Russian Drug Krokodil Causes Skin to Rot


This drug, desomorphine, is made from over the counter opiate codine, mixed with other substances, including iodine, gasoline, phosphorus. It causes serious medical problems for people who use it and many of them die within a few years after they start using the drug. People use it as a cheaper substitute for heroin. Aparently people get really bored in the winter in russia and have nothing better to do than take drugs


october 2013: Cases reported in Chicago including a 25 year old woman and 2 other young women. Reports say that large parts of their bodies were infected with gangrene. The DEA has still not confirmed that the drug is in the united states.

in September 2013: the first case of krokodil use in america was reported in Arizona. Two cases were reported, but there was no further information available about who they were or what the circumstances were. Health officials stated that the patients symptoms were consistent with krokodil use, but it has not yet been confirmed.

this article has some interesting stories about users

Why does this drug cause the skin to rot?

People are saying that it is not due the effect of the drug itself, but due to impurities from the home synthesis process. If they purified their desomorphine they would not have these (irreversible?) effects. Also because they are using needles that are not sterilized.

Is this a new drug?

It has been around in Russia for a while. There are videos and information in russian language showing the effects of the drug from 2009 or earlier. It only became famous in the english speaking world in the last few days because of some high profile articles written about it

These are some images of the terrible effects of the drug:

The flesh has rotted off and the bone is showing

This is supposed to be a krokodil drug lab

This picture is labeled as a krokodil user. does it cause people’s face to become deformed too?


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    • Don’t victimize these people. Nobody forced them to use such a dangerous drug. They’re junkie scum bags and deserve every bit of misfortune that comes from their decisions.

      • hey matt, nice comment. you are an idiot. why don’t you go run over some homeless people while you’re at it. hopefully you will never suffer misfortune.

        • stupid Jerks! let them die!
          I did drugs, I stopped, cocaine, weed, speed, xtc.
          and my life sucked, had to us to feel good.
          I was an idiot, now that I stopped using, my life is the bom again!
          but I would never use shit like that, no matter how good it feels.

          • Your sanctimony stinks…shut your mouth. These people are fuckin TRASH and Matt’s right, no one forced them to do drugs. I was once impoverished…I didn’t turn to shooting crap in my veins. just…stfu

          • when you were on drugs did you want to hear your trash, worthless, and that you deserved to die.NO people who have these addictions did make stupid choices but they do not need to hear negative things.People with these problems need a to hear positive things….they need help, the last thing they need is to be bashed!!!!

          • doing drugs sucks……………………… after smoking weed doing cocain,speed,acid, methaqualudes,huffing glue,paint,valum,morphine,demerall,percocet,zanex..soaking marijuana in embalming fluid then smoking it heroin is not like any other drugs I have ever done it is so phisically & mentally adddictive even tho I wanted to stop I COULDN’T untill I went to jail for 47 days to dry out. and aftercare to stop now its nothing I’d wish on any one. so when you say go to hell to junkies you have no sence of what you are speaking out about. so many want to get clean and can,t break the cycle. It may begin as inocetly experimnting with drugs but can become uncontrollable.

      • your the scumbag if you don’t think these people need pity. its because of dickheads like you that they felt low enough to start doing something so evil. i wish bad things for you…and hope these poor individuals get the help they need to get better…god bless them

        • “I wish bad things for you […] god bless them”
          Thank you for being such an easy to demonstrate microcosm of what is wrong with the world.

        • I myself had issues with drugs,so while it is unfortunate these people are addicted,no one held a gun to their heads n told them to use ,them as myself deserved everything that happened to me and them,no one else to blame but themselves,people have the right to say anything they feel ,

        • Why are you such an angry person. You say such hurtful things to people, you must be suffering from a self-esteem issue. You should be prayer for people who are weak, in trouble and suffering. There is ALWAYS a reason why people do drugs and it is NEVER out of having a healthy mind. There are issues behind their addiction. Be kind and understanding to everyone, it come back to you.

