The Truth behind the infamous “CROCODILE DRUG”
A look at this CNN screenshot should prove to be a disturbing if intriguing introduction to one of the more controversial elements introduced into our society so far. A fair warning—the link cited below features images which some might find disturbing, and may incur a wide range of responses from disgust to uncertainty to fear and trembling.
That’s right—CNN’s Debt Ceiling clock is still in effect, a frightening reminder of the fact that not only does our nation face serious economic issues, but we’re doomed to be inundated with a slew of sound bites “Full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing” and the incessant finger-pointing and posturizing that has become synonymous with national politics and mainstream media channels alike.
And the sight of that foot, its flesh eaten away as a result of krokodil, might come across as somewhat ugly as well.
But leaving the terror of the Debt Ceiling debate aside, let’s take a look at this drug which is infamous in other portions of the world but is just now beginning to come to the attention of most Americans and, by some accounts, may have already begun to hit our shores.
BY ANY OTHER NAME
SO WHAT IS KROKODIL?
First patented in 1932, krokodil’s first confirmed use was in Switzerland as a derivative of morphine. What’s more, it first came to prominence for it purportedly being far more potentand, as a result, far more potentially dangerous than general morphine.
As such, let’s take a quick look at morphine itself.
What we know as morphine is a highly-potent opiate which has been used as a painkiller for nearly two centuries. Before morphine, everything from routine operations to amputations could spell severe agony for the patient. While not a sedative per se, the opiates in morphine bind to certain receptors in the body, ultimately inhibiting or otherwise dulling the pain signals they might send as a result. While the most common form of use when it comes to morphine is injection, inhalation is becoming more and more popular in non-medical circles. On that note, while morphine is permitted for medical use, its administration is strictly monitored, and there’s a great deal of medical and legalistic code alike which governs the way in which morphine may be properly administered and the instances in which it is an appropriate treatment.
So how does krokodil stack up in comparison?
As stated, krokodil is more potent than morphine—a lot more potent. Krokodil is reported to be as much as 8 to 10 times stronger than morphine. Consider that for a moment. Morphine on its own is one of the stronger opiates that mankind has ever created, is considered one of the most potent painkillers even two centuries after its introduction, and is in fact so effective that, while legal, there’s still a definite degree of risk when taking it, it’s only used in situations where it’s necessary, and even then there’s always the danger of addiction, which has proven to be a considerable side effect and issue for morphine users for as long as the drug’s been in use.
All of that amounts to a legal but highly problematic and potentially-dangerous drug.
Now multiply that danger factor 8 to 10 times, and subtract the legal factor—krokodil is listed in Australia as a prohibited substance, and in the US it’s classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning “The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse,” “The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and/or “There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.”
And that’s not all.
“IT’S A ZOMBIE DRUG…IT KILLS YOU FROM THE INSIDE OUT”
Such is the response to krokodil of one Dr. Abhin Singa, whom the CNN article cited above and his own personal website characterize as an experienced doctor who works as an internist and addiction specialist at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joilet, Illinois. The thing about krokodil is that it’s not only more potent than morphine—and thus has the potential to have a far more powerful and potentially-dangerous effect as well as become addictive—but it also has a whole host of other distinguishing side effects which have made it not only rather recognizable but rather infamous in medical circles at this point.
What are some of these side effects?
Well, as the above quote might suggest, because regular morphine dulls pain and can cause relaxation, this amped-up version can put users in something of a stupor, making it very hard for them to retain or remain cognizant.
And then there’s the whole “flesh eating drug” controversy.
Krokodil has a history of use in Russia, and it’s there that some of the first observable instances of the drug having a similar effect to flesh eating viruses. Black and green skin, dried out and scaly, is one example of the outward signs of this, while severe soft tissue damage occurs as a result of the initial injection and chemical composition of the drug.
All of this adds up to a drugged, stupefied, and ultimately destroyed body.
And just for extra incentive, after all that, if you’re caught with the drug after it’s run it’s mutilating course, you can be brought up on charges should you live in one of the many countries in which it’s banned.
For this Halloween, at least, Resident Evil’s zombies sound a bit more appealing than zombifying “crocodile drug.”