In 2010, between a few hundred thousand and a million people, according to various estimates, were injecting the new dirty version of heroin called Krokodil. Russia so far is the only country in the world to see the drug grow into an epidemic. It first appeared in Siberia and the Russian Far East around 2002, but in the past three years it has spread throughout the country. In the first three months of this year alone 65 million doses have been confiscated.
The effects of using this drug is deadly. For some it leads to pneumonia, some get blood poisoning, some have arteries burst in their heart, some got meningitis, others flesh simply rot off the bone. The rotting of the flesh explains the drug’s nickname. At the injection site which can be anywhere from the feet to the forehead, the addict’s skin becomes greenish and scaly like a crocodile’s as blood vessels burst and the surrounding tissue dies. Gangrene and amputations are a common result while porous bone tissue, especially in the lower jaw, often starts to dissipate, eaten by the drug’s acidity.