      • Matt,
        Nobody ever aspired to become a drug addict. When I grow up I want to be an addict. This is a disease. It is based on choice after one gets into rehab however; its like another voice/personality saying things to the unfortunate ones who are afflicted with addiction/brain disease. And its very sad. Do some research before you voice your opinion. Educate yourself on the issue. Thanks.

      • Do you know what compassion is?!
        It would seem that you believe that free will can supersede genetic predisposition.
        For your and your loved ones sake, I hope that when (and if) you are diagnosed with cancer, no one says (or even thinks) that you deserve the disease.
        Perhaps the subject of cerebral ill health is a little too esoteric for someone of your…very specific understanding.

        Time for a laugh.
        A ‘specialist’ is someone who learns more and more about less and less, until they know absolutely everything about absolutely nothing.

        Best of luck, I wish you wisdom.

      • Wow you have got to be the most ignorant person. You must not know anything about the disease of addiction. People don’t grow up wanting or looking for this life. In some cases addiction is genetics in other cases it’s a lack of coping skills. However whether you realize this or not we all have used different ways to cope with our problems. Become more educated before you make statements that show how uneducated you are.

      • To Matt: obviously you do not have a heart or a compassionate bone in your body. OK, so your recovery happened to be successful, good for you, but the true sign of full recovery is the ability to pass the tools of recovery on to the addict who still suffer, with compassion and UNDERSTANDING. Before using heroin or cocaine or Krokodil, these sick addicts were normal people, whatever normal may be. But then addiction takes over the mind and actions of a person and makes them do things they wouldn’t have ever done while in their right minds. You say you were an addict? Well then, I’m certain you must have done things that you regretted when you stopped using and you realized that you had been out of control. It’s no different for users of Krokodil or any other drug. I am an ex-heroin user of 35 years with a checkered past of crime, jails, programs and ultimately a combination of the 12-steps of NA/AA and a relationship with Jesus Christ and loving and caring people, family and friends who loved me until I could learn to love myself. Eventually I found myself to be worthy enough that I no longer had to punish myself through self destructive drug usage. Bashing these users of Krokodil or any other destructive behavior, and calling them “trash” is not what they need or deserve. Every human being was created to be a child of God and is worth being saved. I hope for you Matt that you search your own heart and find something that will let you show some compassion and love for your brother/sister addicts no matter who they are or where they come from. God bless us all.

      • Prove to me, better still, prove to yourself, that free will exists…
        If you are 100% free, why do you not float 20 feet off the ground for 20 days…was that too silly, would you suggest that free will is perhaps not 100%, do we have 50% free will, or less…or more? or does it vary day to day or second to second.

        There are answers to these questions, meaningful answers! But I strongly suspect that anyone who would suggest that a person deserves to suffer as those people in Russia suffer, has almost certainly given very little thought to any philosophical concept regarding free will or other classics, like… the problem of evil for example…

  1. I hope our young teenagers will see these pics, and know what the outcome is to using this drugs. It’s been the new trend in the U.S. I just can’t ever imagine putting myself through something like that after seeing these facts.

    • I second that…teenagers need to realise what drugs can do to you. Its shocking and can leave you in such disasterous circumstances!!!

      • Ah, typical adult assuming all teenagers who use drugs are stupid. I am 19, I took my first hard drug when I was 15. I have always been careful as to how much and how often I use. I am in college, and scored a 141 on my IQ test this year (if you believe those tests are indicative of actual intelligence.) Let us not buy into the stereotypical ‘just another stupid kid using drugs’ routine. I have never been in trouble with the law, am independent from all government aid programs, and have always had high grades. Don’t believe everything you see on your TV set.

