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Remember that new drug epidemic?

Oh, how the media love their drug scares. Recently, everyone was talking about the new drug krokodil, from Russia — some poison concoction that basically melts your flesh. It was the latest thing to hit the streets in the U.S. and was showing up all over the country.

Except… not so much.

Krokodil: This supposed new drug epidemic now seems faker than ever (and it already seemed very, very fake)

Disregard the American Journal of Medicine article, then [which was withdrawn], and we’re left with zero verified cases of krokodil abuse in the United States—some drug epidemic this is.

One of the things that had made me skeptical of the krokodil story was the question as to why people would want to use it, when there were other things available that didn’t, you know, eat your flesh.

The Dispatch piece goes on to explain why it’s unlikely that krokodil will ever catch on here. Krokodil is used in Russia and Eastern Europe because real heroin is scarce in those places, and, to an addict, a flesh-rotting heroin substitute synthesized from codeine and paint thinner is better than no heroin at all. But in the United States, heroin is not hard to find, and drug users here have no reason to resort to such desperate measures. As the Dispatch suggests, the only way that krokodil might become a thing is if the media keeps hyping it, thus leading curious people to try and acquire this famous new drug. Your move, journalists.

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14 comments to Remember that new drug epidemic?

  • Citizen Teus

    There would have to be two very big changes in the US for krocodil to become a real issue. 1). Heroin would have to be much harder to find (like in Russia), and 2) Codeine would have to be much easier to find (like in Russia). Neither of those things is in the least likely to happen. So, ummm, nope, nothing to see here.

  • Howard

    The Time article on krocodil represents a trend in drug related articles that is by no means an isolated case.

    1). First, start of with a scary headline — “The World’s Deadliest Drug: Inside a Krokodil Cookhouse”. Ah yes, the words ‘Deadliest’ and ‘Drug’ right next to each other. Great start.

    2). Make sure an early sentence reads like this: ‘“There are now alarming stories that the monster could be at large in the U.S.,” writes Simon Shuster.’ Use of the words ‘monster’ and ‘at large’ is excellent here.

    3). Then completely refute what you just wrote with this information: ‘Shuster admits that “drug-enforcement officials say fears of an imminent krokodil epidemic are overblown.”’ Say WHAT?

    Of course, the author is hoping most people were shocked and gripped by the headline. Then shocked and scared witless by the first sentence. Then he hopes inattentive knuckleheads have already moved on to something else before reading the very next sentence. Or something like that…

    Even journalistic scions over at Nation Enquirer and Weekly World News are likely shaking their heads at this form of shoddy whiplash journalism.

    • Howard

      Oops, misspelled krokodil. But I’m sure a more deadlier monstrosity will be derived from krokodil called krocodil. “Get the stuff spelled with a middle ‘c’, man. It not only eats your flesh, but your neighbors’ as well!”.

      And off we go.

  • darkcycle

    This one set off the alarm bells right away. It was just too hysterical to be anything but garbage.
    The thing is, that with these ridiculous stories, there is always a cadre of willing dupes ready to launch out and repeat, repeat, repeat them. I encounter these folks somewhat regularly, and I can assure you, we’ll be hearing about “Krokodil” for a long time to come.

  • Jillian Galloway

    So an effective prohibition on heroin would cause far more harm than what it’d prevent. I wonder where we’ve seen that happen before? …alcohol, cannabis.

  • Servetus

    It’s a crock of krok about krokodil. The pictures of skin sores make no sense. If krokodil can do that to someone’s skin, why isn’t it doing it to their internal organs? Why aren’t people dead? Why would anyone use krokodil knowing what it can do? Krokodil looks more like a Russian government hoax designed to dissuade people from IV drug use, like putting graphic pictures on cigarette packages.

    • Malc

      Unfortunately, in Russia at least, krokodil is no hoax

    • claygooding

      I immeadiatly thought of the STD films we wtched in the service while waiting to ship out to VN,,there was some truth to them but the majority of the problems they showed were being encountered by people refusing to seek treatment early enough.

  • Jean Valjean

    OT
    Just wow! Video of a woman with cerebal palsy who can hardly speak. Three hits on a pipe and she is transformed. How can the DEA continue with this charade about no medical uses?
    The transformation comes at 4:50 into the video.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/10/mom-cerebral-palsy-pot_n_4413530.html

  • allan

    if’n I remember our last discussion on this the US story originated in AZ. It seems to me that there must be someone in AZ in journalism that could have a fine little story for themselves on the manufacturing of drug war propaganda. I guarantee the original story was manufactured and instigated by the friends of WOD.

    Any SSDP members also journalism students in AZ?

  • Welcome to the future:

    This Former DEA Agent Is Going to Work in the Marijuana Business
    http://tinyurl.com/pc2y2fr

    “You Can’t Sustain a Lie Like That Forever”
    ~ Dr Lester Grinspoon ~

  • pfroelich2004

    Well, I don’t know. Liquor is legal but I still love me some methanol!