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Krokodil: The Drug That Rots Your Body

Drug addiction is a huge problem sweeping the globe.  With the opiate epidemic in full force, addicts are doing whatever they can to get their next fix.  Prescription pain killer addiction becomes expensive very quickly as tolerance builds.  As pain pills become too expensive, addicts start to look for other ways to get high.  A lot of addicts will commonly try to find a drug in the same classification, in this case opiates, and heroin is normally the next step.  Heroin is a "cheaper" opiate that produces the same sort of high that pain pills do but comes at a cheaper price, and higher consequences.  Most heroin is mixed with other drugs and additives in order to increase the profit for the dealers.  The purity can vary from batch to batch, even from bag to bag.  Like all opiates though tolerance builds just as quickly with heroin.

When heroin becomes too expensive or hard to get, that is when addicts start to get desperate.  Desomorphine, a drug that was synthesized in the United States in 1932, has made a dismal return to society with a street name of “Krokodil.” This drug is said to be 8 to 10 times more potent than morphine but with a shorter half life with effects lasting only an hour or two.

The issue with krokodil that is raising major concern in society is the side effects of the drug. Along with the normal dangers of abusing opiates such as addiction, respiratory failure and overdose, this particular drug has an extreme side effect. Reports of gangrene and rotting flesh from krokodil abusers have made international news.  Photos of people with rotting skin and exposed bones have made headlines around the world.

The drug has becomes very popular in the inner cities of Russia where the supply of heroin has become scarce. These same heroin addicts began making krokodil. Krokodil is a toxic concoction of codeine-laced headache pills, red phosphorus from matches, iodine, gasoline and other chemicals that produce a heroin-like high when shot intravenously.

This incredibly dangerous and grotesque drug is becoming very popular because it can be made at home, cheap and easily. Though the average krokodil users life span after becoming addicted to the drug is one to seven years. Krokodil users become covered with abscesses and lesions that cause their body to rot from the inside out. The skin and muscle deteriorates to the point where it falls off in clumps leaving bone and muscle tissue exposed to the air.

A lot of these addicts hear that they can make their own heroin-like drug on the street and quickly want to learn how. The consequences take a back seat to the chase for the next stronger, cheaper high. There is a fallacy that this drug can be produced cleanly.  This provides a false sense of comfort for addicts who are willing to hear that it may be safe.  

The dangers of krokodil are easy to see. It is stronger than most pain pills, and is dirtier and more unpredictable than heroin. The drug literally rots your skin and makes your skin look like a crocodile, which is how it got it's name in the first place.  All the dangers in the world can be broadcasted but the power of addiction is too strong.  The horrendous photos and videos of people who are addicted to krokodil just prove how strong addiction is.  When people are willing to use a drug that will cause their skin to rot off their body just goes to show how powerful opiates addiction can become.  This is a perfect example for parents to show their kids that once your hooked, nothing will stop you from using until YOU decide it's time to quit, or until your life is entirely consumed by drugs with the end result being jail or death.

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