WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 20, 2013, 09:48 PM

Newest illegal drug, Krokodil, is more dangerous than methamphetamine

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's the newest illegal drug on the market - with side effects more dangerous than methamphetamine.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's the newest illegal drug on the market - with side effects more dangerous than methamphetamine.

We're talking about "Krokodil."


The images are so graphic and the drug so destructive it would appear to be a sick Halloween prank.

While no cases have been "confirmed" - officials say it's suspected in as many as three states.

It's a flesh-eating drug turning people into zombie-like creatures.

Mason Leemund – Fargo/Moorhead Resident: "Imagine a parasite eating away at your skin for months at a time - slowly - all the way down to the bone."

The drug known as Krokodil.

Lt. Joel Vettel – Fargo Police Department: "It's really considered an inexpensive type of heroine created back in 1932 here in the United States."

Needless to say it's been altered throughout the decades - with a popular following in Russia.

Vettel: "It's one of those drugs that have an extremely high mortality rate."

Michael Kaspari – First Step Recovery: "The thing that makes it so scary are the chemicals that are used refine codiene."

Including gasoline - red phosphorous and other items sold at big box retailers.

"Their bodies are rotting from the inside out."

"It comes off as a Halloween prosthetic."

Reality is - it's no joke.

Vettel: "You see everything from the busted open sores to the very scaly type of skin associated with this drug to the bursting of blood vessels to all the way up to gangrene."

"Why would you do this it looks really uncomfortable and painful."

The simple answer - Addiction.

Michael Kaspari, Agency Director at First Step Recovery, says the drug which is said to be fairly reasonable in price with an addictive high similar to heroine, is more powerful than methamphetamine.

Kaspari: "Skin grafting - amputations in some cases if limbs are too far gone."

In order to explain the grasp these addictions can have on a person - Kaspari recalls a recovering meth addict's story.

Kaspari: "Absolutely smelled just like gasoline he was afraid it would explode when he heated it up to melt. I never thought twice about using that drug. It burned so bad when I injected it that I thought my arm was going to fall off."

Kaspari says when ' Krokodil ' is injected it has the potential to spread thru more than just the bloodstream.

Kaspari: "Undissolved little clumps of it can go throughout the body and cause further that are maybe quite a ways away from the injection site."

Kaspari says he suspects any potential users would be treated at a medical facility before being sent to First Step Recovery - - where they'd be treated like other opiate addicts.

For the time being Lieutenant Joel Vettel, with Fargo Police says the drug isn't in the F-M area.

Although no national cases have been confirmed, it's suspected in Oklahoma, Arizona and Illinois