Is Krokodil Really Here? Flesh-Eating Drug Reportedly In US

The deadly flesh-eating Russian street drug krokodil may have turn up in Utah, the Daily Mail wrote Thursday. The desomorphine mixture has been said to turn people into “zombies” and people who abuse the drug often die within two to three years.

Krokodil has been in Russia for nearly a decade, and though there have been numerous claims that the substance is in America, the DEA has yet to confirm any cases.

The drug gets its name from how it turns the skin of a user into scaly, reptilian, gangrenous sores that become infected. Why would anyone want to do this to himself? Other than the fact that krokodil is much cheaper and produces a stronger high, most people think they are buying heroin, when in fact it’s krokodil.

Insley Crouch, executive director of the Utah Poison Control Center, told Fox13now.com that what people think is heroin going into their body is actually a foul concoction.

“What they do is de-fat tissues,” she said Wednesday. “If you spilled gasoline on your skin, you get a little burn from it as it erodes the fat from your tissues. Imagine it internally doing to the same thing.”

People have even lost limbs. “Buyer beware, for sure,” Crouch said.

The first two Americans to claim to have used the deadly substance are the Neitzel sisters from Joliet, Ill. Younger sister Amber, 26, told the Daily Mail she thought the krokodil was heroin, but realized it was the flesh-eating drug when they began to develop sores.

"We thought it was just normal heroin, in fact it was actually better because it was cheap and it gave a really intense high, much, much stronger than normal dope,” she said. “But it didn't take long before we both started to get these horrible deep sores on our bodies, particularly our arms and legs."

She continued: “This is a really bad problem. This drug is real, it rots you away from the inside and attacks your organs. I have been using for 18 months and I know it's done some permanent damage. I will be lucky if I live another 10 years from now.”

The drug has supposedly killed two people in Oklahoma, though it hasn't been confirmed if krokodil was the cause for their demise. Justin McGee, a father of four, and his unnamed friend are supposedly the drug's first American victims. 

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