Krokodil is a flesh-eating drug that is a synthetic form of opiate called desomorphine and is three-times cheaper to produce than heroin.
The drug also gives users an intense high and is made from basic materials such as iodine, codeine, gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid and red phosphorous, according to High Times.
Krokodil, German and Swedish for “crocodile,” is appropriately named because users report black or green scaly skin before it rots and falls off your bones.
The addictive drug was first seen in Russia in 2003 and has been popular in that country, including the Ukraine, ever since.
The AZ Family reports that krokodil did not gain worldwide attention until 2010. Although use of the drug in the U.S. has not been proven yet by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Arizona may be the epicenter of krokodile’s sudden happening in the nation.
At least two cases of the drug have been reported by Banner Good Samaritan Poison Control Center in Phoenix, Ariz., in September.
Other possible cases have been reported in Illinois, Ohio and Oklahoma, however, there have been no confirmed cases yet. But Raw Story reported this week that two Missouri doctors spoke with the American Journal of Medicine about treating a patient in 2012 "whose skin was rotted away from using krokodil."
Speaking about the results of injecting krokodil, Doctor Dany Thekkemuriyil says: “We saw that his finger fell off and we saw a severe looking ulcer and sores on his thigh and it did really fit the picture of krokodil. Our case is the first case that’s been published in a recognized medical journal.”
According to the Daily Beast, doctors say the most likely way of getting the flesh rotting symptoms is through dirty needles that infect heroin users with HIV, Hepatitis and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus leading to "gangrenous skin, deep abscesses, and loss of limbs."