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Russia's Flesh-Eating Drug Krokodil Has Arrived In The U.S. And Here's Why That Should Scare You

Russia’s Flesh-Eating Drug Krokodil Has Arrived In The U.S. And Here’s Why That Should Scare You Krokodil” is a street version of the drug desomorphine. It is a toxic mix of codeine, iodine, and red phosphorus that produces a high similar to that of heroin, but much shorter.

Desomorphine (street name krokodil): is a derivative of morphine with powerful, fast-acting opioid effects, such as sedation and analgesia. Homemade versions start with codeine, and can be cooked similar to meth. Organic solvents such as gasoline, paint thinner, lighter fluid, iodine, hydrochloric acid, and red phosphorus are used in homemade synthesis. Those who inject these caustic agents into their veins can develop extreme skin ulcerations, infections, and gangrene.

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In the vast pharmacopeia of illegal street drugs, few have as heinous a reputation as desomorphine, popularly known as crocodile or "krokodil." An opiate that's chemically related to morphine and heroin, krokodil earned its name in two ways: Addicts develop dark, scaly lesions on their skin, and the drug tends to eat its victims alive, like a crocodile.

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