Chief Medical Officer Andrew Kolodny Weighs in on Krokodile

Friday, October 11th, 2013

According to recent reports, a dangerous homemade heroin has surfaced in Arizona and Illinois. Krokodile, which rots the skin of the people who use it, is made from codeine treated with chemicals like lighter fluid and paint thinner. It is prevalent in Russia but extremely rare in the United States.

On October 9, Phoenix House Chief Medical Officer Andrew Kolodny, MD, talked with FOX New York about the reports that doctors are treating users in Arizona and Illinois. “I wouldn’t expect it to become a problem in the United States because we have very easy availability, unfortunately, to drugs like heroin or Oxycontin or Vicodin,” Dr. Kolodny said. He noted that krokodile is more of a problem in parst of Eastern Europe, where people were addicted to heroin and it became more difficult to obtain. Since codeine was more accessible, people treated it with easily available chemicals and produced krokodile. Dr. Kolodny warned that in the United States, the epidemic of overdoses from heroin and painkillers is a much more serious problem than krokodile.

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