July 12th, 2012

2. Krokodil

Heroin’s flesh-rotting deformed child

Krokodil is Russian for crocodile; the scaly creatures your skin begins to resemble if you take much of this budget heroin.  Sadly, scaly skin is the least of a krokodil user’s worries.  Miss the vein once and krokodil forms abscesses in your flesh; mess up a few more times and your flesh rots from your bones.  Like oxi, users’ life expectancy on krokodil drops to about a year.  Why would anyone take such a destructive substance?

Krokodil injection.

Krokodil injection.

It all started in the early 2000s, when some junkie chemist discovered that two hours of careful cooking could turn over-the-counter codeine pills, red phosphorus (from matchboxes), and iodine into desomorphine, a powerful opioid similar to heroin.  The cooking process and ingredients left the product heavily contaminated, so initially few switched over from more pure opioids.  But in 2009 a significant decrease in the supply of Afghani heroin to Russia caused heroin’s street price to skyrocket.  No matter how diligently they stole bicycles and raided garages, addicts couldn’t keep up.  The choice between 2£ krokodil and 60£ heroin silenced any questions.

Krokodil’s high lasts only two hours, so users quickly become locked in a cycle of cooking, administering, and cooking again.  Without the drug, desomorphine withdrawal is horrendous; seizures, 50 degree decreases in body temperature, and vomiting are common.  Withdrawal can also last up to a month.  So, krokodil users sit at the stove and stir, delirious, while their flesh decays on their very bodies.  In the last three years, krokodil abuse has spread to afflict hundreds of thousands in heroin-deprived Russia, and every day more people start using Krokodil all over the world.

Krokodil is the penultimate in Alltreatment’s list of the five most dangerous and nasty drugs.  What is the final, worst drug?  Find out tomorrow (Friday)!  Comment below to guess the last drug; the winner will receive a FREE SIGNED COPY of Nick Reding’s Methland.

For more information on Krokodil, see:
Krokodil: Flesh-Eating Homemade Russian Heroin 

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