Arizonans Love the Worst Drugs: First Cases of "Flesh-Eating" Krokodil Use Reported Here

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Lauri Rantala via Flickr

If you thought Arizona's love affair with meth was really as bad as it gets when it comes to drug use, then get a load of this.

Arizona appears to be home of the first reported cases in the country of people using a drug nicknamed Krokodil -- named for the appearance it gives its users. If you've ever seen pictures of Krokodil users, they make meth-heads look like beauty-pageant winners.

Whatever happened to doing drugs that grow out of the earth?

The production process is similar to that of meth, except krokodil is derived from codeine, so the user gets some opiate-like effects. The drug apparently is popular in Russia, where all the original krokodil horror stories come from.

Now it's popped up in Arizona. Check out Dr. Frank LoVecchio from Banner's Poison Control Center explaining to KPHO the two reported cases here, with all that wonderful imagery.

Why does it always seem like Arizona's ground zero for the absolute crappiest drugs in the country?

In addition to years' worth of naked meth-head stories, the state has also been home to what appears to be an extraordinary amount of people who did some really weird stuff while high on bath salts.

There was a naked guy throwing himself against concrete walls, a man who destroyed his family's house, a man who believed an automobile raped his daughter, a man who thought "little Mexicans" were knocking on his eyeballs, a man who made out with a steering wheel, a man who fought imaginary bugs in a coffee shop, and more.

Another, lesser-known research chemical is believed to be the cause of a Scottsdale teenager's death.

If all that wasn't enough, now there are reports of people using krokodil, a drug that's literally cost people life and limb.

It's hard to imagine how drug use could possibly be worse than that, but we'll probably find out soon enough.

You can check out a really good explanation of the whole krokodil thing in the video on the next page, produced by VICE.

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My Voice Nation Help

the ghetto in america makes those who live in russian ghettos look like pussies.


"Why does it always seem like Arizona's ground zero for the absolute crappiest drugs in the country?"

Because Arizona is like the asshole of USA. It's where shit usually happens first.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Never underestimate the desire of various members of the human race to pursue a substance that induces euphoria.  (Euphoria here is used in the pharmacological sense.)


I would recommend NOT doing a google images search for the effects.....see you later breakfast.


Always nice to see people giving natural selection a hand. Keep it up, gang!


I'd be curious who those first users are and where they are from. Phoenix has a large and growing population of Russians and other Eastern Europeans, and I would not be at all surprised to learn that that some of them brought this vile concoction with them. 

The fact that it apparently made it's first US appearance in AZ is yet another sign of the widespread poverty and misery in this state. Drugs like meth and krokodil are the 21st century equivalent of the "bathtub gin" of Prohibition days, and just as poisonous and deadly. They are easily produced at home from cheap, common and easy-to-acquire ingredients, making them irresistible to those who are desperate for a high, but too poor to afford less deadly alternatives. Again, just like Prohibition days, when rich alcoholics drank smuggled Canadian whiskey while the poor were blinded and poisoned by homemade concoctions of rubbing alcohol, kerosene and god-knows-what-else.

The more things change, the more things stay the same. Yet another reason to end the total fail of the drug war, and try a different approach.

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