September 30, 2013

The untainted form of Krokodil is desomorphine, first synthesized in America in 1932 and intended to be a less addictive alternative to morphine. It is around ten times more potent than morphine and proved to be more addictive than morphine, so its pharmaceutical use was discontinued.

The home-cooked Krokodil whose vile vapors first started wafting from grim kitchen labs in Siberia is derived from codeine tablets that until last year were freely available without prescription in Russia. Using iodine, red phosphorus, and sometimes such spicy condiments as turpentine, gasoline, lighter fluid, and hydrochloric acid, the codeine is synthesized into desomorphine.

Due to desperation, carelessness, and basic chemical ineptitude, however, the distillation process rarely goes off without a hitch, and addicts wind up injecting trace elements of the more noxious chemicals into their bodies. Users quickly develop gangrene and abscesses. The acidic compounds gradually eat away at their flesh, often exposing raw muscle, dissolving porous bones, and ultimately requiring amputation. I’ve seen more than my fair share of “gore porn” over the years, but pictures of Krokodil addicts rotting alive are some of the most unpleasant images to ever scald my eyeballs. If you have a strong stomach and are willing to see something you can never “unsee,” click HERE or HERE. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

At the top end, one can expect to live up to three years after becoming addicted to the necrotic narcotic known as Krokodil. Others lowball the prognosis and give you less than a year once you’re hooked, which some say happens almost immediately after your first injection. Massive infections, organ failure, or a shutdown of your neurological and/or endocrine systems are what tend to finish the job, often peppered by other intravenous delights such as HIV and Hep-C.

But even the tiny minority of users that beat their addiction wind up essentially soulless and lobotomized shells of former humans”€”slurring, stumbling, vacant-eyed, and often missing a limb or three. Utterly useless for the rest of their lives.

According to one estimate, as many as a million Russians are currently addicted to Krokodil.

An Arizona poison-control center announced last week that it received two calls regarding what are thought to be the first two cases of Krokodil abuse in US history. Dr. Frank LoVecchio of Banner’s Poison Control Center says that he and his cohorts are “€œextremely frightened”€ at this development. The Center’s claims have not been independently verified, though, and there have been previous false Krokodil alarms in states such as Alabama and Arkansas.

Either way, it only seems like a matter of time before Krokodil bites America hard…especially when lurid articles and documentaries essentially tell you how to make the stuff at home.

So are the drugs really scarier these days, or are the kids maybe a little less hopeful? I”€™m not a kid, so I wouldn”€™t know.

What I have learned over the decades is that when the hangover lasts longer than the high, it’s time to stop. When the hangover involves necrosis and organ failure, it’s time to never start. Despite the wicked array of intoxicants I”€™ve imbibed over my life, the one line I”€™ve purposely never crossed is the hypodermic one. I”€™ve always felt that if you were so desperately unhappy that you needed to shoot drugs, you might as well grab a gun and shoot yourself.

I”€™ve known many people who make a point of constantly “€œpartying”€ but are hardly celebrating, for often there’s nothing to celebrate in their lives. In many cases, they were only running away from pain or responsibility.

Exactly how good does that drug feel, how much basic sensory awareness does it blunt, that you wind up not caring whether your exposed tendons are hanging off your bones? More to the point, knowing that you”€™ll wind up with your tendons hanging off your bones, how deep must your emotional pain be that you”€™d take that first shot? Although I”€™m hardly Mr. Happy, I”€™ve never been so miserable that I”€™d risk becoming a walking carcass within a year. Guess I should be grateful for the small things.


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