True Life Horrors: The Russian Drug Krokodil

This person has literally stitched together the skin on their legs so it didn’t fall off.

Well here’s a first for me at anythinghorror.com.  I’m used to reporting on and reviewing any horror novel, movie, short film, etc … that comes my way, but I have yet to report on any of the real horrors that exist in the world.  Well last week my buddy Brian W. texted me with the following:

The living dead officially exist in Russia. Oh my god. If you haven’t, and I have to assume that we would’ve talked about it if you had, google the effects of the drug “krokodil”. Make sure your kids aren’t around and you aren’t eating.

Well you know me; I immediately grabbed the old iPhone and looked up krokodil.  Between what I read and the images and video that accompanied the articles, I was sick to my stomach.  The drug krokodil has become the new drug of choice among heroin users in Russian (which has more heroin users than any other country; 2 million users in unoffical estimates) because it is much cheaper than heroin.  According to the online news agency, The Independent (click here for complete article), krokodil is

desomorphine, a synthetic opiate many times more powerful than heroin that is created from a complex chain of mixing and chemical reactions, which the addicts perform from memory several times a day. While heroin costs £20 to £60 per dose, desomorphine can be “cooked” from codeine-based headache pills that cost £2 per pack, and other household ingredients available cheaply from the markets.

This is a woman who’s been using krokodil for a few months.

So what’s the ingredient list for making a homemade batch of krokodil?  You’ll need codeine-based painkillers, iodine, lighter fluid, industrial cleaning oil, and a bunch of vials, syringes, and cooking implements to mix and cook the mixture.  Are you getting where all this is going?  People are cooking this shit up and then injecting it into themselves to get high.  Now I’m no prude (god knows I haven’t been an angel all my life), but if iodine and industrial cleaning oil is on the ingredient list, I’m staying the hell away from it!!

The drug is called “krokodil” because injecting it turns the skin scaly … almost immediately.  But that’s only the beginning.  It doesn’t take long for that scaly skin to turn to rotting flesh that literally falls off your body.  “Flesh,” the article reports, “goes grey and peels away to leave bones exposed. People literally rot to death.”  Holy shit!!  This is why Brian above said “the living dead officially exist in Russian”!!  Krokodil gives the user the appearance of being a zombie.  Oh what’s that?  Ya wanna kick krokodil?  Well the main symptoms of heroin withdrawal last 5-10 days.  After that the pain goes away.  With krokodil the pain can last up to a MONTH, and apparently the pain is unbearable.  People kicking the drug need powerful tranquilizers just to keep them from passing out from the withdrawal pain.  This is some nasty shit!!

This woman is the subject of video #3 posted below. It’s beyond words how someone could do this to themselves.

Here are some videos of the effects of taking krokodil.  But I must warn you all; these are real people and real videos and are NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH!!  I know I’ve posted some hideous and horrifying pictures and videos on anythinghorror.com, but these videos below are by far the worst.  If you’re up to it, watch each video all the way through.  The third video posted below is nothing short of horrifying … it’s truly one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen.  These people are truly the living dead and it’s horrible what they’re doing to themselves.  Just please be warned that if you’re sensitive to real life horrors, you may wanna skip these videos (especially the third one).  One more time:  The following videos are, to the best of my knowledge, documenting actual cases of people who have been using krokodil.  These aren’t special f/x videos from some studio (though I wish they were).  You have been warned again!!

You all know I’m not one to show the more sensationalistic news items (hell, this is in fact the first “real horror” I’ve ever done), but this is truly more horrifying than any film or any book I’ve ever seen or read.  These videos (especially that last one) will haunt my dreams for a long time!!

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62 Responses to “True Life Horrors: The Russian Drug Krokodil”
  1. CdnZmbiRytr says:

    I thank you for sharing but I wish I hadn’t watched the videos. I have seen a lot of crazy stuff getting my post secondary degree but it all pales in comparison to this. I don’t understand why someone would use this drug knowing what it was going to do to them. I just don’t get it…

  2. Buzz says:

    Yeesh… there are no words :S

  3. deggsy says:

    When I first saw those photos, I thought it was some Internet hoax. Then I examined it more and more. Bloody hell, this is as perfect an example of the dangers of drug abuse as any I’ve ever seen or heard about.

