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First cases of flesh-eating drug Krokodil surface in US

Posted on September 26, 2013 by in News

Krokodil, a flesh-eating drug which first surfaced in Russia more than a decade ago, has reportedly been found in the United States.

Similar to morphine or heroin, krokodil is made by mixing codeine with substances like gasoline, paint thinner, oil or alcohol. That mixture is then injected into a vein, potentially causing an addict’s skin to turn greenish, scaly and eventually rot away.

Dr. Frank LoVecchio, co-medical director at Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center in Arizona, told CBS5 that the first two cases of people using the drug have been reported in the state. He declined to comment on the patients’ conditions.

“As far as I know, these are the first cases in the United States that are reported,” LoVecchio said, adding that the cases are believed to be linked. “So we’re extremely frightened.”

Krokodil

A man prepares heroin in Zhukovsky, Russia, near Moscow. To produce krokodil, which has a comparable effect to heroin but is much cheaper to make, users mix codeine with gasoline, paint thinner, iodine, hydrochloric acid and red phosphorous.

Users of krokodil — or desomorphine — had previously only been found in large numbers in Russia, where 65 million doses of the opiate were seized during the first three months of 2011, Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service told Time.

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