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What Is Krokodil Drug?

The narcotic krokodil drug is a semi-synthetic drug used as a cheap alternative to heroin.  It is commonly used over the territory of the former USSR (Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, and others). [1]

Unfortunately, relatively little is understood about the physical effects of krokodil. “Krokodil,” has recently been featured in news reports alleging its presence in parts of the United States.  [2] Krokodil drug gets its name from the scaly, gray-green dead skin that appears at the site of injection.  The flesh damaged by krokodil becomes gangrenous, and, in some cases, limb amputation has been required to save a user’s life.  Krokodil is a Schedule I substance in the U.S., indicating high abuse potential and no accepted medicinal use.

 Krokodil drug active ingredient, desomorphine, is a highly addictive and destructive drug used mainly in Russia and Eastern Europe. 
Krokodil drug active ingredient, desomorphine, is a highly addictive and destructive drug used mainly in Russia and Eastern Europe

Desomorphine (dihydrodesoxymorphine) is an injectable opioid derivative of codeine.  On the street and online, the drug is known as:

  • Krokodil
  • Crocodile
  • Croc
  • Krok
  • Russian Magic
  • Poor Man’s Heroin
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Harmful Effects Of Krokodil Drug

Desomorphine is about ten times more potent than morphine and more potent than heroin in its pure form.

The drug’s onset is speedy, but its action is short, which leads to numerous administration and a heightened risk of developing physical dependence.

Krokodil is engaging to those endeavoring a euphoric high because it is cheap, nearly easy to make or obtain, produces a high similar to that of heroin, and delivers powerful sedative and pain-relieving effects in the user.  In addition, krokodil has a swift onset of about 2-3 minutes and lasts for about 2 hours.

The drug, while cheap, produces a relatively short high, and various media sources have covered stories about addicted individuals who need to regularly administer the medication to maintain their high and avoid withdrawal. [3]

Users are stated to be able to make krokodil in roughly 45 minutes with codeine and minimal tools.  Users attempting to create desomorphine often combine several toxic ingredients like hydrochloric acid, household cleaners, and gasoline with codeine.  They may also seldom add cigarette ash to balance the pH.

Krokodil Drug’s Effects Can Be Drastic. Injection Of The Drug Can Cause:

  • Skin Infections
  • Soft-Tissue Infections
  • Thrombophlebitis: Inflammation of the veins
  • Skin Ulceration
  • Gangrene
  • Necrosis: Death of living tissue

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Krokodil Drug As A Zombie Drug

Krokodil has been called a “zombie drug” by the media.  This is because most descriptions of drug use by the media have shown addicted individuals who have gangrene or eschars  (dead patches of skin)  on their bodies.

 The skin of krokodil drug injection users can become black, grey, and/or green, scabby, and can flake off – matching the skin of a reptile or a crocodile at the injection site.
The skin of krokodil drug injection users can become black, grey, and/or green, scabby, and can flake off – matching the skin of a reptile or a crocodile at the injection site

With so many hideous side effects, you may be questioning why anyone would use such a deadly drug.  But, unfortunately, from a drug addict’s point of view, things are not so simple.  There are already over a million krokodil users in Russia.  People use krokodil because it gives the same effects as heroin yet costs around a tenth of the price (4).  So for an addict who could find that money is one of the most significant obstacles to their drug habit, krokodil seems like the perfect option.

The other thing to acknowledge is that addiction is a disease itself. Users who are affected by a substance slowly build up a tolerance to its effects.  This means that they need to take larger and larger doses to accomplish the same buzz.  Unfortunately, this often leads people from less severe drugs to more hazardous substances such as cocaine and heroin.  For instance, a heroin user who builds up a tolerance can turn to Krokodil, which is three times more powerful than heroin.

Treating Krokodil Drug Users

Because of the severity of the side effects, krokodil symptoms can be challenging to treat.  Medication may be needed to combat any infections or gangrene caused by the user’s open wounds and exposed flesh.  In addition, badly affected limbs may need to be amputated.

Once a user has knocked their krokodil addiction, a severe feat that needs specialist Krokodil addiction treatment – they may need surgery to repair their body.  For instance, exposed bones, open muscle, missing skin may need surgery to improve, and skin grafts to cover the afflicted areas.

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Detoxifying Your Body From Krokodil Drug At We Level Up New Jersey

If you are addicted to drugs such as krokodil, your very first step in recovery should be to medical detox in a safe and medically supervised setting.  That is why We Level Up is here for you.  We Level Up NJ Detox center medically assist clients in clearing their systems of addictive substances, such as krokodil drug.

For anyone who suffers from addiction, we know that just the thought of having to stop using can cause severe mental distress.  Given that, the medical detox center will help you manage the medical detox process.  In addition, a comprehensive team prescribing medications can alleviate your withdrawal pains while monitoring your health 24 hours.  Thus, assuring both your safety and comfort.

Once detox is complete, a new doorway in treatment opens up, referred to as a residential level of care.  Here, our residential care program slowly and effectively introduces the individual into an atmosphere of therapeutic growth, marked by Master’s level therapists, clinicians, group counselors, psychiatrists, and a community of like-minded individuals with the same aim: to attain sobriety and live a great life.

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At We Level Up NJ, our thorough approach to rehabilitation supports several levels of care to ensure the best possible outcome for every client who enters our doors that suffers from Krokodil drug.  From an intensive and more supportive atmosphere for those in the early days of recovery to a comfortable residential-style living dynamic upon completion of detox, we are here to help guide you down the safe and results-based path to your sobriety.

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Some of the many modalities applied and practiced within our residential treatment facility are:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • 12-Step Groups
  • Group Therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Alumni Support
  • Stabilization
  • Holistic Therapy

Moreover, here at We Level Up NJ Addiction Treatment, the needs of each patient are specific and personalized, as we aim to provide comprehensive support for mental health, addiction, and dual diagnosis treatment.

Clients in our residential therapy programs will live comfortably within the facility during this crucial and fragile time.  Indeed, this supportive environment is designed to give clients 24-hour care for sobriety, removing temptations for relapse and applying an air of recovery into every component of the treatment timeline, including krokodil drug addiction treatment.  At We Level Up NJ, we find that when clients are living in a supportive community, especially during their early recovery process, they can truly focus on what matters most: their recovery.

Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists if you have trouble with Krokodil drug addiction.  Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

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[1] “Krokodil” drug – Related osteonecrosis of midface: A case series – National Center for Biotechnology Information

[2] “Krokodil” – National Institute on Drug Abuse

[3] Krokodil Drug Addiction – We Level Up – Krokodil Drug Trend – We Level Up FL