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2 Bumps

A drug that eats junkies? Krokodil (I'm not making this up ...)

Oleg glances furtively around him and, confident that nobody is watching, slips inside the entrance to a decaying Soviet-era block of flats, where Sasha is waiting for him. Ensconced in the dingy kitchen of one of the apartments, they empty the contents of a blue carrier bag that Oleg has brought with him – painkillers, iodine, lighter fluid, industrial cleaning oil, and an array of vials, syringes, and cooking implements.


Half an hour later, after much boiling, distilling, mixing and shaking, what remains is a caramel-coloured gunge held in the end of a syringe, and the acrid smell of burnt iodine in the air. Sasha fixes a dirty needle to the syringe and looks for a vein in his bruised forearm. After some time, he finds a suitable place, and hands the syringe to Oleg, telling him to inject the fluid. He closes his eyes, and takes the hit.

The home-made drug that Oleg and Sasha inject is known as krokodil, or "crocodile". It is desomorphine, a synthetic opiate many times more powerful than heroin that is created from a complex chain of mixing and chemical reactions, which the addicts perform from memory several times a day. While heroin costs from £20 to £60 per dose, desomorphine can be "cooked" from codeine-based headache pills that cost £2 per pack, and other household ingredients available cheaply from the markets.

It is a drug for the poor, and its effects are horrific. It was given its reptilian name because its poisonous ingredients quickly turn the skin scaly. Worse follows. Oleg and Sasha have not been using for long, but Oleg has rotting sores on the back of his neck.

"Addicts are being sold drugs by normal Russian women working in pharmacies, who know exactly what they'll be used for," said Yevgeny Roizman, an anti-drugs activist who was one of the first to talk publicly about the krokodil issue earlier this year. "Selling them to boys the same age as their own sons. Russians are killing Russians."


Asked by tasches at 7:23 PM on Jun. 27, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 48 (298,202 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • Omg ... I googled the images ... can't say I recommend doing so, particularly if you have a weak stomach!

    Minne, outlawing a drug won't stop addicts from getting it or making it. You can't 'help' an addict. You can't 'fix' an addict. You can lock them up and clean them up and the instant they hit the streets again they will find drugs again. They don't care what it does to their lives. They don't care what it does to their bodies. They don't care what it does to people who love them.

    The only thing an addict cares about is the fix. The horrid reality is that there are two choices; let them kill themselves slowly, or euthanize them quickly. You've seen which one our 'civilized' society prefers. I watched my first husband turn into one. IQ over 160, but there aren't enough smarts in the world to get past the addiction. Wish I had a better answer.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 9:58 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • Disgusting what people will do to make money.


    Answer by skittles1108 at 7:33 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • That sounds like fiction but I know there really IS a drug called Krokodil. And if it kills, it had better be outlawed. Not all Russians deserve to die by Krokodil or any other way. They are human being just like us and if they have discovered a lethal drug and don't KNOW that they are killing themselves with it, they need HELP. Whoever is selling it need to be jailed.
    These are victims who need help.
    .They are just like anyone else. Like anyone here.. I think its really disgusting to think its good that they are killing each other.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 7:45 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • Farmlady is right. And addict has to want to change and even then it can be a daily fight. I think as a mother that is one of the scariest things to think about when it comes to my own children. I would rather lay down my life than to watch them go through something like this.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:05 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • If it's codein based, then it is not synthetic morphine. Codeine is an opiate. It's just a crappy form of heroin. Am I missing something?

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 7:36 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • Omg, I just researched it more! If you google it, then click on Disgusting! Rotting flesh exposed bone....

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 7:59 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • Um Im sure some addicts are smart enough not to take this! And there are addicts who have cleaned up their acts and haven't used in years. It's unfair to say they all don't care. Some feel very ashamed and guilty and need help! But agreed, you must not care to do this to yourself! Wow! Knowing what it does.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 10:14 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • Just as long as it stays over there. I suppose true junkies will try anything but for the newbies, it's eduction they need. I can't imagine anyone wanting to do this if they knew what it could do

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 8:48 AM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • Well, well, if it isn't Mary Sunshine again. All hearts, rainbows and sunshine with you around ~

    Cripes adnilm, I totally forgot that it was my turn to make you happy.

    What part of 'Wish I had a better answer' was too difficult for you to wrap your head around? Drug addiction is horrible, painful (for everyone, not just the addict), and more often than not it is deadly. It is sad, but that is the reality. If you can't deal with reality, or want everyone to sugar coat things for you, you should consider visiting the Willy Wonka forums.

    If you have been fortunate enough to not watch someone you love destroy themselves using drugs, count yourself lucky and press on. I have experienced this. Lying about it doesn't help anyone, nor is it a solution. Sometimes I think the phrase 'there's one born every minute' really referred to drug addicts instead of suckers :-(

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 2:30 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • Why yes Carpy. Yes I have noticed.

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 9:32 PM on Jun. 28, 2011