- Desomorphine, better known by its street name Krokodil, is around 8-10 times more potent than morphine with a powerful, fast-acting sedative high akin to that of heroin.
- The extremely addictive injectable opioid named, in part, because users report black or green scaly skin as a side effect – it will then cause it to "harden, rot, and fall off," often in chunks.
- Like methamphetamine, desomorphine made this way is often highly impure and is contaminated with various toxic and corrosive byproducts.
- It can be made in a matter of hours by combining the painkiller codeine with easily available chemicals, including iodine, strong alkalies such as Mr. Muscle, hydrochloric acid, red phosphorous from matches, paint thinner, industrial cleaning oil, and alcohol.
- It causes serious damage to the veins and soft tissue infections, rapidly followed by gangrene and necrosis, severe mutilations, rotting gums, bone infections, decayed structure of the jaw and facial bones, sores and ulcers on the forehead and skull as well as rotting ears, noses and lips and liver and kidney problems.
- Mortality rates are high among users. Shockingly, addicts have a life expectancy of less than a year, doctors have warned.
- It has been estimated that around 100,000 people use krokodil in Russia and around 20,000 in Ukraine, according to a study that ran in the International Journal of Drug Policy this year. It costs just £5 per hit on the street.
- Between 2009 and 2011, the amount of Krokodil seized by law enforcement increased 23-fold. In just the first three months of 2011, 65 million doses were seized.
- A user's attention is narrowed to the "process of acquiring and preparing and administering the drug, leaving little time for matters other than avoiding withdrawal and chasing (the) high," according to one medical study, hence its reputation for creating "zombies."
- The first reported instances of the intravaneous drug cropped up in Arizona roughly two weeks ago, while a British doctor believes he may have come across a case in the UK that the man was homeless and in his 30s.