What Is Crocodile


What is crocodile? Crocodile is the street name for a semi-synthetic opioid. The name is transliterated from the Russian word for the same reptile, “krokodil.” The reason the drug gets this moniker is because it causes inflammation of the veins and damage to the skin which can look greenish and scaly.

What is crocodile is chemical terms? The actual chemical product is desomorphine. This is a compound obtained from codeine (also an opioid) by altering the structure. Morphine, codeine, hydrocodone and even heroin are all similar structurally, although they differ depending on which atoms are linked where on the opioid backbone. In a sense, they are all related, some produced naturally by the poppy plant and some tweaked with a little chemistry (hence, “semi” synthetic).

When further looking into what is crocodile, the drug codeine is modified in a bit of illegal chemistry, reminiscent of meth lab cookery. The final product is ten times more potent than morphine but cheaper than heroin. This may be because heroin has to be smuggled into a country at additional cost, while codeine is already available for purchase. Further looking into what is crocodile, the problems arise because the synthesis isn’t carried out well and toxic byproducts remain in the product that abusers inject. These contaminants are thought to give rise to the allergic reactions and the subsequent infections.

What is crocodile and its effects? The infections are so bad that they can lead to gangrene, limb loss or even death. This adds to the overdose problems that are already seen with crocodile’s competition, heroin.

The drug hasn’t yet made a large impact in the user community in the United States, where oral (instead of injectable) narcotics are preferred, heroin is available, and where prescription drug abuse is still on the rise. However, it may make an appearance, with cost the major factor. If heroin prices rise or supplies fall, crocodile becomes economically feasible.

Because the starting material, codeine, is regulated in the US, it will be more difficult for home labs to get. This also makes it more difficult for crocodile to get a foothold in the US. But, it is still a matter for concern – drugs sometimes make a start in one area of the world and then move to another.


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