    • Well said Deggsy!! I also thought it was some kind of put on by a special f/x company/studio, but the more I researched the videos the more I realized these were actual footage of people who’ve been abusing Krokodil!!

  4. At first I was like…ohh look at that foot. That’s gross I guess. Man this is nothing like those pictu…OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT LEG.

    • Yeah, I know Rebecca!! It’s tough to watch. I was afraid all my warnings would be like one’s parents telling you not to do something … it would just make you wanna do it more. But those videos are hardcore!!

  5. Dr Blood says:

    Oh, Christ, that’s nasty. Probably the most horrible thing I’ve seen on a website ever and I’ve seen a lot of stuff.

  6. kees says:

    disturbing enough, not the worst i ever seen, say anymals skined alive in china, they had no chioce, these people had.
    but i still makes me feel for these people. problems here in the west seem so smal….

    • Very true Kees. But I think the effects of Krokodile are some of the most horrendous images I’ve ever seen.

    • Rebecca says:

      they had no choice either….addiction is a disease look it up

      • Addiction absolutely is a disease, but everything we do is a choice. They may not be easy one’s to make, but Lufe is choices!!

      • HelplessInOhio says:

        Cancer is a disease. Drug use is a choice. Addiction may be considered a disease, but it’s a choice what to be addicted to!!!!

      • There is a dimension of choice involved in drug addiction, but addiction is more than a person simply “making the choice” to be an addict. They essentially have faulty wiring in their heads and have this disposition towards destructive behavior. I’m actually dealing with someone very close to me who is an addict and when you see that addictive behavior in action you understand that “choice” and rational thinking takes a backseat to impulse and compulsion. I think people call addiction a “disease” because people want addiction as much as people want to get cancer.

  7. Michelle says:

    the last video was removed, and my curious horror of how bad everyone says it is makes me want to see it… does anyone know where I can find it?

    • The third video that was removed was essentially a woman (a chronic user of krokodil) who had about 60-65% of her body eaten/rotted away. She looks like a special effect on the table but we all know that she’s a human being who’s body has succumbed to that horrible drug. I’ll try and track down another version of it …. I’ll let you know!!

  8. Sara says:

    Oh holy man. Dear god. I consider myself to be quite a steel-stomached gal. But that really pushed my limits. I ate my dad’s famous BBQ ribs tonight. I couldn’t quit associating that man’s leg with my dad’s ribs the way the meat was slipping off the bone. AMAZING for ribs…not so much for human flesh.

  9. jeremiahskywalker says:

    never surprises me what humans will do. a self destructive race which needs no natual predator

  10. lost says:

    Let me know if you find the 3rqd video.

  11. zorcolino says:

    Horror, just horror. What I dont understand: Dont these poor addicts feel pain? Does the drug destroy nerves? this might be an explanation. Just horrible.

  12. reflexivecrack2011 says:

    The thing is, that these people were addicts before they started using krokodil.. They were abusing heroin, and due to their lack of money for their heroin habit they switched to krokodil, also called “the drug of the poor” because it’s very cheap, the ingredients to make it cost less than a bottle of beer. When the drug is cooked it is very toxic because of all the impurities it contains in such a form.

    Here is a short article that explains the russian situation;
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/08/24/krokodil-and-the-terrible-cost-of-the-war-on-drugs/

    I wish I haven’t looked that third video, the most horrible thing for me is the way doctors are treating that poor woman.

    The video is available on youtube, but I highly recommend not to watch it.

    • There’s no doubt that krocodile is the “drug users final resort.” It’s a horrible thing and I wish I’d never looked into it. Those images and videos will forever be ingrained in my mind!!

  13. Lursa says:

    I think that is the sickest thing I have ever seen…. and I’ve seen some pretty sick shit… I agree with one of the comments that I read that said something along the lines of I don’t see why those people would do that stuff knowing what it will do to them… I honestly don’t get it either.. However that all being said my friends are all tripping talking about the zombie apocalypse and stuff and I think it’s rather ridiculous I don’t quite believe in those things. I actually don’t believe in zombies at all considering that a zombie is someone who is dead and has come back to life, these people are well alive and their skin is just rotting right off of themselves. So for that they are stupid doing something that makes them that way and fully aware of the effects.

