Tag Archives: drug addiction

Mexican teen who injected flesh-eating Krokodil drug is hospitalised with … – Mirror.co.uk

12 Dec 2013 16:44

Doctors initially thought the 17-year-old girl had contracted a sexually transmitted infection – until she told them about her drug addiction

Lethal: Krokodil destroys muscle and tissue in the area where it is injected

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A teenager has been hospitalised in Mexico after injecting a drug believed to be Krokodil into her genitals.

José Sotero Ruiz Hernández of Mexico‘s National Institute of Migration told Mexican newspaper El Periodico Correo: “The young woman who used this drug had an infection that had rotted her genitals.”

Doctors initially thought the 17-year-old had contracted a sexually transmitted infection until she told medical staff she had been using the drug for two months.

The patient allegedly told the hospital the drug was cheap to buy and readily available in areas such as Mexico city.

Krokodil is the street name for desomorphine, a cheap heroin substitute that rots the flesh, usually killing addicts within two years.

It is formed from a combination of crushed codeine pills, gasoline, cooking oil, iodine, paint thinner and lighter fluid.

The substance is also highly addictive and does not last long, meaning many addicts exist in a never-ending cycle of drug consumption and preparation.

Krokodil acts as a morphine substitute but is 10 times stronger than the morphine currently used in medical practice.

It has a quicker onset of action and more sedative effects and causes death of muscle and soft tissues at the site of injection.

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Mexican teen who injected flesh-eating Krokodil drug is hospitalised with … – Mirror.co.uk

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Russia Heroin Epidemic Leads to Terrifying New Drug that Rots the User … – Guardian Express

The pictures below may be disturbing to some.  They are at the bottom of the article so that there are no surprises for those who would be upset by them.

The rate of heroin addiction in Russia has reached epidemic proportions and as the government tries to crack down on the supply, demand leads the user to try a new drug known for its terrifying tendency to be so poisonous that it rots the skin off those addicted to it.

The street name of the drug is Krokodil, named so for its nearly immediate effect on the skin, which takes on a grey, scaly appearance.  Its active component is desomorphine, a chemical that can easily be derived from codeine.  Codeine pills can be purchased in Russia with little difficulty as they require no prescription and are very cheap.

Reduction in the amount of heroin available in Russia has driven the street price up to the point where many who are addicted are no longer able to afford the drug.  Their financial difficulties do little to curb their need for the drug, especially considering how painful withdrawal can be.  Since codeine is so cheap and readily available, many have turned to cooking Krokodil on their own.

This trend has been building for the last five years, with an especial hike in the frequency of use during the last year.  It is more debilitating than heroin, however, and the consequences of using the drug make it truly terrifying.  Much like crystal meth, the cook at home formula calls for some pretty hazardous chemicals to be used.  Ingredients like gasoline and hydrochloric acid make the finished product extremely toxic.

It is then injected into the vein where it damages the body considerably.  This terrifying drug rots the skin of the user, causing a new epidemic among heroin addicts in Russia.  Gangrene sets into limbs, the skin blackens then falls away, leaving exposed bone.  As the pictures (below) demonstrate, this is a terrible fate and a testament to how very ill drug addiction can make a person become.

Brain damage is also swift and drastic.  A documentary on the drug interviewed two young men who had been using krokodil for a year and were so disabled by the damage done to their brains that they relied on their mother for care and could barely communicate.  They were described as “krokodil zombies.”

Further exacerbating the problem is the highly addictive quality of the drug itself, coupled with its short duration and quick onset of withdrawal.  Withdrawal is described as very painful and long lasting and with the ease of acquisition of the drug, relapse is common.  Treatment centers are available but they are not regulated by the government and often only offer the “cold turkey” approach to getting clean.

The vicious cycle of the short high and severe withdrawal means that addiction to krokodil is even more consuming than addiction to heroin.  Because of the extreme toxicity of the components used to make the drug and the rapid cycle of use, life expectancy of those addicted to it is shortened to a staggering one to three years.  In Russia, it is a drug epidemic worse than heroin, terrifying in its ability to rot the user from within and deadly in a way that no other drug has paralleled.

Written by: Vanessa Blanchard

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Russia Heroin Epidemic Leads to Terrifying New Drug that Rots the User … – Guardian Express

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The narcotics dilemma: hospitalization or jail time?

The creators of the new state rehab center for substance abuse, Ural Without Narcotics, have a long, difficult path ahead. Officials from the Sverdlovsk region intend to restore hundreds of local residents to meaningful lives, returning them from the alternate universe of drug addiction. At a meeting with Evgeny Kuyvashev, the governor of the Sverdlovsk region, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the establishment of a state-sponsored center. However, no quick victories can be expected in the struggle with a scourge that Europe and the USA have been battling for years. The Russian system for rehabilitating drug addicts is still weak, and the law does not allow them to be treated involuntarily. Anton Poddubny, the head doctor at Ural Without Narcotics, spoke to RusBusinessNews about whether the strong arm of the state should be used to help addicts.

- Anton Vladimirovich, how will the center’s work be organized?

- The center’s front office opened in Ekaterinburg a little over a month ago. Our professional staff – a social worker, a psychologist, and an addiction psychiatrist – counsel drug addicts on an individual basis, and there are group sessions available for their families.

The center’s main site will open on Shirokaya Rechka in July 2013. It is designed for 60 patients – 15 women and 45 men. That’s where the third phase of the addiction treatment will be held (the first consists of outpatient care by an addiction psychiatrist who is registered for that district, and the second is inpatient addiction treatment). It is over the course of these phases that the patient will be brought out of his or her narcotic intoxication and will be motivated for rehabilitation. This is very important because individuals who have become a prisoner to drugs don’t believe they can be cured. Far from all addicts make it into treatment on their first try, only about 10-15% take the leap. The rest don’t even consider the possibility until they’ve had a few unpleasant experiences on a drip at the hospital. Addicts come to the center purely on a volunteer basis. We don’t intend to drag anyone here by force.

