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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation


What is krokodil (desomorphine)?

  • Desomorphine, known by the street name krokodil, is a powerful opioid derivative of codeine. Like heroin and other opioids, it has a sedative and analgesic effect and is highly addictive.

  • Desomorphine is a Schedule I substance in the U.S., meaning it has a high abuse potential with no accepted medical use. Other chemical names include dihydrodesoxymorphine or dihydrodesoxymorphine-D. It has been controlled in the US since 1936.

  • Long-term users who inject these caustic agents into their veins can develop extreme skin ulcerations, infections, and gangrene -- a discolored (green, grey, black) scale-like skin that resembles a crocodile, hence the street name “krokodil" or "crocodil".

  • Krokodil is also called “Russian Magic”, referring to its short duration of opioid intoxication (euphoria). It is called "Poor Man's Heroin" as it is a cheaper alternative to heroin.

What are the side effects of krokodil?

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