Zombie Drug: Heroin substitute krokodil suspected in Ohio - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Zombie Drug: Heroin substitute krokodil suspected in Ohio

Effects of krokodil. Effects of krokodil.

Heroin overdoses killed nearly 200 people in Cuyahoga County alone last year.

Now, there's a cheaper, even more potent synthetic heroin out there.

Krokodil is a flesh-eating, gasoline and codeine based heroin substitute. This drug does horrific things to users bodies.

"It's a zombie drug, it literally kills you from the inside out. If you want a way to die, this is a way to die," says one doctor. 

Krokodil is made by mixing codeine tablets with household chemicals and gasoline, paint thinner or lighter fluid. It can cause brain damage and rots the skin from the inside out.

"The reason that this is gaining some attention is because krokodil can cause something called phlebitis, inflation or irritation of the veins of the user or gangrene," said Dr. Jason Jerry of the Cleveland Clinic.

He added the drug was developed in Russia, where codeine is available over the counter, and heroin is much harder to come by.

"They want to use a narcotic or need to use a narcotic because they're addicted and they will go to whatever they can get their hands on to scratch that proverbial itch that is their addiction," Jerry said.

There are no reported cases of krokodil use in Northeast Ohio as of now. But there have been reports of its use in Franklin and Athens counties. However, law enforcement can't confirm that it's actually krokodil, or desomorphine, until they can get their hands on it for testing.

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