Krokodil (Desomorphine) is a deadly, homemade alternative to heroin that surged through Russia in 2010.
After reaching the United States in 2015, the drug is now close to the UK, with recently reported appearances in Germany and Norway.
This dangerous ‘heroin moonshine’ is highly toxic and rots the flesh. The drug is very cheap and can be concocted using easily accessible over-the-counter medication.
The danger lies in its toxic by-products which are injected into the body resulting in tissue damage.
After a short time, the skin necrosis leads to the need for amputation and irreversible damage to the nervous system.
Users develop gangrenous, scaly skin resembling that of a crocodile, hence the name ‘Krokodil’.
According to experts, Krokodil addicts have a two to thee-year life expectancy, and in some cases the first injection leads directly to death.
In Russia it is estimated that up to a million people are injecting this deadly drug, according to the US website Narconon.
Users then experience a 90-minute-high after which the painful symptoms of withdrawal begin to set in.
This short timetable can cause users to get caught in a 24-hour-cycle to avoid the effects of withdrawal. For those addicted to Krokodil withdrawal is much more agonising than heroin and can last up to one month, causing users to feel almost unbearable pain.
Experts dealing with addicts have noted that this drug is one of the strongest levels of addiction and extraordinarily hard to cure.
Yasmin Batliwala, Chair of WDP, said ‘There is a possibility that this drug will begin to be used in the UK as a much cheaper alternative to heroin. The greatest concern is that all the ingredients needed to manufacture this drug are available from pharmacies.
Krokodil is highly addictive and destructive, and we must be vigilant about such drugs, and new combinations of drugs, and start to put measures in place for the possibility that it will surface within the UK. Prevention is key, so raising awareness of its potential dangers is a must.’