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Flesh-eating drug use spreads to Germany

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Krokodil use spreading across Europe.

A drug made from painkillers and other ingredients, known as krokodil, is affecting millions in Russia. Now there are reports that the drug krokodil is being used in Germany.

The drug, which is injected, is a synthetic opiate known as desomorphine.

It’s created by cooking inexpensive painkillers combined with other household ingredients.

A recent report from the UK Daily Mail highlights the growing use of krokodil that is now spreading across Europe

The Czech Republic's national drug agency has issued a warning about its dangers.

The drug effect causes the skin to become scaly, turn green and rot, which is why the drug is dubbed krokodil (crocodile). Krokodil, or desomorphine also destroys the brain.

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The green flesh that happens from injecting the drug is gangrene that can completely destroy flesh to the bone. Gangrene is accompanied by a characteristic stench that is unforgettable.

Time magazine reported in June, 2011 that 1.2 million Russians have been affected by the potent drug.

The Daily Mail reports, “Krokodil is a sickening cocktail of over the counter painkillers, paint thinner, acid and phosphorus. In some cases, petrol is also added.”

The result of the concoction is desomorphine. A popular and inexpensive painkiller used to make the drug is codeine.

The financial cost of krokodil, compared to heroin, is cheap. Ten years ago, the drug was unknown. It is the second most popular illicit drug in Russian, next to heroin.

The amount of krokodil seized in Russia has increased 23-fold since 2009, according to the head of the Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov. Now there are reports of the deadly heroin-like drug being used in Germany.

Image credit: morguefile