Russia has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, and while their foreign relations aren't exactly painting a perfect picture for the country, their internal situation is equally as complex. In 2009, Viktor Ivanov of Russia's Federal Narcotics Control Service made the startling announcement that 2.5 million Russians were severe drug addicts, and 5.1 million Russians were drug users. 90% of these drug addicts abuse heroin, and the country's population of 143 million consumes about 70 tons of heroin per year. The situation is so bad, there are some cities in Russia where syringes used for intravenous hits are scattered along the ground, in perfect sight and reach of children.
And, of course, as druggies are wont to do, they'll chase the high wherever it is, even reusing some of these old syringes, causing a massive spread of AIDS in the country. Between 840,000 to 1.2 million are HIV-positive in Russia -- one of the highest percentages of HIV-infected people in the world.
Drug addicts litter the streets like the syringes they've thrown about, living in derelict conditions and getting by on scraps. Disgusted yet? Wait til you hear what Russia's new favorite drug, a vicious cocktail called "krokodil", can do.
It started as just another homebrew drug -- a mixture of codeine, gasoline, paint thinners, iodine, and red phosphorous -- but as more people tried it out, it spread across Russia like wildfire. The problem with krokodil wasn't that it was so insanely cheap to make. Rather, it was that most people weren't aware of the effects it could have, and by the time they figured it out, they were already hooked.
Just think about that for a second: What happens when you inject pain thinners and gasoline into your veins?
Do we even have to spell it out for you?
Krokodil begins eating the user's flesh from the inside out, causing skin to flake and become scaly (like a crocodile!!), and wounds to fester and muscle to rot off the bone. Already prevalent in Russia, other major countries have expressed fear and concern regarding the drug's possible spread. A 17-year old Houston girl in Texas has claimed to be the first documented case of krokodil use in the U.S.A., while health workers in the UK are also warning against the drug's appearance at their shores.
No matter what you do, never ever Google images of krokodil usage.
But it begs the question: with all of these negative effects, why do people still use the drug? It's simple: it's all they can do. Krokodil is highly addictive, and with it being so easy to manufacture, any drug addict would rather use the cheap flesh-eating drug than the more expensive, destroys-your-life-like-a-normal-drug drug.