Officials are "extremely frightened" over a new drug called Krokodil, popular in Russia, that has reared its ugly head in at least two cases in Arizona this week.
Krokodil is created by mixing codeine, gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid and even the red phosphorous scraped from the tips of matches, filtering it and then injecting it into the body, according to media reports.
The concoction can cause the flesh to eat away and leaves severe addicts with reptilian-like skin, hence the drug's name, the Daily Mail said.
Banner Poison Control Center in Phoenix said two addicts arrived in emergency rooms with their flesh hanging off their body, the Daily Mail reported.
"We've had two cases this past week that have occurred in Arizona," Dr. Frank LoVecchio, the center's co-medical director told local television station KPHO. "As far as I know, these are the first cases in the United States that are reported. So we're extremely frightened."
Repeated use of Krokodil, whose medical name is desomorphine, causes blood vessels to burst, leaving skin green and scaly, the Daily Mail said.
According to Time magazine, "Gangrene and amputations are a common result, while porous bone tissue, especially in the lower jaw, often starts to dissipate, eaten up by the drug's acidity."
Nearly 2.5 million addicts in Russia have registered for treatment, and the average life span for a user is only two to three years.
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