Murderous drug krokodil makes an appearance in Joliet


The killer drug krokodil has been the cause of five Joliet hospitalizations. Local residents, as well as citizens throughout the country, remain in fear of an outbreak similar to that of heroin.

Sydney Czyzon, Views Editor

From Sunday, October 6, to Thursday, October 10, Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet has reportedly received five patients who had succumbed to the disturbing effects of a frightening drug that has recently surfaced, fittingly named, “krokodil,” due to the similarity in appearance that users share in comparison to crocodiles. The latest two patients, men ages 22 and 32, bought the skin-decaying drug under a false impression. Mr.Michaels, a trained health instructor at JTHS, confirmed, “Many people in the U.S. and especially in our area claim they didn’t know it was [krokodil] that they were taking.  They thought they were buying heroin.”

The up-and-coming drug originated in Russia and is a more affordable alternative to the popular drug heroin, which has been the cause of 30 Will County deaths this year alone. Currently, the three patients that were admitted to the residential hospital are the first in the Chicagoland area to have been reported to have used krokodil, otherwise referred to as desomorphine. However, this number is expected to rise as many heroin users seek something stronger and more effective.

A local addiction specialist, Dr. Abhin Singla, made this statement in a release on October 8: “As of late as last week, the first cases – a few people in Utah and Arizona – were reported to have been using the heroin-like drug, which rots the skin from the inside out.” On top of this, blood poisoning can take place almost immediately after use. Joliet has quickly gotten ahold of the unfamiliar drug and residents are hoping that this isn’t the beginning of a troubling phase for the city.

Dr. Singla added, “It is a horrific way to get sick. The smell of rotten flesh permeates the room. Intensive treatment and skin grafts are required, but they often are not enough to save limbs or lives.” Users’ tissue begins to disintegrate after just one use, and eventually bones and muscles start to reveal themselves.

Krokodil is mainly composed of lighter fluid, gasoline, codeine tablets, and paint thinner. As dangerous as it is, it is quite easy for people to get ahold of; it’s possible to create the life-threatening concoction in a matter of 30 to 60 minutes. Apparently, as mentioned in, “The Joliet Patch,” the sensation that comes along with the drug is similar to the effect of morphine, and the components can be related to that of methamphetamines.

It is taken either by injection or orally, and users’ skin typically becomes green and scaly post-consumption. Individuals tend to be drawn to the sensible price, considering the drug is only a tenth of what heroine costs.

Usually, krokodil abusers must undergo surgery, amputations, and have to take multiple potent antibiotics in an attempt to recover. Unfortunately, death is expected to occur anywhere from 12 to 18 months after the first use.

A prestigious news source, “The Huffington Post,” published an article entitled, “Krokodil, The Flesh-Eating Street Drug That Rots Skin From Inside-Out, Expands To Illinois,” further emphasizing the significance of this daunting occurrence in our own town. They also nick-named krokodil, “The Horror Drug.” Multiple other prints and online sites, including, “Forbes Magazine,” have written articles explaining the severity of krokodil.

The epidemic has shocked the nation and continues to do so. The online medium, “The Verge,” proclaimed, “[Krokodil is] more addictive than heroin, cheaper than painkillers, and gets you 10 times as high as morphine.” Health professionals urge individuals to raise awareness and stray from using the exterminating drug, as a substantial amount of lives can be saved through enforced abstinence.  The Joliet Police Department is sure to be on the lookout for the newly-revealed drug.

The flesh-devouring substance isn’t a matter to be taken lightly, and anyone who comes across it should be aware of the major consequences that come along with just one use. These first few krokodil occurrences in the Joliet district will hopefully be the last.