What is Krokodil Drug?
Krokodil drug is the street name for the Russian homemade desomorphine, a very fast acting synthetic opioid made from cooking over the counter codeine with paint thinner, gasoline, hydrochloric acid, iodine, and the red phosphorous from matchbox strike pads. Cooked together, these ingredients are used in making the Krokodil drug. This very fast-acting euphoric effects of Krokodil makes the substance one of the most used narcotics in eastern Europe. In its pure form, Krokodil also known as krocodil is 10 times stronger than morphine and more potent than heroin according to available data.
Uses of Krokodil Drug
Originally developed by Roche, desomorphine was previously used in the treatment of severe pain because it was found to be faster acting and more effective than morphine for the rapid relief of severe pain. However, the use of desomorphine was discontinued because its administration produced more severe respiratory depression at equianalgesic doses, (dose of two opioids required to produce the same analgesic effect) as well as a high incidence of other side effects such as hypotension and urinary retention. Its homemade version, krokodil is used by addicts as a substitute for heroine, a practice that is widespread in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Kazakhstan where the krokodil liquid is routinely injected into vein to produce a krokodil high similar to that of heroin, which is accompanied by a potent sedative and pain-relieving effects in the user beginning after 2-3 minutes after injection and lasting for approximately 2 hours.
Health Risks of Krokodil Drug
There are several health risks that accompanies the use of krokodil. The toxic nature of the ingredients used in the manufacture of krokodil often leads to very serious damage to the skin, muscles, bones and blood vessels, which require specialized plastic surgery or complete amputation in long-term users of krokodil. This explains why krokodil is nicknamed the flesh eater due to the devastating skin effects of krokodil drug before and after use. Other health risks include HIV/AIDS due to multiple use, and sharing of unsterilized needles while injecting krokodil, blood clot or thrombosis, risk of liver damage, risk of kidney damage, risk of brain damage, gangrene, phlebitis, pneumonia, meningitis, and blood infection (septicaemia).
Side Effects of Krokodil Drug
The side effects of krokodil drug that has been reported by many krokodil users include:
Severe respiratory depression (decreased respiration)
Higher levels of sedation
Increased digestive activity
Necrosis (death of living flesh surrounding the entry-point)
Blood infection (septicaemia)
Necrosis (death of living tissue).
Legal status of Krokodil
In the United States, the drug krokodil or desomorphine is a Narcotic in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act 1970 as drug number 9055. It is therefore illegal to possess, manufacture or sell krokodil in the US and most countries around the globe. This includes the Russian federation which recently introduced a ban on over the counter sale of codeine which is one of the main ingredients used in the manufacture of krokodil.
Addiction to krokodile like many other substance disorder has become a public health challenge because the short time effects of krokodil causes addicts to be trapped full time in cooking and injecting the liquid, in order to satisfy their addiction and avoid withdrawal symptoms of krokodil. Once addicted to krokodil, it is very common for the individuals to die within two-three years from the effects of heavy use of krokodil and its associated health issues, with many dying within a year.
Krokodil rehab is the medical and, or psychotherapeutic treatment for dependency on krakodil. It is a process used to help an addict recover from addiction to krokodil, injuries, and associated mental and physical challenges. Addiction to krokodil significantly affects a person’s behavior which has the potential to adversely affect family, relationship, and job. The principal aim of krokodil rehab is to help the addict recover from the emotional, psychological and physical trauma inflicted by the drug krokodil, assist them to regain their normal life and re-integrate them into the society.
How to Recover from Krokodil Addiction
You don’t recover from krokodil addiction by simply stopping the use, you recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use the drug. If you don’t create a new life, then all the factors and situations that initially brought you to your addiction will eventually catch up with you again. In order to achieve recovery, you must:
Avoid High-Risk Situations – Stay away from people who you use the drug with, or who are related to your use of the drug. People who you have conflicts with, who make you want to use, and people who celebrate you while using the drug.
Learn to Relax- learn how to relax your tension without the influence of a drug by using simple techniques such as going for a walk, to more structured techniques like meditation. These relaxation methods have been proven to change the life of many addicts and helped them recover from addiction.
Manage Stress Properly
Learning how to effectively manage stress is very vital for addiction recovery. Stress management is very significant, because when you are tense, you tend to do what is familiar and wrong instead of what is s new and right. This often lead to relapse into old habits which ultimately promotes addiction.
Lies and addiction often go together, because most have to lie about getting drug, using it, and hiding its physical and health consequences. By the time addiction has fully developed, lying has fully become part of life. In order for recovery to be successful, individuals must learn to be honest about what they truly want from life or else they might end up like the many who have paid the ultimate price of substance abuse with their lives.
“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”
― Russell Brand