A synthetic and powerful drug that eats away at the flesh of users and leaves them in a zombie state has hit Australia – and some users have no idea what they’re taking.
The harmful drug is known as Krokodil, or desomorphine, and causes severe tissue damage and gangrenous infection in its users.
The synthetic contraband has already ripped through America and Russia and has now landed down under.
‘Krokodil is a drug that is as violent as the name implies,’ Australian-owned Darra Rehab in Thailand said on its page.
‘The flesh-eating drug leaves the user in a zombie like state that is horrible to watch. Though users do not seem to remember their behavior.’
Reports of use have already been made in Victoria with one case reported in New South Wales.
As early as June a young man presented himself to a regional hospital with an arm infection stemming from the drug.
The drug induces symptoms like euphoria and shortness of breath.
The long term effects can be even more severe with swollen veins or infections that lead to black or green scaly skin.
Addled users can be left with exhaustion, memory loss and speech impediment.
‘The homemade krokodil causes serious damage to the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and bone that results in black or greenish scabs or scales earning the name,’ Darra said on its page.
‘In many cases rotten flesh is also a sign of use which is how the nickname zombie drug developed. Long term users will often require amputations due to rotting flesh.
Dara Rehab boss Darren Lockie told Herald Sun Krokodil was unwittingly being sold to users.
‘None of them were looking for Krokodil specifically,’ he said.
‘What happens with drugs like this is people can often purchase them thinking that they are other substances, like heroin.’
While cases have cropped up in Victoria, local police have stressed desomorphine only makes a small portion of the state’s drug market.
Mr Lockie warned users who had taken Krokodil to seek medical attention right away or face the devastating consequences.
He said drug users often kept quiet to avoid public shaming, but a lot more was at stake for Krokodil users.
Mr Lockie went on to say he did not believe Krokodil would develop into an epidemic in Australia.
‘Methamphetamine is a lot more accessible and a bigger threat and Krokodil is predominantly used as a cheaper alternative to drugs like heroin,’ he said.