There’s a super bleak story in The Independent about a home-made heroin substitute that’s becoming popular in Russia. The problem is that “Krokodil” is so detrimental to the human body that it practically eats right through it. There are up to two million junkies in Russia, the most in the world and around 100,000 of them are addicted to Krokodil which can be easily produced for a fraction of the price of smack.
Even hardcore methfreaks are better off than Krokodil addicts. Withdrawal from the drug can take an agonizing MONTH (Heroin detox lasts a week to ten days, a relative walk in the park).
The home-made drug that Oleg and Sasha inject is known as krokodil, or “crocodile”. It is desomorphine, a synthetic opiate many times more powerful than heroin that is created from a complex chain of mixing and chemical reactions, which the addicts perform from memory several times a day. While heroin costs from £20 to £60 per dose, desomorphine can be “cooked” from codeine-based headache pills that cost £2 per pack, and other household ingredients available cheaply from the markets.
It is a drug for the poor, and its effects are horrific. It was given its reptilian name because its poisonous ingredients quickly turn the skin scaly. Worse follows. Oleg and Sasha have not been using for long, but Oleg has rotting sores on the back of his neck.
“If you miss the vein, that’s an abscess straight away,” says Sasha. Essentially, they are injecting poison directly into their flesh. One of their friends, in a neighbouring apartment block, is further down the line.
“She won’t go to hospital, she just keeps injecting. Her flesh is falling off and she can hardly move anymore,” says Sasha. Photographs of late-stage krokodil addicts are disturbing in the extreme. Flesh goes grey and peels away to leave bones exposed. People literally rot to death.
This is like something straight out of Burroughs or Cronenberg, but as I was reading the article, I was thinking more about what a modern day Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky would make of a plague like this.
Read the entire horrific story: Krokodil: The drug that eats junkies (The Independent)
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Scarface: Attack of the Flesh-Eating Cocaine