Flesh eating heroin-like drug hits Illinois

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- It`s a newer form of heroin, more deadly than the first. It's called krokodil. The drug was reportedly discovered in Russia in 2003 and is made with codeine, gasoline, lighter fluid and industrial cleaners. It's been on the DEA's radar for years, but mostly overseas. Drug expert Dan Duncan says he questions if the drug has actually made it to the United States.

"The reason it's called Krokodil is because of the damage it does the injection site. It destroys the skin and makes a green scale. Desomorphine is the name of the drug, its homemade form of heroin. The DEA put out a bulletin this morning saying that it`s not here. They haven't seen any official acknowledgment that krokodil is actually here," said Duncan.

However, alleged cases of the drug and its horrific side effects are starting to surface.  According to reports it's been used in Arizona, Utah, Nevada and most recently in the Chicago area.

Krokodil causes the skin to rot and in some cases limbs and fingers are lost, and it's said to be more potent than regular street heroin.

"We have fairly potent heroin here made cheaply and available too. There's no reason that I can see someone taking a risk on this type of heroin," said Duncan.

So far there have been at least three people including two women under 25 years old reportedly were seen by doctors in Illinois, and there could be more. Duncan says there have been 1,800 heroin related deaths in the St. Louis area in the last 6 years a number he wishes never existed, but one he's fighting to keep down.

"I'm not worried at this point because we have enough to worry about with and the extent that it is here," he said.



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