The horrific Krokodil side effects can be fatal. Find out how detox and rehab can help you or a loved

In recent years, many people have asked, “What is Krokodil?” – the dangerous drug that is wreaking havoc across the globe. Krokodil (mesomorphine) is a classified Schedule I controlled substance in the U.S. that has a very high abuse potential. It is an opioid derivative of codeine that is a much more potent drug than heroin, and is approximately ten times more powerful than morphine. The drug first seemed to crop up in Russia and began to spread from there. Krokodil is a flesh-eating drug whose effects are so horrific that the drug is also called the zombie drug. It is used as a cheap alternative to heroin and is made from codeine, and drugs containing codeine. This powerful drug has no legal medical uses in the U.S.

Krokodil is a fast acting drug with a short two-hour life span inside the body, which lends the drug to be used repeatedly to maintain the euphoric high that it delivers. It became an alternative for heroin in areas where heroin is difficult to obtain, and because it is also cheap and easy to obtain or make. Users can make the drug quickly by combining codeine with several toxic substances. Some illicit Krokodil may contain unknown or toxic ingredients such as paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, gasoline and iodine, and not contain any mesomorphine at all. Users can never be sure as to what they are taking unless they concoct the drug themselves.

Many believe that Krokodil may have gotten its name because it can cause the skin to discolor and turn scaly like a crocodile. Users who inject the drug into a vein may develop infections, gangrene or severe skin ulcerations, causing the skin to discolor or turn green with a scaly appearance. Street names for the drug include Russian Magic, Cheornaya, and Himiya.

Desomorphine addiction can cause severe health problems including death. Some of the most common effects of the drug are vein damage, central nervous system damage, necrosis, organ damage, and gangrene. The drug may also cause impairment of speech, motor skills, memory and concentration. Serious conditions of rotted or disintegrated flesh that falls off the bone may require skin grafting, and surgical amputation of a limb. Other Krokodil drug effects include:

  • Blood poisoning
  • Pneumonia
  • Skin, bone and soft tissue infections
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Meningitis
  • Open ulcers, phlebitis and gangrene
  • Overdose and death

What is Krokodil and what is its death rate in Russia? Russian officials have recognized the severe dangers of the drug and report that about half of all drug-related deaths in their country are caused by Krokodil. The drug is regarded as dangerous to the overall health of the user. Desomorphine addiction may result from binging on the drug because of its short two hour life-span. The drug is cheap, easy to access and creates the usual opioid euphoric high that heroin does. Because of the devastating effects of the drug, the average life expectancy of a Krokodil addict is one to two years, but there have been reports of severe cases where death occurred within a few weeks to a month. Early intervention for recovery treatment is considered best to prevent flesh necrosis and death.

Many Krokodil addicts do not seek help to get off of the drug, but help is available to anyone addicted to this drug. Recovery from Krokodil addiction should be given under the supervision of medical professionals at a drug rehab facility. Because of all the serious health ramifications of the drug, beside the addiction, it is best for the addict to remain an inpatient at the rehab center until he is well enough to return home. The patient may have to be physically strengthened before he can endure the detox process. The withdrawal of Krokodil from the body can be a grueling process that can last up to a month or more. Some of the withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Extreme muscle cramping
  • Seizures

After the patient is well enough to go home from their recovery from Krokodil addiction, they should continue to receive outpatient recovery services for any continued physical and psychological effects of the drug. If you or someone you know use this devastating drug, you should begin to receive recovery treatment immediately.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.