First 2 U.S. cases of krokodil-induced soft tissue injury reported in Phoenix area
September 27, 2013, 9:51 am
Two years ago TPR reported on krokodil, a homemade inexpensive heroin substitute that had become popular among certain subcultures in Russia. Krokodil was made by cooking codeine (easily available over-the-counter in Russia at that time) with various ingredients including red phosphorous, hydrochloric acid, paint thinner, gasoline, and iodine. The result was desomorphine, a designer opiate that is an order of magnitude more potent than morphine itself. Because of the caustic components used to manufacture the compound, krokodil produced such horrendous soft tissue injuries when injected that it was almost invariably labelled as “flesh-eating”. (To see some photographs illustrating damage caused by krokodil, click here — WARNING: extremely graphic images.)
When posting about krokodil in 2011, TPR wrote:
. . .the DEA is monitoring the situation, but has not yet seen any evidence that krokodil has reached the United States. Given that codeine is not available over-the-counter here, it fortunately seems unlikely that they will.
Well, now they have. The local ABC channel in Phoenix has reported 2 cases in that area (clip above). The Daily Mail (U.K.) has also covered the story, giving further details:
Banner’s Poison Control Center [in Phoenix] most likely encountered the drug when two addicts arrived in emergency rooms with their flesh hanging off their body, exposing bone or with skin resembling that of a crocodile, hence its name.
These appear to be the first 2 cases seen in the United States.