Krokodil, "Russia's most dangerous drug," has made it's way to America. The first cases of the drug's use were reported in Arizona as two individuals are believed to have taken the drug.
KLTV reported that Banner's Poison Control Center, located in Phoenix, Az., had two cases of suspected Krokodil use. Frank LoVecchio, the center's co-medical director, did not comment on the condition of the two individuals believed to have taken the drug, but he believes the two cases are connected. Speaking to KLTV, LoVecchio said, "As far as I know, these are the first cases in the United States that are reported. So we're extremely frightened."
Krokodil is a mixture of iodine, gasoline, codeine painkillers and paint thinner that is cooked for 30 minutes and then injected. According to the Independent, the drug is known as desomorphine and is more powerful than heroin. The drug is incredibly cheap to make and can be created using household products.
The drug gets its name due to its effects on the user's skin as it soon turns scaly and continues to harden and turn gray before rotting away, a process known as necrosis. Of the two users profiled by the Independent, Oleg and Sasha, the former had rotting sores as a result of his Krokodil use. Krokodil use was first reported in Siberia in 2002 and later spread to other parts of Russia, Time reported. The drug soon exploded in popularity and gained international coverage in 2011. Reports from Vice, graphic videos posted on YouTube and photos depicting the effects of Krokodil led to international attention, but there had been no reported cases of the drug's use in America prior to the two cases in Arizona.
Shelly Mowry, a substance abuse expert speaking to KNXV-TV, said, "In the 12 years that I've been doing substance abuse and prevention education, it's probably the most destructive drug I've ever seen." The average life expectancy of a Krokodil user is between two and three years.