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Drugs: Krokodil (Desomorphine)


The below is highly graphic and NSFW/NSFL. Read at your own risk. 


Desomorphine (dubbed “krokodil” by Russian users due to its turning the skin turning green and/or rough before rotting) is a highly-addictive injectable opiate. Krokodil (pronounced “crocodile”) is usually synthesized from a combination of codeine, paint thinner, iodine, red phosphorus from match strikers, and other various toxic materials. Often cooked in private homes in countries like Russia (possibility of Russian spinoff for Breaking Bad, anyone?), the drug has gained notoriety for its impure final form and toxic effects.

patient turnup

Desomorphine was first patented in 1932 in the US, and was used in Switzerland as a sedative and analgesic under the brand name Permonid. Roughly seventy-one years later, this drug began to be widely produced for illegal consumption in Russia. In 2003, the Russian government began to crack down on heroin use and trafficking, and those seeking a heroin high increasingly turned to desomorphine as cheaper, more easily-obtained alternative.

In 2011, Vice produced a documentary on the public health scourge in Russia. On September 23, 2013, panic ensued when American media sources reported that patients with open sores were receiving treatment for alleged krokodil use in Arizona. Other cases prompted further hysteria as headlines such as “Flesh-Eating ‘Zombie’ Drug ‘Kills You from the Inside Out’” and “Zombie Apocalypse Drug Reaches U.S.” braced readers for a purportedly (and later deemed inconclusive due to lack of data) drug epidemic.

desomorphine turrnup

Currently, desomorphine is classified as a Schedule I opiate under the United States Code (USC) Title 21 Controlled Substances Act. This means that, depending on your state, conviction of the possession, use or distribution of krokodil can land you up to twenty years in prison, and a fine around $25,000.

The krokodil high is similar to that of heroin, but lasts much shorter. A heroin high typically lasts between four to eight hours, while krokodil’s effects range between one and one-and-a-half hours. Users report feeling euphoria and pain relief effects within fifteen to ninety minutes of administering the opiate. Then, a two-to-three hour period of sedation follows. Immediate negative effects include but are not limited to: constipation, nausea, urinary retention, diminished libido, and respiratory difficulty. In the long run (within a couple of months or even just weeks), negative effects include but are not limited to: seizures, deadly skin afflictions and blood infections, such as gangrene, phlebitis, necrosis, limb loss, HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.

desomorphine turnup

Withdrawal symptoms include a month of unbearable pain, during which the user has to endure sickness and pain from the drug’s accumulated effects upon the body, and the body’s physical and psychological dependency upon its analgesic (pain-relieving) properties.

To wrap things up, bear in mind that mixing needles and illegal substances like desomorphine is a terrible idea; doing so exposes you to an unnecessary slew of risks. Some of these risks include permanent body complications which can lead to death. Avoid this (stupid) way to get hyped, so you and your friends won’t have to pay any visits to the hospital or morgue!


DISCLAIMER: Turn Up does not condone the illegal consumption of drugs, including desomorphine/krokodil. Aside from severe health complications, use leads to severe legal consequences, including a permanent criminal record and trouble securing employment or obtaining acceptances to graduate programs. The safest way to avoid such complications is to abstain altogether from this lethal drug. None of the aforementioned is to be construed as medical or legal advice from Turn Up.



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Hel Ya

Helen Yang ("Hel Ya", Writer) synthesizes Turn Up's creative energies into online form. She has partied in cities outside of New York from L.A. to Shanghai. Hel Ya currently resides in Queens, NY.

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