In the first officially reported case of the flesh-eating drug in Mexico, a teenager has revealed she injected krokodil into her genitals for a period of two months.
The 17-year-old presented herself to authorities in Puerto Vallarta with lacerations to her pelvic area, José Sotero Ruiz Hernández, an official with Mexico's National Institute of Migration, said.
"The young woman who used this drug had an infection that had rotted her genitals. It wasn't sexually transmitted. She said she'd been using krokodil for the last two months," Hernandez said, according to a Huffington Post translation of Mexican newspaper El Periodico Correo.
Krokodil (Desomorphine) is often highly impure and contaminated with toxic and corrosive byproducts (file picture)
The drug is around 8-10 times more potent than morphine with a powerful, fast-acting sedative akin to that of heroin.
Users tend to experience black or green scaly skin, causing it to harden, rot and fall off in chunks, hence the drug’s name.
Among the ingredients used to make krokodil are iodine, strong alkalies such as Mr Muscle, paint thinner and industrial cleaning oil.
The drug was first developed as a painkiller in The United States in the 1930’s
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.