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DEA Monitors New Krokodil Drug

By June 29, 2011

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is trying to stay ahead of a new dangerous designer drug that has addicted an estimated 1 million Russians, but has yet to make it way to the United States. The drug, called Krokodil (crocodile) is a derivative of morphine made from codeine, which is readily available in Russia.

The drug can turn the user's skin green, scaly and cause it to rot away, DEA officials said.

"We're looking at it overseas, but we have not seen it yet in the U.S.," DEA spokesman Rusty Payne told reporters. "But we would not be surprised when that day comes."

Huge Problem in Russia

More than 65 million doses of the drug has been seized in Russia during the first three months of this year. According to Russia's Federal Drug Control Service up to a million people are using krokodil, or desomorphine, in that country.

The drug is made by combining codeine with gasoline, paint thinner and other chemicals. Codeine is readily available over-the-counter in Russia.

The drug's krokodil name comes from the appearance of the user's skin at the site of injection.

Krokodil Made From Codeine

Because codeine is a controlled drug in the United States and because krokodil is expensive to make, some observers believe the drug will never become popular in the U.S., where other much cheaper drugs are available.

"It's not going to become a club drug, I can guarantee you that," said Dr. Lewis Nelson, a medical toxicologist at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York.

News Sources: FoxNews.com "DEA Now Monitoring Krokodil, a Deadly Morphine Derivative." 28 June 2011.

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