    • It is boggling that someone can and would do that to themselves, Lursa, but we also must remember that these people are hardcore addicts and their “wiring” is very fucked up. They’re unable to use reason and rationality when it comes to their addiction.

      But it is horrid!!

  14. ter says:

    freakin hell ,what the f@ this is totaly sick i cant believe it.

  15. WHUUT says:

    nickname for these people = ZOMBIES….. there’s no way someone who’s skin looks like that is alive.

  16. jojonomore says:

    if my life was so messed up and it was either this drug or death i’d choose death

  17. LaniDacey says:

    The photos are hard to take, but could you imagine the minds of the people that this happens to? It’s not like someone wakes up one morning and loses their arm; this is weeks and months of rotting that they just let consume them. You have to be really lost to let that happen to you.

  18. Alan says:

    Now i can finally turn into a zombie!!!

  19. hdfhfdh says:

    cvnngfnggnfgngfgnfggf

  20. Marlene says:

    Its thanks to people like you that the rest of the world actually knows whats happening out there. While its frightening, I thank you for the insight. Ignorance is really dangerous!

  21. Mook says:

    to all of those people who said addicts have a choice..What kind of human beings are YOU!

    when you are addicted to something, you no longer have a choice! it makes the choices for you! thats why most of these people are so affected by this drug. These people need compassion, and you compare them to an animal being skinned alive and say the animal didn’t have a choice!

    Why don’t you get addicted to smack or Krok, and then see if its a choice for you…maybe you post the photos of how you look on here after 6 months..(if you live that long)

    Dealing with addicts takes patience, compassion and trust. If there are still people who don’t believe addicts should get those things, well maybe you should go to china and rescue those poor poor wikkle animals..quick before its too late (!)

    • I know exactly where you’re coming from Mook. Someone very close to me is an addict (alcoholic) and unless you have direct contact with that behavior it’s hard to understand the addict’s mind. The wiring in their heads is screwed up & eliminates choice-making. And you’re right, addicts need compassion, patience, & lots of support. But they also have to WANT to get better & go through a recovery program.

  22. Booburry says:

    omg thats so awful D: i just got stitches in my hand i thought that was bad… dear god im glad im not addicted to this…. eek!!
    show this to your kids if they start smoking dope! theyll never bother with it all again…

  23. Arnie says:

    Krokodil. This is seriously messed up. I found the 3rd video on YouTube (had to log in for that), and could hardly believe my own eyes. No, I don’t want to judge people, and yes, I do acknowledge that hard-core drug addicts are no longer effectively in charge of their own lives and can not make rational choices, but they themselves must have some sort of awareness that they are destroying their bodies beyond the limits of medical help. I have no idea why some people want to legalize drugs and make them freely available to anyone.

    • I think these addicts are fully aware of what they’re doing to their bodies but their addictions have taken over. They are indeed helpless.

      The move to legalize drugs in this country (U.S)r would not result in having krocodil legalized. One of the main things legalizing would do would be to help manage & monitor the purity of the drugs thereby in a way making the safer.

  24. mozone says:

    Wow this is really dangerous stuff. I read that life expectance is 1 year. That’s only 365 days. People need to forget this crap and stay well away from it.

  25. BeastGuyFitness says:

    This is why they should make all drugs legal at reasonable prices. These people were far better off as heroin addicts. No matter how much you react to drugs with violence, people will still get high.

    • No argument from me on the legalization of drugs, BeastGuyFitness. The only reason that’s not gonna happen is because the world’s largest drug dealer, the U.S. government, has cornered & controlled the market and isn’t willing to give up that revenue!!

  26. KK says:

    this is worse then a horror movie!

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  1. [...] in June 2011 I posted an article titled, “True Life Horrors: The Russian Drug Krokodil.” I had (and continue to have) such an overwhelming response to this posting that I was looking for a [...]

  2. [...] “real life horror” column last year when I wrote two articles about the drug Krokodil (here and here).  Well regular reader and good friend, Sezin, liked the article and really loved both [...]

  3. [...] “real life horror” column last year when I wrote two articles about the drug Krokodil (here and here). Well regular reader and good friend, Sezin, liked the article and really loved both the [...]

  4. […] 2011 I posted two articles on the extremely dangerous Russian drug Krokodil (here and here).  Krokodil started rearing it’s ugle head in Russia among addicts who no longer […]



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