Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grinnin' Like a Krokodil – Weird Wednesday #5


Connoisseurs of the worlds finest injectables, this post is for you.  Picture from suite101.com


The ingenuity of addicts is often understated. Chasing down the next score can be a full time job, but what happens when poverty is so deep, it keeps a person from even the cheapest of drugs?

They create new ones. Enter the Russian born krokodil.

The drug itself is simple enough. A few codeine painkillers (purchased cheap at any 24 hour pharmacy in Russia), some iodine, a bit of gasoline, and some red phosphorus allows for the intrepid (or destitute) person to make krokodil. When the process is finished, you have a bastardized verison of morphine called desomorphine.

He just wanted to be a ninja turtle.
Beyond the stereotypical squick factor of dirty needles in dirtier apartments and still dirtier veins, krokodil brings about a certain transformation in humans. The skin starts to turn scaly. Scabs form, and for a little while the body can handle it. After that, if even a little drop of the serum misses the vein, it causes under the skin abscesses. A bit after that, gangrene,rot, and much, much worse. Please, do not click that link if you have a weak stomach.

It's okay to close the window and pretend you didn't come here. I wont blame you. Krokodil is insanity in a syringe. I've been trying to wrap my head around it, but I don't think I can ever understand the desperation. I have never battled all out addiction. I haven't dealt with crushing poverty. Even still, how does a person wake up in the morning, and think that some back alley morphine related poison is their best option?

I lack the ability to understand, but it must be clearer in urban Russia, where 21% of the world's heroine is consumed. There are places in Russia where entire blocks of urban centers are filled with abusers of hard drugs, and as desperation grows, so will the use of Krocodil. It is estimated that as many as 100,000 people are currently using desomorphine. If the addiction, or the societal reasons behind its use aren't addressed soon, then the use of the drug will surely increase.

I was first made aware of this from the Vice documentary Krokodil Tears. It is free, so I would suggest checking it out, as well as many of the other Vice documentaries. Start with the Travel Guide to North Korea. It will blow your mind.

1 comment:

  1. The manner in which we human beings are bent in destroying ourselves is something that makes me think we are acting like lost kids, total chaos and panic. And why not, we are very weak creatures compared to the harsh environment we were thrown into-we have a fire constantly burning under the ground we walk on, all we need is a super volcano somewhere and humans could be annihilated; climate is a matter of life and death, look at how the dry weather is burning Colorado; we get killed by the hundred of thousands by natural elements, from hurricanes to earthquakes, tsunamis to tornadoes and what is so confusing is no one has given us clear and precise instructions on how to survive and what the fuck is our purpose on this rock floating in space. Thanks for the warning on the pics, shit, they're BAD! You knew we'll of course take a peek after the warning right? :-D I hope all this crap happening on earth has a greater meaning that will one day be revealed to every living and dead soul and perhaps then we are all given a second chance or life, but if this is it then it is so fucking sad man. Hope all the people who use Krokodil find themselves and dig their lives out of the shit they're buried in.

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