In the 1990s, doctors in Russia noticed scale-like patches on the bodies of drug user patients. Turns out it's krokodil, and it's terrible.

The drug currently known as krokodil was born in the early 1930s as desomorphine, a fast-acting medical alternative to morphine. But by the 1990s, Russian doctors began noticing reptilian patches of skin on some drug addicts in Siberia and Far East Russia.

Today, the drug’s cheap, concentrated power makes it ideal for smuggling all over the world–including, recently, the United States. And those scaly patches are just the beginning. The effects of krokodil–fittingly, also known as the “zombie drug” or “cannibal heroin”–get far, far worse…

Krokodil Thigh Flesh
Krokodil Ripped Flesh
Krokodil Elbow Flesh
Krokodil User Injecting
What Happens To Your Body When You Do Krokodil, The “Zombie Drug”
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VICE went to Russia to learn more about the zombie drug — you can check out its chilling effects in the video below:

If you liked this post on krokodil, check out our other features on life inside the home of a Mexican drug lord and fascinating facts about Pablo Escobar. And be sure to like All That Is Interesting on Facebook!

Richard Stockton
Richard Stockton
Richard Stockton is a freelance science and technology writer from Sacramento, California.
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