, who would inject such an insane chemical soup into him/herself like that? But then I went home and researched it, and there were stories all over the place.....I read about one 20-something year old female in Joliet, Ill. who had wounds over about 75% of her body, some of which had to be debrided down to the bone! They say she's going to make it, but dang......Then again, some folks will do just about ANYTHING for a high. I can't judge them. But I sure don't understand this.
  10. by   0.adamantite
    There are some graphic pictures out there. There is also a documentary online about krokodil users. It started in Russia, where people can't afford heroin and live in horrible conditions, and all they want to do is get high. I think they said their lifespan is 1 year or less.
  11. by   txerrn6942
    Just watched the documentary tonight! What a coincidence!
  12. by   #NurseB
    My friend told me of a patient that came into her ER after injecting gasoline into their veins. The patient developed compartment syndrome and ended up a double amputee. There's no doubt, addiction is a sickness.