In the UK, drug abuse and addiction are common problems for many people; the most commonly abused illegal drugs include heroin, cocaine, cannabis and crystal meth. However, there are many other illegal drugs available, and reports that a new homemade heroin alternative could be about to hit the streets of Britain has been met with concern.
Desomorphine, or Krokodil as it is more commonly known as is a homemade drug that swept through Russia in 2010. By 2015, it had reached the US, and it has now been reported to be in Norway and Germany, bringing it a step closer to the UK.
Krokodil can be made from over-the-counter medication that is easily accessible and very cheap. It is, therefore, attractive to drug addicts, but it is highly toxic and can result in rotting flesh” since it is injected into the body, the by-products in the drug lead to damaged tissue, which then starts to rot. And with personal hygiene and healthcare typically not high on the drug addict’s list of priorities, this damaged tissue can often get to the point where amputation is the only way to save the affected person’s life.
Reduced Life Expectancy
Krokodil can lead to skin necrosis, with users often developing scaly, gangrenous skin that resembles a crocodile, which is how the drug got its nickname. Many users will suffer from irreversible nervous system damage, and experts say the drug drastically reduces life expectancy. Those who become hooked can expect to live just a further two to three years if they continue to abuse it. Nevertheless, there have been cases where some drug users have died after the first injection.
US website Narconon has estimated that around a million Russians are hooked on this dangerous drug. The powerful effects last for about ninety minutes, but once these start to wear off, users will experience painful withdrawal symptoms. It is not uncommon for users to inject more of the drug once they start to feel the high wear off, which often results in a deadly cycle of abuse. Withdrawal from Krokodil is said to be much more intense and painful than heroin withdrawal, and the process can last for around a month instead of the typical couple of weeks with heroin.
According to experts, Krokodil is extremely difficult to treat due to having one of the most powerful addictive levels of any illegal drug.
The chair of charity Westminster Drug Project Yasmin Batliwala said, “There is a possibility that this drug will begin to be used in the UK as a much cheaper alternative to heroin. The greatest concern is that all the ingredients needed to manufacture this drug are available from pharmacies. Krokodil is highly addictive and destructive, and we must be vigilant about such drugs, and new combinations of drugs, and start to put measures in place for the possibility that it will surface within the UK. Prevention is key, so raising awareness of its potential dangers is a must.”
It is quite easy for addiction to develop among those who abuse drugs, but the temptation for those who are already addicted to drugs such as heroin to try Krokodil is very worrying. This drug promises powerful highs and is cheap to purchase; unfortunately, most drug addicts do not think about the negative side effects when they are experiencing powerful cravings. To them, all that matters is the drug and their next fix.
Those affected by any type of drug addiction should seek help as soon as possible. Early intervention is the best way to ensure that this illness does not spiral out of control. If you are worried about your drug use or that of a loved one, contact us here at Blue Skies Recovery for advice.
Source: Deadly Russian Drug “Krokodil” Threatens the UK (Swindon24)