Flesh-Eating "Krocodil" Enters United States Mid-west
If you haven't heard by now, "Krocodil" is a dangerous, flesh-eating heroine knock-off that was originally synthesized (quite easily) in Russia. It has been called a "zombie-drug" by people familiar with the effects, and is called "Krocodil" (Russian for crocodile) due to the scaly skin that is a common result of using the street drug.
Recently, doctors in the United States Mid-west have reported treating patients with "extreme gangrene and abscesses" that cause abuser's muscles, tendons, or even bones to be exposed. These patients have admitted to using "Krocodil" as an inexpensive, easily-created alternative to heroine. It only takes about thirty minutes to produce a batch of it.
What is being called "Krocodil" is actually desomorphine, a derivative of morphine. The effects of the drug do not last as long as heroine and are 8-10 times more potent than morphine. The life expectancy of a user is less than two years.
The abscesses and gangrene are less of a result of the drug itself and more of a result of the lack of purification and sterilization of the home-made drug prior to injection.
It is too early to call Krocodil use in the United States an epidemic - or even an issue, technically. The DEA has not confirmed a single case of Krocodile use in the United States, despite the reports from doctors and first-hand accounts. However, the inexpensive, home-brew nature of the street drug is, of course, attractive to drug users.
Due to national coverage and exposure to the effects of the drug, it is all but miraculous that people in the United States even acknowledge Krocodile as a source of amusement.