Deadly flesh-eating 'Krokodil' drug hits the Valley

PHOENIX - It's a deadly drug out of Russia that's now hit the Valley.

"In the 12 years that I've been doing substance abuse and prevention education, it's probably the most destructive drug I've ever seen," said Shelly Mowrey, a substance abuse and prevention expert in the Valley.

They call the flesh-eating drug "Krokodil." Mowrey says it started in Siberia in 2002 and quickly spread across Russia's transient and prostitute populations.

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"What they started noticing was all these horrendous, flesh-eating types of wounds on people," said Mowrey.

It's a deadly mixture of codeine, red phosphorous, iodine, and paint thinner. Users of the drug see their skin turn green, bumpy, and scaly.

Cooking the drug isn't hard at all, according to Mowrey.

"It's similar to the methamphetamine," Mowrey said. "Cook with a hot pan, chemicals, and it only takes 30 minutes to cook."

And with reports of Krokodil usage in the Valley, Mowrey says it's something we shouldn't take lightly. The lifespan of a user is relatively short, anywhere from one to two years.

"What I see are not the flesh-eating wounds, but the dreams and the lives that are destroyed because of drug use," Mowrey said.

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