Krokodil: New Enemy in the War on Drugs

The emergence of the new designer drug desomorphine, also known as Krokodil, within the United States has both law enforcement and health care providers concerned. They fear the horrifying effect of this new drug which causes flesh eating necrosis seen in Eastern Europe will occur here in the US. Currently, the DEA is making efforts to get out ahead of this before it becomes widespread in our cities.

Dr. John Torres connects why heroin use is often associated the new drug desomorphine (Krokodil). He explains why the new drug is often associated with the heroin. People that are addicted to heroin or other strong opiates such as oxycontin may come to the point where they can no longer afford their heroin addiction and switch over to the cheaper more potent desomorphine.

First Case Suspected in US

Ironically, the first krokodil related case is believed to have occurred in Oklahoma. Authorities are reopening the case involving a man who died last year exhibiting similar symptoms to that associated with krokodil use. Healthcare workers report the man’s skin was missing, and doctors said that some form of necrosis was eating the man from the man from the inside out. It wasn’t until the following day when they were informed of the possibility this could be related to a new drug they referred to as crocodile meth.

Getting Ahead of Krokodil

The DEA has been tracking krokodil since early 2011 anticipating his emergence in the United States. Jack Riley, special DEA agent in charge added, “We want to be proactive and get out ahead of the curve on this, but until we can get our hands on the drugs and people who are trafficking it, we won’t know the extent of what we’re dealing with.” It is speculated the drug emerged around 2002 in Siberia and then spread to eastern Russia.

Overwhelmed Law Enforcement

The emergence of desomorphine in the United States only adds to the increasingly difficult war on drugs. With a particularly potent and addictive form of super meth overtaking San Francisco, as well as high rates of heroin use in the Northeast, this could not have arrived at the worse time. New approaches dealing with our drug problem here in the United States could prove beneficial. New harm reduction programs are showing promise in isolating the spread of diseases and overdose among the addict population.

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