The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says it has not seen evidence of the flesh-eating drug krokodil surfacing in the United States, despite reports in Arizona and Illinois of people using the drug.
“We, the DEA, are not seeing cases of it,” agency spokeswoman Dawn Dearden told FoxNews.com. “Nothing’s been turned into any of our labs. As far as the DEA is concerned, we have not seen any cases.”
Last week, doctors at a suburban Chicago hospital reported they are treating three people who used krokodil, a caustic, homemade heroin-like drug that can rot flesh and bone. Last month, Arizona health officials reported two cases of people who used the drug.
The drug became popular in Russia about 10 years ago as a cheap replacement for heroin. It costs about three times less than heroin, and produces a similar, but much shorter, high.
Krokodil is made from over-the-counter codeine-based headache pills, mixed with gasoline, paint thinner, alcohol or iodine. When a person injects the drug, it destroys tissue, and turns the skin scaly and green, giving it a crocodile-like appearance. The drug can also cause blood poisoning, festering sores and abscesses.