Photo: Flickr via Andres Rueda
A dangerous new drug, already widespread in Russia, is believed to have been discovered in Europe.The Local reports that police in Bochum, Germany say they have discovered evidence that at least four homeless people have experienced side effects of desomorphine. The victims are reported to have believed they were taking heroin.
Desomorphine, also known as “krokodil” or “crocodile,” is created using readily available codeine, mixed with gasoline, paint thinner, iodine, hydrochloric acid and red phosphorous. It is often used as a substitute for Heroin, as it has roughly similar effects but is three times cheaper than the opiate.
However, the drug has side effects far more dangerous than heroin due to dangerous impurities. One clue comes in its nickname — users experience green, scaly skin at the site of injection. Gangrene and amputations are common, while fleshy tissue is eaten away by the acidic chemicals. Most users die within a few years.
Time reports that the problem became known in Siberia and the Far East in 2002. It spread across the country in recent years, in some areas pushing out traditional opiate substances in favour of this far more dangerous cousin. It’s now estimated 100,000 people are addicted in Russia.
The drug kills so quickly that it makes treatment for addicts hard. “A heroine addict has a chance to become cured of his or her addiction — it is possible in 3 of 100 cases,” Anatoly Berestov, Doctor of Medical Sciences told Pravda.ru. “Desomorphine kills all of its victims and it kills them very quickly. A heroine addict may live up to six or seven years. The life of a desomorphine addict is much shorter — two years maximum. Some may take it for five years, but many people die after taking their first dose of this drug.”
The DEA told Fox News earlier this summer that it was monitoring the drug, but that it had not been found in the United States at present.
For photos of the damage “Crocodile” can cause, click here, but be warned, these images are VERY GRAPHIC
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