Note: Krokodil causes extreme skin disfigurements which may be disturbing for some people. There are no pictures of krokodil users in this post.

Every couple of years there is a new drug trend which grows and grows until it’s picked up by the mainstream media. Krokodil (pronounced like crocodile) is one of these drugs – it’s a synthetic heroin. According to the International Journal of Drug Policy, Krokodil is a mixture of psychoactive drugs which are often used in Russia and other surrounding countries. However, the drug’s effects last about 90 minutes – much shorter than the effects of heroin. The most striking effects of krokodil include skin infections, discoloration, and scaly skin which looks like crocodile skin, hence the name krokodil.

Although the half-life of krokodil is short compared to other opioids, its harmful effects are immediate and very severe. One popular drug info website has a story about krokodil and its recent appearance in the US, particularly in the Chicago area. One 25 year-old female said she had been abusing heroin for 10 years, however she was admitted to a Chicago hospital after abusing krokodil for only one month.

krokodil-300x205Krokodil started getting popular in Russia about 10 years ago and the average life expectancy of someone who abuses krokodil is about two years. Russia has close to 2 million users as of 2008. Russian media reports estimate up to 5% of drug users may be injecting krokodil. People who abuse krokodil will suffer the very negative and harmful effects including gangrene, tissue death, and infections with possible neurological, endocrine organ damage. These side effects are commonly associated with heavy chemicals and metals poisoning, which are present in the production of krokodil. The ingredients used to produce krokodil are pictured below.

Krokodil is a terrifying drug with horrific side effects. Not much is known about this drug in the US because it is so new to our black market. However, we know it causes disgusting skin disfigurements and we know it puts people in the hospital very quickly. Krokodil is a frightening drug because not only does it destroy the body, but the lure of a cheap, homemade drug may prove too strong for those looking for a quick high.

While a number of different drugs rise and fall in popularity, addiction will remain the driving force behind the destructive behavior of drug abuse. If you or someone you love is abusing drugs, please don’t hesitate to call us at Inspirations for Youth and Families at (888) 757-6237.