Flesh-Eating Crocodile – A New Drug Threat!

From the title of this blog, I suspect you may realize that I’m talking about a whole newHeiliges Krokodil in Kachikally “animal” here—not the large aquatic reptile, but a totally different (and yet just as deadly) crocodile.

While researching new methods to kill off characters in my short stories and novels, I came across a most intriguing drug abuse phenomenon and I’d like to share it with you.

The Crocodile drug—which is alternately spelled Krocodile, Krocodil and KrokodilHeroin powder drug Tears—is actually desomorphine, an opiate made easily from codeine, iodine and red phosphorus. Krokodil (as it’s most often termed) is said to be about ten times more potent than morphine, the common standard by which other opiates are compared to regarding potency.

The advantages of desomorphine as a street drug are that it has a fast onset of action (an instantaneous high, like heroin), the “rush” lasts longer than heroin (about 90 minutes compared to about 20 minutes), it has less nausea and respiratory side effects than morphine or heroin, and it costs at least three times less than heroin. A smallMH900308894 syringe cocktail of Krokodil is often all that is needed to attract and intrigue the hardcore drug user.

The main disadvantages are that long-term use of Krokodil results in the rotting of human flesh and the skin around the injection site turns greenish, scaly, tough and bumpy—appearing to be much like crocodile skin.

Developed in Russia around 2002, Krokodil became all the rage in Russian street drug deals by 2010 as a heroin substitute. It got its name because the reptile crocodile in Russian is Krokodil. Thousands of deaths in Russia have been attributed to this dangerous street drug.

As distribution spread to the Western parts of Europe, the Krokodil name has perpetuated—at least until it hit American soil. On the streets of the United States, the drug is known as “the flesh-eating crocodile drug” and alternately as “the poor man’s meth”. The first US street deaths from desomorphine were reported in the fall of 2013 in Oklahoma with other reports coming from Arizona, Utah and Illinois.

Aside from the lethal effects of a drug overdose from Krokodil, one of the main reasons this drug is so deadly is that desomorphine is made from codeine brewed in backroom kitchens using lighter fluid, gasoline, paint thinner, alcohol and hydrochloric acid as reactants to chemically transform codeine into desomorphine.

Preparation of the drug often leaves impurities behind and traces of the oil, gas and acid 3700-940x626remain in the finished drug product. When improperly injected into skin and veins, these impurities cause blood vessels to burst and gangrene to form on skin, making skin tissue appear green, scaly and tough like the skin of crocodiles.

Treatments include cleansing of the infected tissue and administering antibiotics; but skin and muscle grafts, and sometimes amputations, are often required.

Statistics show that usually within one or two years of avid Krokodil use, the user will die of a massive infection, with flesh literally falling off bone and leaving gaping wounds.

Rehab for the Krokodil user is usually three times as long, much more complex and the pain is more severe as compared to rehab for the heroin user.

In all, Krokodil addiction is a rather unpleasant experience, difficult to successfully rehab, and often results in an extremely painful death.

One might say that this drug makes a perfect ending for the particularly nasty villain in your story.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

About James J. Murray, Fiction Writer

With experience in both pharmaceutical manufacturing and clinical patient management, medications and their impact on one’s quality of life have been my expertise. My secret passion of murder and mayhem, however, is a whole other matter. I’ve always loved reading murder mysteries and thrillers, and longed to weave such tales of my own. Drawing on my clinical expertise as a pharmacist and my infatuation with the lethal effects of drugs, my tales of murder, mayhem and medicine will have you looking over your shoulder and suspicious of anything in your medicine cabinet.
This entry was posted in A New Drug Abuse Threat, About James J. Murray, About Medications/Pharmacy, About Murder, About Writing, All About Murder, All About Writing, Blog Writers, Blogging, Characteristics of Killing, Characteristics of Murder, Chemicals Used For Murder, Crocodile Drug, Deadly Drugs in America, Designer Drug Deaths, Desomorphine, Desomorphine Abuse, Desomorphine As A Street Drug, Desomorphine Manufacture, Drug Abuse, Drug Poisoning, Drugs For Murder Plots, Drugs Used For Murder, Drugs Used to Murder, Elements of Murder, Flesh Eating Crocodile, Flesh Eating Krocodil, Flesh-Eating Crocodile Drug, Flesh-Eating Krocodile, Ideas for Murder Scenes, Instruments of Death, Interesting Murder Weapons, Killing a Villain in a Novel, Krokodil As a Street Drug, Krokodil Made From Codeine, Krokodil vs Heroin, Krokodil vs Morphine, Misuse of Drugs, Murder Weapons, Murder With Drugs, New Drug Abuse Phenomenon, New Methods To Kill Characters in Your Novel, Plotting Murder Scenes, Prescription For Murder Blog, Russian Street Drug Deals, Street Drug Abuse Substances, The Art of Writing, The Poor Man's Meth, The Science of Murder, Thrill-Seeker Drugs, Tools of Murder, Ways To Kill, Ways to Murder, Writing Death Scenes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Flesh-Eating Crocodile – A New Drug Threat!

  1. Wendy Ewurum says:

    OH this is harrowing….rotting flesh while you are alive??!!! Is there no end? I have to share this. Thank you James. I have to share this?

  2. wrLapinsky says:

    I don’t have the patience for such a murder mechanism, even if it does provide the pleasure of his long-term pain. Somehow your fictional murderer has to inject the drug many times over a year or so, meaning that she is close enough to the victim to become a suspect. Plus, it is possible that someone might notice the symptoms in time to save the intended victim. But I agree with Wendy: Yuck.

    • Hi Walt:
      I’m relieved to hear that “you don’t have the patience for such a murder mechanism” – I’m sure your wife appreciates that!
      But you failed to realize that death could come rather quickly and definitively with a nice overdose of this interesting drug. The long-term effects of chronic use are another whole matter, and yet another reason why this drug would make a great addition to a murder plot: chronic users of this drug leave lots of past use experience by way of rotting flesh, so a murderer would not likely get caught giving a lethal overdose since the victim could have easily miscalculated a self-injected dose.
      All the best!

  3. Holy Smokes! You leave me wondering where in the world do you come up with all these deadly substances for dispatching fictional characters, and challenged to contemplate possible plots in novels where such nefarious methods might be employed. Great research!

  4. Paul Alligator says:

    Is there such a thing a “good” krokidil? Like as in better quality with better high and less side effects. Is good krokidil better then heroin?

    • Well, I’m not sure any highly addictive drug can be called better than another. Both heroin and krodidil use over a relatively long-term period sort of “fries” the small veins and over time vein deterioration occurs, and that tissue damage can move into the surrounding tissue.
      Thanks for your comments.

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