A new flesh eating illicit drug is leading to public health scares throughout the world. Three new cases of the drug, krokodil, have been reported in North America.

The drug originated in Russia, and is a combination of codeine and household chemicals like gasoline, lighter fluid, or paint thinner. The drug is injected into the user’s vein, and it can lead to some devastating effects. Krokodil destroys the blood vessels under the user’s skin, leading to green, scaly sores and rotting flesh. It causes an extreme high that leaves the user wanting more.

The drug is slowly being talked about in North America, where suspected cases of the drug have caused a scare. Two cases were reported in Arizona in 2012, and now three more are suspected in Ontario, Canada.

Dangers of Krokodil

Krokodil is considered to be dangerous substitute for heroin. It can quickly lead to addiction, and because the user cannot be sure about the drug’s contents, they are at risk every time they use it. Sellers put dangerous chemicals in the drug to give it a better high and to act as fillers, and these chemicals alone can kill the user.

Officials in the U.S. are aware of the drug and are working to create awareness for the dangers of krokodil now before it becomes an epidemic. Prevention is the best way to keep this drug from claiming more lives, and law enforcement, school officials, and parents should learn about the drug and talk to teens and young adults about the dangers.

Treatment will also be necessary for anyone who finds themselves caught up with this kind of drug addiction. Just like with heroin, krokodil will be a difficult kind of addiction to overcome, but with the right kind of help, it is possible.

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