With so many addictive substances circulating in the world, you might be wondering: what is Krokodil? Could my loved one be taking it? Krokodil is one of the street names for desomorphine, a synthetic opioid drug that imitates heroin, fentanyl, morphine, and other substances. Because of its powerful, dangerous, and highly addictive nature, it is important to be aware of desomorphine and how we at Asheville Detox can help if you or a loved one is struggling with this addiction.
What is Krokodil?
Krokodil is a homemade injectable mixture that has been used as a cheap substitute for heroin and has been spreading across several countries in recent years. Krokodil is a street name for a homemade injection mixture that has been used as a cheaper substitute for heroin. Desomorphine, a semi-synthetic opioid, is said to be the primary ingredient in krokodil and is considered responsible for its psychoactive effects. Krokodil is also made with codeine tablets, alkaline solutions, organic solvents, acidified water, iodine, and red phosphorus, all of which are readily available in retail outlets like supermarkets and drugstores.
Krokodil users exhibit a wide range of serious consequences such as thrombophlebitis, ulcerations, gangrene, and necrosis, leading rapidly to limb amputation and death. It is thought to cause these problems because toxic byproducts are produced during the homemade drug synthesis.
Where is Krokodil Now?
Krokodil has spread rapidly across Russia, where at least 100,000 people reportedly used it over a decade ago in 2011. Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Ukraine have also received reports of krokodil use in addition to Russia, where it originated in 2003. Although krokodil use is most common in the Soviet region, it has been reported in Germany, Norway, and other European nations as well.
Krokodil has begun to cause deaths and poisonings across the United States, with cases in Arizona, Illinois, and Oklahoma. However, because of the drug’s extremely short half-life, identifying krokodil’s prevalence in the United States is difficult. Krokodil is flushed out of the victim’s body well before toxicology screens or autopsies can be performed. Authorities have not seized any krokodil samples in drug raids, so the DEA has not confirmed its presence in the United States.
The Ill Effects of Using Krokodil
The most devastating side effects of any illegal drug are caused by krokodil. Because codeine is combined with lighter fluid and paint thinner, it causes extreme bodily damage. These elements are cooked to create a variety of toxic by-products. Even when users are as careful as possible, it is extremely difficult to eliminate these substances. Side effects of krokodil use include:
- Necrosis – When krokodil is injected, swelling, pain, and skin discoloration and scaling are common. Ulcerations subsequently form from tissue death. The toxic substances added to manufacture krokodil, many of which are erosive to skin, are suspected to cause some of the damage. Because the medicine is not purified prior to injection, skin irritation is observed almost immediately.
- Cartilage/Muscle Damage – A person who injects krokodil experiences muscle and bone destruction as a result of chronic skin ulcerations that later shed, revealing the bone beneath. Krokodil is 10 times more powerful than morphine. Because of its pain-relieving results, many individuals who utilize the drug ignore these side effects and delay treatment until extensive damage has been created, including gangrene.
- Damage to Blood Vessels – Using krokodil can result in blood vessel damage, inhibiting the flow of blood to the body’s tissues. This damage can lead to gangrene, a condition in which the body’s tissues are deprived of adequate blood flow. Thrombophlebitis, an inflammation of a vein caused by a blood clot, is one of the consequences of krokodil use.
- Bone Damage – Infections (osteomyelitis) and bone death (osteonecrosis) in locations distant from the injection site have also been noted. Bacteria may invade the bone through deep tissue wounds, resulting in infection. Bone death is caused when blood flow to the bone is decreased or stopped. Amputation is used to treat this type of damage in some cases.
Other side effects of krokodil use include:
- Tooth decay and tooth loss
- Poor coordination
- Slurred speech
- Respiratory depression
- Memory loss
- Liver damage
- Kidney failure
Should you Be Worried About a Krokodil Epidemic?
Because it is less expensive than heroin, krokodil is most popular with heroin addicts. The first reported cases of krokodil use in the United States occurred in Missouri, Illinois, Arizona, and Utah in 2013. In those states, those admitted to hospitals showing signs of krokodil use exhibited scaly, rotted skin caused by the drug.
Krokodil is believed to be used by heroin addicts who can no longer afford their habit since it is made of easy-to-get substances. Krokodil is used by desperate addicts to maintain their habit as a result of their financial limitations.
Despite the intense media frenzy at the beginning of its discovery, krokodil usage in the United States appears to have been minimal. While there have been several reported cases, widespread krokodil use has not been verified as a result of any real evidence. Regardless of whether or not many people use it, the health risks associated with krokodil use should not be underestimated. Scaly skin, rotting flesh, and sudden death are just a few of the terrifying things it may cause.
How to Help a Loved One Addicted to Krokodil
If you or a loved one is struggling with krokodil addiction and want to rid yourself of your dependence on the drug, an medically assisted detoxification program can help you do so. You can receive medical and clinical care for krokodil withdrawal symptoms in a detox program so that you can feel safe, comfortable, and cared for. Detox also helps you avoid relapse by providing professional support in a medical setting.
Individuals who have abused krokodil may benefit from enrolling in a drug rehab program after detoxification. Rehabilitation treatment that focuses on long-term addiction treatment can help addicts address the underlying causes of their addictive behaviors, acquire important life skills that will help them remain clean for life, and establish a firm foundation in sobriety.
Long-term addiction treatment that lasts for at least 90 days is said by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to give individuals the highest probability of sustained sobriety. Furthermore, prolonging krokodil treatment reduces the risk of relapse. Addiction treatment professionals and sober peers will work closely with you if you’re thinking about krokodil drug rehab to achieve the following objectives:
- Identify addiction as being a disease
- Identify the source of your addiction
- Learn functional life skills
- Learn trigger management skills
- Manage cravings
- Work a 12-step program
- Attend individual and group therapies
Cognitive behavioral therapy, educational lectures, family therapy, and peer support, among other specialized therapies, are used to achieve these addiction treatment objectives.
You Can Trust Asheville Detox
The symptoms that come with krokodil addiction and life-threatening, but you can get help and become clean. Medical detox is provided by Asheville Detox, a center renowned for its quality services and client comfort. Please contact Asheville Detox today to learn more about our krokodil detox program. You are not alone.