Teen's Lesions Linked to Cheap Heroin Substitute

Clinic says Houston girl injected Krokodil

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 3, 2014 5:13 PM CST

(Newser) – Another medical case linked to the nasty heroin knockoff Krokodil has surfaced in the US, reports the AP. This time, a 17-year-old girl in Houston ended up in the hospital with the telltale skin lesions after injecting the drug for two months, reports the Independent. The unidentified girl actually went to a clinic while visiting relatives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, but authorities there insist that she had used the drug in Houston. A gruesome quote, typical of the drug's side effects: "The young woman who used this drug had an infection that had rotted her genitals."

Krokodil is a mixture of lovely ingredients such as codeine, gasoline, iodine, paint thinner, and phosphorus, and it is generally thought to have gotten its start in Russia as what the AP terms the "poor man's heroin." Users typically end up with gangrenous skin lesions—"krokodil" refers to crocodile—and are often dead two years after their skin starts rotting. It's not known how the Houston teenager is doing because she did not return to the clinic after her initial visit. Sporadic cases have been reported in the US, including two in Chicago last October.

  (Shutterstock)
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