No Utah Cases Confirmed of Dangerous New Drug

Nov 5, 2013

Rumors that the drug krokodil has made its way to the U.S. have been circulating for weeks. Unconfirmed cases have popped up in the Southwest, including in one hospital in Murray.

No cases of krokodil have been confirmed by the DEA in Utah.
Credit U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Albert Villasuso said no reports have been confirmed in Utah yet, but the administration is working hard to identify the dangerous drug.

"Unless we have conformation from one, the user and two, the actual substance that they injected, there’s really no way for us to confirm it,” Villasuso said.

The drug’s unconfirmed arrival from Russia has caused concern because of its side effects, which can include sever tissue damage and green scaly skin that may require amputation.

Krokodil is made with the drug desomorphine along with a mix of other easily obtained substances, and is said to be similar to heroin.

The similarity of the drugs can potentially put heroin users in unknown danger and has led to confusion in identifying the drug in the U.S.

“It’s similar to heroin. It could be sold as heroin. That’s why the people that have heroin addictions—the sharing of needles causes a lot of open cysts—they may be misreporting it as krokodil.”

Desomorphine was first patented in the U.S. in 1932, but only gained popularity as a drug in the early 2000s.