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Flesh-Eating Street Drug from Russia Hits the US



 


(Stephanie Mendez)   A flesh-eating drug has appeared in the United States after first being discovered in Russia a decade ago.
Krokodil, Russian for “crocodile,” is a street drug used as a cheap substitute for heroin. The drug is referred to as “krokodil” because it causes sores, tissue damage and rough, scale-like appearance on the skin.
Two cases involving the drug that surfaced at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix are alarming anti-drug advocates and medical personnel who fear use of krokodil might spread.
When the facility warned other poison centers around the country about krokodil, some revealed they also had patients suffering from its apparent use, according to Dr. Frank LoVecchio, co-medical director at Banner Poison, Drug and Information Center.
“This is up there as one of the craziest new trends I’ve seen,” he said. “We’ve known about it in Russia, and we’ve known what it has done there. It’s really decimated whole cities there.”
Krokodil is made up of several ingredients easily accessed at home improvement stores and pharmacies. The base of the drug is usually codeine. Pure codeine is extracted from its pill form and adulterated with chemicals to create a liquid substance that is later injected into the veins. The types of chemicals used by manufacturers vary.

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