Krokodil, an incredibly terrifying ‘flesh-eating’ drug, has been reported in the U.S.

What is Krokodil?

There was a line in Aladdin where the title character was threatened with a fate worse than death. As a kid, I couldn’t imagine what that meant. Now I can and it’s called taking a bad dose of Krokodil.

According to doctors at Banner’s Poison Control Center (BPCC) in Arizona, two cases of Krokodil have been reported in the state within the past week. Terrifyingly, this involves the flesh rotting and falling off the bone. It earned the street name “Krokodil” because its users’ skin takes on a reptilian look. (Do yourself a favor and don’t conduct a Google image search or watch the video below unless you are masochistic.)

According to Pheonix’s Fox 10, the average life expectancy for users is only three years.

“Where there is smoke there is fire, and we’re afraid there are going to be more and more cases,” Dr. Frank LoVecchio from BPCC told Pheonix’s CBS 5.

WARNING: This video is graphic.

In spite of the horrifying risks, Krokodil first gained popularity in Russia because it is reportedly 20 times less expensive than heroin but produces a similar high. It is made with codeine and hydrocarbons, such as gasoline or paint thinner. Some users believe that boiling Krokodil before injecting it removes impurities — but they are mistaken.

“They extract [the drug] and even though they believe that most of the oil and gasoline is gone, there is still remnants of it. You can imagine just injecting a little bit of it into your veins can cause a lot of damage,” Dr. LoVecchio explained.

According to Time, up to one million people in Russia were estimated to have injected Krokodil in 2010. It then spread to other countries in Europe before landing in America.

“As far as I know, these are the first cases in the United States that are reported. So we’re extremely frightened,” Dr. LoVecchio said of the Arizona occurrences.

Dr. Aaron Skolnik, one of Dr. LoVecchio’s co-workers from BPCC, added they hoped the drug wouldn’t make it to America because they were aware of its serious side-effects.

“They cause damage to the blood vessels damage to the tissue,” Dr. Skolnik said. “There are horrific pictures from Russia that show skin literally falling off the bone.”

Unfortunately, the doctors predict the problem is just getting started stateside.

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