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SANTA MONICA, CA, July 12, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- A new drug has recently been discovered in Russia, and is taking the country by storm. The drug is called krokodil or crocodile, named for the gruesome effects the drug has on the users' appearance. The skin of the user literally begins to rot. At the injection site, which can be anywhere where there is a suitable vein, the users complexion becomes greenish and scaly, like a crocodile's, blood vessels rupture and the skin tissue dies. Gangrene and amputations are a common result, bone tissue, especially in the lower jaw begins to deteriorate, slowly being disintegrated by the highly acidic content of the drug.
Krokodil is made with desomorphine, a synthetic opioid more powerful than heroin. The drug is created by mixing common household chemicals with codeine-based cold medications that are available over the counter is Russia. The process of creating krokodil involves mixing the codeine pills with ingredients including gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, iodine and red phosphorous, which can be scrape from the striking pads on matchboxes. The effects of krokodil are very similar to those of heroin, so many long time heroin users are beginning to switch to krokodil. Since its discovery 4 years ago, consumption has steadily been on the rise. In poverty stricken regions of Russia, use of the drug has been especially high. All of the ingredients are readily available at pharmacies and drug stores, and are much cheaper than heroin.
A study conducted in 2010 showed that between a few hundred thousand and a million people, according to various official estimates, were injecting the drug, as of yet Russia has been the only country for which the drug has become a problem. It is believed to first have appeared in Siberia and the Russian Far East in early 2002, however in the last few years has it spread all over the country. Since 2009, the amount of krokodil seized in Russia has increased exponentially said the head of the Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov. In the first few months of 2011 there has already been approximately 65 million doses seized by Russian Law enforcement.
Unfortunately for most Russian citizens drug treatment is scarcely available in impoverished regions of the country. Due to budgeting problems the government is able to little about this problem. With the recent spike in krokodil use there has been many a public debate regarding the ban of codeine pills, and also to impose more drug testing in public schools. There is much talk of a plan to create a score of state run drug rehabilitation centers. So far the Health Ministry currently runs only a handful of impatient rehabs for an estimated 2.5 million drug addicts, most of whom still use heroin or krokodil. The Russian union of Evangelical Christians, which is mostly of the Pentecostal denomination, facilitates more than 500 rehab centers, receiving no help from the state, makes them the largest provider of treatment in Russia.
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