The intensely addictive krokodil drug effects are the only reason addicts latch onto this terrifying drug. Named after the physical havoc it wreaks on your body, krokodil is not a drug for the faint of heart. It destroys you from the outside in and does so in a very short period of time.

If you’ve heard of krokodil, you most likely learned about it from the Vice documentary published back in 2011. The video went viral almost immediately and brought the desolate sides of Russia directly to the forefront in the public eye.

Images of krokodil addicts show the grisly results the drug has on users’ bodies. The documentary revealed the krokodil drug side effects and sent people into a panic that their kids might start using it too.

What is this notorious drug and what do krokodil drug effects do to your body? Continue reading to find out how much of an impact the “crocodile drug” has.

Uncovering the Truth About Krokodil Drug Effects

What exactly is krokodil? The deadly drug made waves after Vice’s documentary and resulting article drew back the curtain on Russia’s alarming opioid problem. Krokodil, also known as desomorphine, is an opioid drug made from codeine and other additives. These fillers include a wide range of toxic substances such as:

  • Paint thinner
  • Iodine
  • Gasoline
  • Lighter fluid
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Red phosphorous (from match heads)

Manufacturers cook it in a manner similar to methamphetamine but the resulting concoction is even more harmful. The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services pinned the number of krokodil users at more than an estimated one million people. Why would anyone use such a harmful drug?

Krokodil Drug Effects

Russia has one of the world’s largest heroin epidemics. When Vice published their documentary in 2011, more than 20 percent of the world’s heroin consumption took place in Russia. Although heroin is relatively affordable compared to other opioids, such as prescription painkillers, a significant heroin habit gets incredibly expensive. Krokodil acts as an even cheaper alternative than heroin.

The krokodil drug effects are similar to those of heroin or prescription painkillers. Users experience a sedative rush of calm euphoria, relaxed muscles, and an overall carefree feeling. It can be smoked but most people prefer to inject it into their veins in order for the effects to come on quicker. When injected, the effects come on in as short as 2 to 3 minutes. Despite their quick onset, they only last for less than two hours.

Since the krokodil drug effects don’t last very long, most users inject over and over until they run out and need to get more. This cycle of use results in a quickly developing dependence and addiction. Once they’re hooked it’s incredibly difficult to quit, despite the physical effects that start showing up.

The Impact of Krokodil on Your Body

Although the high is similar to other opioids, krokodil drug effects cause significantly more physical harm to your body. None of the additives listed above are meant to be ingested into your body, much less into your bloodstream. If you’re injecting things like paint thinner, lighter fluid, or hydrochloric acid, you only need to imagine for a moment to get an idea.

The drug itself is named after the way it decays users’ skin, leaving behind patches of scaly, crocodile-like skin. When a user injects the drug, the chemicals in the krokodil tend to eat away at the areas surrounding the injection site. These wounds often end up infected and, once healed, result in scaly skin.

And these effects on your skin are only the start of the drug’s impact. Other krokodil drug effects include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Gangrene
  • Open ulcers
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Blood poisoning
  • Meningitis
  • Rotting gums or loss of teeth
  • Liver or kidney damage
  • Respiratory distress
  • HIV due to sharing needles

Long-Term Effects of Krokodil

The more serious, long-term effects of krokodil may not just go away. You might need to have surgery to correct or remove the destruction left by the drug. If there are areas of skin that won’t heal due to severe infection, skin grafts may be necessary. Limbs that end up with severe damage due to infections or ulcers may require amputation.

Krokodil also impacts your brain function. Injecting the toxic combinations leads to difficulties concentrating that often leads into memory loss. Your ability to talk and your motor skills also receive a beating from krokodil. It deteriorates your overall cognition and mobility, leading to a drastic impact on your ability to take care of yourself.

It’s also possible to overdose on krokodil and death due to the drug is imminent. Doctors who research the effects of the drug pin the life expectancy of a krokodil addict to little more than two years after their first use.

Seeking Addiction Treatment

Krokodil use still remains confined mostly to the Siberian region, with some use reported in the Ukraine, Germany, Norway, Kazakhstan, and Georgia. A small number of cases cropped up in various areas throughout the United States. Still, regardless of the drug you choose to use, drug addiction does not have to be the end for you.

Addiction treatment offers you a way out of the darkness and back to the light of the real world. Facilities like Hawaii Island Recovery provide you the tools and support that strip you away from the life of addiction that seems the only normal one. If you want to quit using there is a way. Call us today at 877-721-3556 to find out how we can help.