Has krokodil – the horrific street drug that rots the flesh of addicts – made the switch from Russia to the US?

krokodilThis drug is horrendous.  More powerful than heroin and at a fraction of the cost – it can be made from commonly available household products.  But addicts live only 2-3 years as their flesh literally rots away from inside.



I crush the codeine,
blend with gasoline,
a dash of iodine
and anything else that comes to hand –
paint thinner, lighter fluid.
I gently warm the brew
until a caramel liquid’s seen –
or, on the streets,
they call you krokodil.

I take the hit.
Heroin eat your heart out.
Such a high.
Lucy in the sky
rockets in spaced
out, far out, hung out
high to dry high.
But oh so short.
I’m hooked,
line and sinker caught.
I must have more,
to score again,
I need you, my precious krokodil.

My skin turns green,
not with envy
but from your venom, krokodil.
Scales appear
that flake away, peel away.
Layer upon layer
of gangrenous flesh
suppurating down to bone.
Its rotting stench
kicks my nostrils, fills the room.
But with every pus-filled leprous sore
I crave the need for more
of you, my precious krokodil.

I won’t live long.
Two years, maybe three,
as gangrene slowly gnaws away bone-deep.
I live the highs
but dwell the stench, the reptile skin,
the churning pus within.
They call me krokodil.


27th September 2013 – headline from the Independent

Notes:  “Has krokodil – the horrific street drug that rots the flesh of addicts – made the switch from Russia to the US?.”  Krokodil – the cheap heroin substitute that rots the flesh of addicts, usually killing them within two years – is believed to have made the switch to the US after a number of cases were reported in Arizona.  Krokodil – real name desomorphine – is an ultra-cheap heroin substitute that counts crushed codeine pills, gasoline, cooking oil, iodine, paint thinner and lighter fluid among its toxic ingredients.  The drug, which has become extremely popular in Russia in recent years, gets its name from the stench and reptilian texture it gives to an addict’s skin before it eventually eats it away completely, often leaving a user’s bones exposed. As well as its rancid ingredient list and devastating effects, krokodil is also highly addictive and short-lasting – meaning many addicts exist in a never-ending cycle of drug consumption and drug preparation.

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