KROKODIL WITH THE DEVIL
It was just two weeks ago and I finally found my way into a theater to see the film World War Z. I know that most of the critics that watched it panned it as being very slow and plodding film. I must admit that it seemed to be a film that was dragging a bit, but I began to understand why it was made that way.
The film was an attempt to demonstrate how a plague is not immediately realized and that there really doesn’t have to be a drawn out explanation as to why the plague exists, there just has to be a point where people finally realize that the plage has arrived and that many people will be a bit hesitant or even in denial about the existence of an oncoming plague.
It was not made clear what the marauding humans were. It was just known that they would writhe in pain, scream at others and have seizures. In some case we saw them attack and as usual eat human flesh, but of course that is given in any Zombie film.
However there now a true model of the so called Zombie apocalypse and it is happening in a place that is out of our immediate sight. The frightening thing is that it may be eventually seen here in the United States and when it is, it will be the most terrifying thing we could ever imagine.
What I am going to share with you may sound as though it has come from a science fiction novel, or a script for a sequel of World War Z, however it most certainly isn’t and the remarkable truth is that the truth is unbelievable.
When we speak of the end of the world, we always think of some grandiose finality, we imagine the greatest doom scenarios imagined. When we think of the end of the world we usually dream dreams, or imagine devastating scenarios that are usually in the middle of the event.
The reason I say this is because we always hear people say that they are dreaming of the fireballs, the earthquakes, the asteroids and the tidal waves bringing everything down into a devastating end.
The dreams never are about how it all begins.
I will tell you that what is left out of those dreams is that the day of the end of the world begins like any other ordinary day. We wake up, we shower, dress and make coffee. We take a quick sip, get the kids ready for school, and then we get into the long wait in traffic.
We turn on the radio. The morning crew on the Rock Station are making juvenile jokes, the conservative talk host is attacking Obama care, and as you punch through the buttons you hear that worn out “Somebody that I used to know” song. Before you can tune out, a news story comes on.
A reporter is saying that something peculiar is happening in Russia. It is not all that clear because the reporters are saying that the people there are walking the streets and their flesh is falling off of them.
You wonder if they have been victims of some nuclear accident or some pathogen.
Then it becomes even more shocking. It is reported that the people whose flesh is rotting off their bodies, actually have done this to themselves. It is reported that they injected into their bodies a concoction of codeine, paint thinner, gasoline, and other chemicals in order to get high. However, after they have done this, their skin turns green, appears to be scaly like a reptile and begins to eat the flesh of the victim.
Sounds unbelievable, but it is happening now and it is believed that the strange serum that Russians are injecting into their bodies has now arrived in the United States.
It is an addictive and dangerous drug called Krokodil.
Many people are unaware that since 1979 heroin use in Russia has increased since the Afghanistan war. By the time Communism fell it is reported that 20 per cent of Russians were hooked on heroin.
There were horror stories out of Russia that ex-addicts were building coffins for their addicted friends and religious cults would spring up taking advantage of the addicts. The heroin of course was expensive and there was a need to create a drug where the high was comparable but cheaper.
The result is Krokodil a drug that eats the junkie, literally.
Krokodil, crocodile in Russian, gets its name because of what it does to the skin. The drug makes the user’s skin look reptilian as it turns green, becomes scaly and tough like the skin of crocodiles. This change occurs around the site of injection.
The reason the drug is being used is because addicts who are impoverished cannot afford a hit of heroin. In Russia the cost is about $100.00. A batch of Krokodil which is made by using headache pills lased with codeine and thinned with either gasoline or paint thinner can cost only $10.00.
Russia has an estimated two million drug addicts and drug treatment centers have been packed with users who are riddled with sores, some even have the bones exposed as the skin literally rots off of their frame. An estimated 100,000 users are called “homemade” users. They cook their own drugs because the high is cheap quick and it kills even quicker.
Krokodil also known as desomorphine literally rots the flesh from veins out because of the acidic nature of the serum that is injected. The combination of these chemicals often causes gangrene, making it necessary to amputate the affected regions.
The frightening part is that this drug has escaped the confines of Russia and is now here in the United States.
According to KLTV news, Arizona Doctors are saying that two patients were admitted to Banner's Poison Control Center showing signs consistent with the published accounts from Russian accounts of the drug's effects. The center would not comment on the status of the patients, nor will they comment on whether the drug's popularity may be growing stateside.
A story in Time Magazine published from 2011 estimated that there were between, "a few hundred thousand and a million people," addicted to the substance in Russia alone. In 2009, Russian drug control services seized over 65 million doses of the drug.
Now that it has arrived stateside it couldn’t have come at a worse time. We now know that the so called war on drugs has failed. There has been talk of decriminalizing marijuana. The truth as bad is it sounds has it that we could see marijuana being ignored and young people being exposed to a homemade drug the creates a high similar to heroin.
It can be cooked and made cheaper and spread out to the poor. This would immediately trigger a new and bolder war against drugs and all the more reason for spying on innocent people.
We would see the Federal Government going over states’ heads to continue criminally prosecuting drug use and using drugs such as Krokodil as a scapegoat for more harsh laws.
Are we not realizing this is not a criminal problem but a medical one? Waging a war on addiction and addicts has not worked at all . Treatment and access to healthcare and addiction counseling is needed in order for us to beat this. It looks as if the war on drugs has resulted in this sort of desperate move because those who want a high will find a way to get it. Addiction as you can see is not a choice, but the body’s response to altering brain chemistry.
The arrival of this drug is a result of the so called success of stopping access to heroin.
In the United States we have been told that the way to curb the drug problem is simple, we criminalize the use and make the drug difficult for users to obtain. However it is obvious that Krokodil was created for two reasons, easy availability and cost.
Heroin became impossible to obtain in Russia after the war. This bred a need and the chemists went to work.
Now, in the U.S. the idea of outlawing a drug and reducing its supply has been the course of action in the drug war. It has not worked. If we see more draconian laws and we see a reduced supply of heroin, we may see a pandemic of Krokodil users in the United States.
Cooking Krokodil using Hydrocodone or Codeine would be no more difficult than cooking meth from Sudafed. At the moment there have been ID checks in Pharmacies when under aged kids by fingernail polish remover. In most states it is difficult to buy Sudafed over the counter.
Can you imagine the crackdown on the distribution in pain meds if Krokodil becomes a major street drug like in Russia?
Think about it, Krokodil is frightening on many levels. In fact if someone cooks up a batch of Krokodil they have rendered useless all of the efforts to criminalize heroin. Not to mention given those whom they distribute to 6-18 months of a euphoric high that masks that fact that the victim is literally turning into a zombie before they die.
This extreme case I believe will not turn the attitudes of authorities. They will continue to believe that the approach we are doing now is sufficient.
The frightening part is so did Russia.
If American addicts turn to Krokodil and use it until they rot away, it will be quite apparent that no criminalization, Punishment or regulation will cure the demonic addiction. Treatment and an evaluation of health care and Psychiatry practices should be the issue.
The Affordable Care Act and politically charged debate about the drug war is most certainly useless against addiction. It must be addressed in order to curb what some call a Zombie apocalypse.