Tripping on Krokodil

6/27/2011 1:01:09 PM

Tags: heroin, drug use, Russia, krokodil, science and technology, The Independent, Will Wlizlo

heroin-sqNecessary ingredients: lighter fluid, painkillers, industrial cleaning oil, and iodine. Equipment: syringes, vials, and cooking implements. Boil, distill, mix, boil, distill, mix. Next take the hypodermic needle and plunge up some of the amber-colored liquid. Inject it into a prominent vein, if you have any left. You’re now tripping on krokodil, a heroin substitute popular in Russia that is as deadly as it is cheap. Using over-the-counter codeine and iodine, reports The Independent’s Shaun Walker, Russian junkies hard-up for heroin have turned a basement chemistry experiment into a country-wide epidemic in just four years.

“It is a drug for the poor, and its effects are horrific,” writes Walker,

It was given its reptilian name because its poisonous ingredients quickly turn the skin scaly. Worse follows. Oleg and Sasha [two krokodil users] have not been using for long, but Oleg has rotting sores on the back of his neck. . . . Flesh goes grey and peels away to leave bones exposed. People literally rot to death.

People who start cooking krokodil, technically called desomorphine, don’t have long to live—Walker reports that regular users have an estimated life-expectancy of just one year. Nearly 30,000 people die from heroin use in Russia each year, and now the country’s heroin-treatment facilities are seeing as many as half of their patients addicted to krokodil. Not everyone succumbs to the addiction, but those that manage to escape its clutch pay a high price. Walker spoke to a former krokodil user named Zhenya: “He managed to kick the habit, after spending weeks at a detox clinic, experiencing horrendous withdrawal symptoms that included seizures, a 40-degree temperature and vomiting. He lost 14 teeth after his gums rotted away, and contracted hepatitis C.”

Source: The Independent 

Image by CrashTestAddict, licensed under Creative Commons. 



Related Content

College Tuition: $99/Month

Cheap online colleges are threatening big name universities and the transmission of our civilization...

Staying Classy, Staying Cheap

Penny pinching is in fashion in the current economic crisis....

Making Junk Food Junkies

Giving junk food to rats can make them into addicts, exhibiting similar behavior to heroin junkies.....

Content Tools
RSS




Post a comment below.

 



Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!