MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A frightening new drug that first appeared in Russia is beginning to make its way around the United States. The drug, named “krokodil” is a knockoff of heron and comes with some deadly side effects.
Krokodil, also known as desomorphine, can literally rot the skin from the inside out. The drug causes gangrene and abscesses that become so damaging that bones and muscles are left exposed.
The drug hasn’t been seen in Florida, but has shown up in at least three U.S. states in the past few weeks.
The drug is made from codeine tablets that are then combined with other items like gas, paint thinner, or lighter fluid. It’s roughly one-tenth the cost of heroin, according to the Huffington Post, but the side effects are the most damaging effects.
According to the Joliet Patch, where a user of the drug has been reported, krokodil produces a feeling similar to morhine, but with properties similar to methamphetamines.
The drug itself, desomorphine, was patented in 1932 and marketed as a painkiller in Switzerland, according to Forbes. However, the impure versions that are made by amateur chemists are what has caused the flesh-eating qualities of the drug.