A flesh-eating, homemade drug has surfaced in the U.S. and landed two users in an Arizona hospital.
The appearance of Krokodil, Russian for “crocodile,” a street drug used as a substitute for heroin, comes a decade after being discovered in Russia. Medical professionals at Banner Poison Control Center in Phoenix were alarmed by the two cases and are spreading the word about the drug’s lethal effects.
Although inexpensive compared to heroin, the drug has costly long-term effects. Krokodil, once injected, burns off the body’s fat and rots the flesh. The sores from the drug leave users with skin resembling that of a crocodile, which can be seen in these other disturbing images.
The drug has a codeine base and then is infused with ingredients easily available at home improvement stores. The types of chemicals used include “things like hydrochloric acid. Some have used paint thinners, gasoline and other stuff that includes phosphorous,” Dr. Frank LoVecchio, co-medical director at Banner Poison, Drug and Information Center said.
The life expectancy of a user is two years, according to LoVecchio.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has monitored the drug since 2011, but has not released a statement on an active investigation into how the drug appeared in America.
According to ABC News, Leslie Bloom, CEO of DrugFreeAZ.org, says Krokodil use is not an outbreak to be fearful of.