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New Drug Epidemic Krokodil Causes Skin and Bone Tissue Deterioration


A new drug epidemic has recently been discovered in Russia. The drug is called Krokodil or Crocodile, and is named for the gruesome effects the drug has on the users’ appearance. One major side effect users of krokodil experience is rotting of the skin. When users abuse the drug intravenously their complexion around the site of injection becomes greenish and scaly (much like a crocodile), their blood vessels rupture and the skin tissue dies. krokodil causes Bone tissue, especially in the lower jaw beings to deteriorate by the highly acidic content of the drug. Gangrene and amputations are a common result of drug use.

Krokodil is made with desomorphine, a synthetic opioid more powerful than heroin. The drug is created by mixing common household chemicals with codeine-based cold medications that are available over the counter is Russia. The process of creating krokodil involves mixing the codeine pills with ingredients including gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, iodine and red phosphorous. The effects of krokodil are very similar to those of heroin. Many long time heroin users are now beginning to switch to krokodil. Since its discovery 4 years ago, consumption has steadily been on the rise. In poverty stricken regions of Russia, use of the drug has been especially high. All of the ingredients are readily available at pharmacies and drug stores, and are much cheaper than heroin.

A study conducted in 2010 showed that between a few hundred thousand and a million people, were injecting krokodil. However, Russia is currently the only country for which the drug has become a problem. It is believed to first have appeared in Siberia and the Russian Far East in early 2002, however in the last few years has it spread all over the country. Since 2009, the amount of krokodil seized in Russia has increased. During the first few months of 2011 there had already been approximately 65 million doses of krokodil seized by Russian Law enforcement.

For most Russian citizens drug treatment is scarcely available in impoverished regions of the country. Due to budgeting problems the government is unable to do much about the drug problem in Russia. With the recent spike in krokodil use there has been many a public debates over the ban of codeine pills and drug testing in public schools. Recently there has been talk of a plan to create several state run drug rehabilitation centers in Russia. However, only a handful of inpatient rehab centers run by the Health Ministry are available for an estimated 2.5 million drug addicts a (most of whom still use heroin or krokodil). The Russian union of Evangelical Christians, facilitates more than 500 rehab centers, receiving no help from the state, makes them the largest provider for drug addiction treatment in Russia.

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Filed under: Alcohol and Drugs · Tags: Heroin, Heroin Addiction, heroin side effects, krokodil, krokodil drug, krokodil side effects, opioid addiction, opioid side effects, opioid treatmetn

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