        • After reading your post Julia I felt angry. You just think that as long you do not do harm or violate any law you are a role model for all the young and adult “routine drug addicts” . Well let me tell you that you are all wrong. Besides wasting your life at an accelerated rate (not because you look good in the mirror), you are fomenting illegal drug pruduction (destroying natural resources-colombia for example, pollution, hundreds of killings between cartel drug lords, insecurity, extortion from drug cartels to honest and hard working citizens just to finance their drug making industry, corruption between government and drug lords, and many other negative side effects of just using your illegal drugs as a mature way as you say. Next time you stick an illegal drug up your f—g a–, I hope you read this and change your stupid mind

  2. I’ve always been interested in how nutrition and exercise can take my body to its ultimate performance. I see my body as a present from the Universe. My only vehicle in this life. Then I see people like this… While some would do anything to have a perfect body, others trash their own for a few minutes of artificial pleasure! What a shame!!!
    They are not victims though. We are all responsible for everything we do in life, what we choose to do or not, which path we take. When are we going to take responsibility for our own actions?

  3. This is an awful drug. And people should really think twice before using any drug. But using a drug that is made from iodine, gasoline, red phosphorus come on now, use some common sense. Its not the dirty needles or the process in which they make it is the ingredients! GASOLINE AND RED PHOSPHORUS will kill you if ingested or injected. Ingestion kills faster than injection though and using something that will rot your skin right off your body is just unthinkable. People need to use common sense when it comes to putting things into their bodies.

    • i am with you all the way there. this is just terrible…and to know that there is people out there that will do ANYTHING just for a fix. it is really sooo sad. and they dont think..they just dont…they just do!!!!

  4. I’m writing a research paper on Krokodil right now and reading the history of desomorphine is just incredible. It’s crazy to see how a drug that was made to help morphine addicts off their addictions has turned into one of the most dangerous drugs in the world.

  5. People are not simply discovering this drug and getting hooked. It’s established heroine addicts that are turning to the drug because it is 2£ as opposed to 20£ or more for heroine. I’m not sure that anyone here has ever tried to get off heroine, so please pretend that you already have a life you feel is not worth living, it’s easy to take the plunge into a two year death sentence when your desperate for a fix, and don’t care one bit about anything else. I bet 1,000 junkies would gladly give their arm for a hit at their most desperate moment. These are people’s children and brothers and sisters. Don’t think for a minuet that this drug couldn’t ever touch your life or even eat YOU alive.

  6. Please tell me a website I can donate some money to the rehabs over there, they need help so bad. Its a tragedy this horrible drug sucks the life force from you, it makes me want to cry, I blame this on Satan he causes people to stumble, and its Satan that has caused all the tragic things you see in society, and one day the Lord will come and the truth will be revealed, what has happened here.

    • There is no such thing as “Lord” and “Satan” come on now. Stop living in a fictional dream world. This is REALITY.

    • If methadone wasn’t illegal in Russia this would never have happened. Methadone is one of the worlds most researched drugs so there’s a lot more info than some drug made in someones house. This is a shame and the Russian government should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen. Codine is legal over the counter but heroin is illegal. There opiate problems are more like 19th century America with house wives as the main users. This should never have been allowed to happen. Dying in an overdose is one thing but dying alive and being a living corpse is just sick to let happen to somebody. The Russian government hates opiate junkies so you know there not loosing any sleep over there deaths but can they atleast die fast. Just imagine how painful that must be to have exposed bones and flesh falling off. A tooth ache is very painful I can’t even think of how much pain they must be in and how scared they must be. If they stop will the rot stop eating them alive? If the affected areas are removed will it continue to destroy body tissue if the person stopped taking desomorphine? I feel bad and hope they can live the best life they could for there circumstances ie no arms or legs or even missing both, etc.

  7. I hope those losers over there do die and that it teaches the other losers not to do something this stupid. And why waste your money Sarah? I wouldn’t send any money anywhere that helps losers who are addicted to drugs, not even here in America. And blame Satan? You’re a dumb ass just like the rest. Satan has nothing to do with idiots who do drugs, it’s their own stupidity to do it. Everyone wants to put the blame on someone else but themselves. But whatever people will read this and think I’m stupid or whatever but I really don’t care..kiss my a$$ for all I care.

