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."
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
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
Answer by Musicmom80 at 7:36 PM on Jun. 27, 2011
Answer by Musicmom80 at 7:59 PM on Jun. 27, 2011
Answer by Musicmom80 at 10:14 PM on Jun. 27, 2011
Answer by itsmesteph11 at 8:48 AM on Jun. 28, 2011
Answer by Farmlady09 at 2:30 PM on Jun. 28, 2011
Answer by grlygrlz2 at 9:32 PM on Jun. 28, 2011
Next question overall
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