The rehabilitation treatment will be offered at no cost to patients and will last from 4 to 9 months, but no longer than a year. The first two months, of course, are the most difficult. That’s when we plan to focus on the spiritual component.

Once things ease up a bit for the addict, then psychotherapists, substance-abuse specialists, social workers, and occupational therapists get into the game. Our patients will earn their keep doing farm and garden work. There are plans to launch a small business, but no decisions have yet been made as to what kind. One interesting idea, which we have discussed with Mikhail Kagan, the head of the regional office of the Federal Drug Control Service, is breeding service dogs. If that office built a breeding nursery, that would be a starting point for us in this project.

Sports will play a major part in their rehabilitation. The building that is currently being renovated has a gymnasium for volleyball and basketball, and we’ll install exercise machines and punching bags. There’ll be a stadium with a track, and we’ll bring in some reputable trainers.

- Do you believe in the success of the project? Do you, as a doctor, feel confident that recovered addicts who leave this center will not go back to their dealers?

- It’s easy to make sure that people don’t use drugs, you just have to isolate them. Then everything comes to a halt, because they don’t have anywhere to get their powders or weed. That’s essentially what we do at the center – patients are literally isolated from society. But the main goal is not just to keep them from using drugs while they’re here, it’s to ensure that after their treatment they don’t go back to associating with the same people.

As Mark Twain said, “Quitting smoking is easy, I’ve done it 100 times.” That’s why we’re starting a post-rehab, outpatient program, which will operate at the front office. The “graduates” of the center will be divided into groups of about 15. They’ll get together periodically and spend time with our professional staff, receiving psychological support. Each group will have an individualized program.

The experience of other rehab centers shows that people who have a positive view of their recovery will stay in touch with each other. They have an emotional bond. But no one claims that life after rehab will be easy – you have to believe in yourself and possess an unusually strong will. Because it’s not just your environment you have to face, where people are begging for drugs, but all of society. People see drug addicts, even those that have reformed, as hopeless cases. But this is a terrible mistake. I know dozens of people who no longer use drugs. They’re no different from you or me, except that they understand the price of the freedom that drugs stole from them.

- And will you help them find work?

- Of course. Former drug addicts go back to their old lives if they don’t have jobs. Someone who wants to make things right will find a way, those who don’t will find an excuse. I hope that our former patients will find a way. No one is promising that they’ll immediately become directors, but no one is promising that that won’t happen in ten years. It all depends on the person, but you have to give him a chance. Whether or not he takes advantage of it is a different matter.

- Europe has struggled with drug addiction for a long time. What are some of their progressive practices that could be adopted in Russia?

- As Oleg Zabrodin, the chief substance-abuse specialist for the Sverdlovsk region, has mentioned, Europe and Russia see different types of drug addiction. They have a different mentality and use different types of drugs. In terms of heroin, for example, their choice is very clear – they can either go to prison or into treatment. Take France, Sweden, and other very democratic countries – there it’s illegal to use narcotics. If you’re found on drugs, you go to court and either have to voluntarily undergo treatment or go to prison. So, 100% of those who are faced with that kind of choice prefer treatment. Here we don’t currently offer that option, but I hope that the question of coercive treatment will soon be resolved.

- What’s the official number of drug addicts in the Sverdlovsk region?

- In 2011, almost 11 thousand addicts were registered, and a little over 12 thousand in 2009. The structure of substance abuse is changing in Russia and the CIS. Within another three or four years none of the classic heroin or Desomorphine addicts will be left. They’re dying off, and the younger generation is now abusing different, ostensibly legal drugs. You have to really work to find heroin in Ekaterinburg, because our drug enforcement agencies and police are very active. It’s also hard to get plant-based narcotics such as opiates or cannabinoids. The work of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service is very evident here – they cover the drug highway from Central Asia. 20-year-old boys are just not going to make heavy weather of buying the drugs when they can just buy smoking mixes or bath salts over the Internet. And we also look for those types of websites and report them to the appropriate agencies. Virtually all drugs now are synthesized. They’re frightening because they cause a powerful psychotic reaction – people literally lose their minds. It’s not just a sense of euphoria, a person suffers an organic disorder of the brain. And these types of psychoses do not respond to ordinary, medication-based therapy.

- We see two diametrically opposing opinions in Russia: the first held by adherents of a rigid drug policy, and in the second camp are those who favor legalizing “soft” drugs. What’s your position?

- I strongly oppose legalizing “soft” drugs. What’s the difference – “soft” or hard? All drug addicts begin with so-called “soft” drugs, which include cannabinoids, and then they are sucked in further.

The Russian nation is dying off, but you can’t just give up. I realize that perhaps we are several years too late opening the Ural Without Narcotics rehab center. But so what? If we’re late, we’re late, but you still have to do something. There’s an insane amount of work to be done. We can’t get by with just one center here. Evgeny Kuyvashev, the governor of the Sverdlovk region, has directed the regional Ministry of Health to open centers like this in every administrative district by 2017.

If you look at the deeper issues, ideally we need to bring young people in off the streets. They need to be doing something worthwhile, not drifting around in search of adventure. We need to establish more sports leagues and recreational centers, and those need to be free of charge. A love of health and a healthy lifestyle need to be instilled almost from kindergarten. It’s important to teach young people how to live healthy, rich lives filled with meaning – and right now that is our most difficult and important task.

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The narcotics dilemma: hospitalization or jail time? – RusBusinessNews