    • OMG I cannot believe I’m reading this sh1t, Sarah you donate money to a charity not an addiction, as for the name of the drug it kind of gives it away, you would not swim with um so why try an swallow one???? Get a grip people leave the gods to gods you pay for drugs top whack money they don’t come cheap enter the real world. Or better still don’t bother at all it’s a loot cheaper !!!

    • do you peoples wanna live forever????

      somepeoples need to go first …heaven estate needs buyers

      try krokodil if you want vice versa

    • My gosh!!! What a sad angry person you are. You need some serious therapy to find out what makes you such an angry person. To live with such anger must be horrible for you. I feel just as sorry for you as I do those people hook on this terrible drug. Try to find it in your heart to be kind to others, it will make you a happier, better person. I wish you all the best!

  8. For God’s sake–just give them their damned heroin and be done with it. These people will do anything for a fix, but they are still people–doesn’t the state have some sort of obligations towards them?

  9. I don’t wanna look at these individuals and feel pity for them, pity leads no where, i do believe that it is insane to even consider taking a drug like this, and yeah we could go on about the fact that those people might deserve whats happening to them or not or whatever. exept for the satan part. religion has no place in that debate. what i do believe is that closing the roads to keep the heroin trafic was legit. thats a no brainer but not having a backup plan and thinking that krocodil users would not come up with a way to get theyr fix away and they were just gonna give up…thats silly. obviously the cause and effect matter has not been raised and we now see the result. because its a drug made with codein the russian autorities now plan to outlaw it. I dont think thats the solution either, lesson is, when you make something unavailable people will find a replacement. instead, they should legalize methadone. of course, legalize it in the same way they do it in canada, wich is, get a prescription, get your dose and cosume it at the parmacy counter every day, once day, regulate it strickly, also, being part of the raising countries the BRIC, im sure they could invest money for rehab center, not only would it help the ones who want to seek help ( there’S only four center right now) but it would also create jobs, since unemployment lead to boredom that drove some (not all but some) people to start using. i know its not all the solution, but i do belive it would be at least a goddamn start!


  10. This is good and bad…

    Bad: i feel sad for those people..

    Good: Well this is something that affects the people that take the drug over a period of 2 years, i was reading they live that long 2 years when your addict to this drug before it kills you..

    I might be bad of me to think like this but it hey it kills them faster, there choice.. makes the world a better place.. let them rott.. i dont care.. i have never used a drug and my life sucked, still had my head straight..

  11. Addiction is a disease that can be diagnosed by any M.D. it is real and can become debilitating. As hard as this might be to believe these people were most likely in the height of a their addiction and not able to make decisions that would be easy for people who don’t suffer from the disease of addiction. My heart goes out to them but until we make treatment more affordable for these people, things like this are going to continue.

  12. Here’s the deal im a recovering opiate addict yes I shot up, but I damn sure wouldn’t put gasoline, iodine, and red phosperous in my veins. Just bc someone was an addict doesn’t make them scum or garbage. There are choices that only one person can make to choose to stop. This bullshit with put them on methadone, honestly that shit is 10 times worse than shooting up oxycontin or dilaudid ( synthetic heroin) methadone gets in your bones and can take years to detox from pain pills usually about 4 days of physical detox the rest is mental. People need to understand that it is a disease but you can choose to fight it or just don’t care. Staying sober is a decision I made for myself and my daughter no one said it would be easy but life isn’t easy. I hope those addicted suck it up and go through the withdraws to get clean

  13. They do deserve every bit
    There the ones that started using
    “any” drug …
    They have a choice and choose to “do it”
    Even know help is always offered in the game
    They dont take it because they think their right
    Matt you are right letem dieee

  14. Better to put MOST money, effort and emphasis on PREVENTION rather than rehab or cure. Other articles emphasize that THESE PEOPLE ALMOST NEVER GIVE UP USING, EVEN AFTER THIS HEALTH TRAGEDY STRIKES their body!
    The “high” they get is “irresistible” they claim!

    Scaring school and college age kids straight and away from this drug by forcing them to SEE what it does is the only way I know to save those who are not incorrigibly defiant and rebelliously DOOMED by their choices.

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