A dangerous flesh-eating drug appears to have made its way into the United States and reports of deaths are popping up in cities around the country.
The drug called krokodil reportedly has the ability to eat away at skin and turn people into zombie-like creatures, according to CNN.
It got its name because users have reported black or green scaly skin as a side effect. The drug apparently is also known as desomorphine and is an extremely addictive injectable opioid.
An Oklahoma City woman recalled how the drug reportedly killed her best friend.
“Everything that touched him took his skin off,” Chelle Fancher told KOCO about 33-year-old Justin McGee, who died nearly a year ago.
“[His] skin was missing,” Fancher said. “The doctors say it ate him from the inside out. It wasn’t until the next day that they told us that is was krokodil meth.”
WGN reports that the drug appears to be an issue in the Chicago area.
In recents weeks, five people have checked into a Joliet, Ill., hospital with symptoms of the flesh-eating disease from taking krokodil, and a doctor in McHenry County says a heroin user he treated for large lesions might have injected the drug.
CNN adds that krokodil causes serious damage to the veins and soft tissue infections, rapidly followed by gangrene and necrosis, according to a 2013 study.
Experts have reportedly theorized that the drug first spread across Russia and Ukraine when heroin became less available.