Effects of Desomorphine Abuse

There are highly destructive drugs in the world, but none approaches the level of addictiveness and physical destruction of desomorphine. In Russia, this drug is known as krokodil, because it makes some users’ flesh turn green and rough, like a crocodile’s skin.

The drug is derived from an over-the-counter cough medication that contains codeine. This pill is processed at home using readily-available chemicals and solvents, employing a process similar to that of cooking methamphetamine. The result of this process is injected. Addiction often occurs after just one use. Recovery from this addiction is very difficult.

The chemicals used are industrial grade, not medical grade, so they are highly contaminated with damaging substances. There is no filtering or purification of the final product before injection, meaning the addicts get the full effect of the pollutants.

Decades ago, desomorphine was a painkiller used by medical doctors. Its very short painkilling duration led doctors to abandon its use. Until krokodil began to be seen in Russia several years ago, there was little said about this drug until it was recently considered for pain relief once again. Krokodil appeared in Russia in 2003.

Disastrous Effects of Desomorphine Use

The contaminants in desomorphine attack a person’s body, resulting in grievous damage. Images of desomorphine addicts show rotted parts of the body where the drugs were injected, often legs.

Effects include:

  • Disruption of endocrine system due to the iodine content
  • Muscle destruction, also due to iodine
  • Bone damage due to high phosphorus levels
  • Nervous system damage due to iron, zinc, lead and antimony content
  • Inflammation of liver and kidneys also due to these metals
  • Ulcers that will not heal
  • Arms and legs that wither and die
  • Veins used for injection burn up from the caustic chemicals
  • Abscesses and gangrene
  • Overall collapse of health

Hepatitis is common among Russian users, with one-third reporting the disease. Previously, addicts were migrating from heroin to desomorphine but more recently, new addicts are seen starting with this drug.

Drug Rehab and Drug Prevention Both are Needed

In Russia, there are several Narconon rehabilitation or prevention centres that fight this type of addiction day and night. Drug educators fan out across the landscape to provide information on what can happen if you decide to start abusing drugs. Drug rehabilitation centres help those who can’t stop abusing drugs, with the eight to ten week, drug-free Narconon rehab programme. The right time to get help if you are addicted is before a drug damages your health beyond repair.

For a family who wants to help an addicted person, don’t wait for the terrible damage to show up and ruin the person’s chances at recovery. Call Narconon as soon as your loved one can’t stop using an addictive substance. By not waiting, you may be able to save his (or her) life.


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