Beware the Zombie Drug!

Just because you like zombies doesn't mean you need to become one! (The Independent UK)

Just because you like zombies doesn’t mean you need to become one! (The Independent UK)

As if Americans didn’t have enough problems already—from the government shutdown to the debt ceiling debate and everything in between—it now looks as if we have a new headache to worry about: krokodil or desomorphine… otherwise known as the “zombie drug.”

Krokodil is an injectable opiate derived from morphine that is cheaper and easier to produce than heroin, a drug for which it is sometimes substituted, often without users’ knowledge. It first appeared in Russia and the Ukraine several years ago and has since addicted more than 120,000 people, according to a recent study published by the International Journal of Drug Policy. And the consequences of using this highly addictive drug are pretty serious, believe me.

A krokodil user cooking up (The Independent UK)

A krokodil user cooking up (The Independent UK)

“It’s a zombie drug—it literally kills you from the inside out,” Dr. Abhin Singla from the Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Illinois said recently. “If you want a way to die, this is a way to die.”

The drug—which is produced by combining things like codeine, paint thinner, iodine, lighter fluid and even gasoline—is highly impure and can be contaminated by all sorts of toxic chemicals—much like another drug that’s destroying our nation, crystal meth. Users experience a high similar to heroin after using krokodil and the withdrawal symptoms are equally intense, but check out some of the side effects: black or green scaled skin; vein and soft tissue damage; gangrene and necrosis; severe mutilations; decaying bone structure; sores and ulcers; rotting extremities, like ears and noses; liver and kidney problems; irrational thought and behavior; sleep deprivation and exhaustion; memory loss; speech problems; and quite a few more.

In other words, it isn’t a drug anyone should consider doing… at least not anyone who wants to live.

Unfortunately, it now looks as if this “zombie drug” has reached America. This past weekend alone, five people in Joliet, Illinois were hospitalized with symptoms similar to recent cases in Arizona, Oklahoma and Utah. Of course, a woman in Oklahoma City recently told a local television station about a friend who died from krokodil use last year.

Nice stems, for a rotting corpse (OASAS NY)

Nice stems, for a rotting corpse (OASAS NY)

“The doctors say it ate him from the inside out,” Chelle Fancher recounted. “It wasn’t until the next day that they told us that it was krokodil.”

Dr. Robert Geller of the Georgia Poison Center is aware of the drug—as are many doctors around the country— and fears this may only be the beginning of another drug epidemic.

“It’s not clear how widely used it is in the U.S.,” Geller said. “This may be an inexpensive high compared to other drugs, according to its reputation, but it is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms and be a real problem for users. My advice to would-be users is ‘don’t.’ This is a risky way to try and get high.”

Foot massage, anyone? (OASAS NY)

Foot massage, anyone? (OASAS NY)

Of course, warnings like this have done little to prevent the use of other dangerous substances in the past, so I fully expect to see more about this zombie drug in the news, preferably later rather than sooner. Not seeing it at all would be ideal, though.

I only hope no one tries to blame The Walking Dead for increasing the popularity of zombies and, by association, the zombie drug! Sometimes it’s simply weak human beings who are to blame, for goodness sake!

Posted on October 16, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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