Category: Health & Fitness
Published on Friday, 18 October 2013 00:00
2 sisters have come out and admitted to taking the flesh-eating drug, Krokodil, that has been rumored to be sweeping America and taking drug addicts by storm. The rumors are no longer rumors and the authorities' fears have been confirmed that the Russian drug has indeed landed on American soil.
Amber and Angie Neitzel, from Joliet, Illinois, told the Daily Mail that they had been abusing the deadly drug which originated from Russia for around a year and a half now. Which will only mean that the drug has been peddled in America for much longer than originally suspected by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency).
The news only came out to light after the two sisters sought treatment for their addiction. The doctor treating Angie who is a qualified drugs expert with 16 years of experience said that “the effects from Krokodil are the worst I have ever seen”.
Amber and Angie gave their consent to pose for photographs to show the extensive damage the terrifying drug has done to them. When the photos are compared to the photos that were taken months before they first tried Krokodil, an immense change can be seen as their looks rapidly declined.
Both sisters claimed that initially they were under the impression they were taking normal heroin and had no idea they took Krokodil instead, which is a mixture of codeine and toxic ingredients such as gasoline and lighter fluid. When they found out that it was not heroin, they still continued taking it nonetheless because it was a tenth of the price of normal heroin and gave them an incredibly intense high.
Weeks into their use of their new preferred drug, they started developing hideous legions and sores on their legs and arms. The name of the drug Krokodil is derived from the Russian word for crocodile and is befitting from the way the drug user's skin begins to get turn scaly, dry and eventually rot right off their bodies.
After months of abuse, 29-year-old Angie's condition deteriorated so acutely that she was rushed to intensive care in the middle of the night with unbearable stomach pains. She was convinced she was going to die and had to spend an entire week in Joliet's Presence Saint Joseph Hospital. She is still receiving treatment from a drugs leading specialist Dr. Abhin Singla who has spoken out about the Krokodil problem after encountering five similar cases at his small town hospital in the last few weeks.
Dr. Singla confirmed that the two sisters are using Krokodil, after they signed medical release forms which gives him the freedom to talk publicly about their condition.
With 16 years of expertise backing him, Dr. Singla said that he knew the patients were on the drug just from the distinctive scaly skin sores they had all over their bodies.
“The moment I saw Angie I knew what she had been taking. It was Krokodil without a shadow of a doubt. All the symptoms matched up 100 per cent,” Dr. Singla explained.
“I have friends in Russia and I have been following this for some time, I was extremely worried it would come over to the US and now it has.”
“The sores are very different to anything else, they go right down to the bone. It is extremely graphic and worse than anything I've seen before.”
“That said, we have had a number of people who have come in over the last few days who fear they may have taken the drug, so the exposure is doing some real good.”
“The effects are the worst I have ever seen from any drug in all my years of practice. It takes hold and does damage so fast.:
“I expect to see a lot more in the coming months because I believe this will spread.”
“I really don't know how it can be stopped, but it has to start with law enforcement. There have been a number of cases across the country now and something needs to be done.”
“The people I have seen have not known what they were taking, but I believe some addicts will take it by choice despite the effects.”
“There is an intense high and it's cheap, if people are desperate enough, they will use it,” Dr. Singla concluded.
At first the DEA played down the concerns despite the increasing reports of drug users being sent to the hospital for taking Krokodil, saying that they are “not seeing cases” of abuse of the substance.
However just recently the DEA reiterated their statement in light of these shocking examples in Joliet Hospital. Jack Riley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chicago Field Division admitted that the DEA is “very concerned” and they are trying to track down the source of the drug.
“We have been using this stuff for around a year and a half, that's how long it has been in the country for.” 26-year-old Amber believes that Krokodil is now a major problem in the U.S. “We thought it was just normal heroin, in fact it was actually better because it was cheap and it gave a really intense high, much, much stronger than normal dope. But it didn't take long before we both started to get these horrible deep sores on our bodies, particularly our arms and legs.”
'You can get marks and bleeding from shooting up heroin, but nothing like this. They are deep holes and the skin is just rotting away. It's hard to describe how revolting they are. As well as the scars I was completely sapped of energy, I could barely walk. I had no idea what it was, it was terrifying. I went to the doctors, but they just said it was infection from the needles. One said it might be septicemia, but I knew it was something more,” Amber said. “I've been using for about ten years, so I'm not in good shape anyway, but this was a whole lot worse. There were points where I was so weak and I had such horrible bleeding I honestly thought I was going to die.”
The girls are both long term drug addicts whose mother, Kim, was also a user. They claimed that they were getting their drug from their regular drug dealer in nearby Chicago and had no idea how much harm they were really causing to their bodies.
Even when the sores started popping out, they carried on using it and only stopped about 3 weeks ago. It was during that point whee one of their friends handed them a piece of paper with the name Krokodil scribble on it and instructed them to start researching it.
“We started looking into it and it all became clear. The moment we read about the symptoms, everything made sense and we knew what was wrong with us. The more I read, the more scared I was. I couldn't bear to read too much at a time. I was convinced I was going to die,” Amber recalled. “I actually had a $100 dollar bag of the stuff and the moment I realized what it really was I chucked it away. As an addict, that is something you would never ever do.”
Angie's condition took a turn for the worse more than a week ago and she had to check in to the hospital.
“I woke up in the middle of the night with the most intense stomach pains I had ever experienced. I sat bolt upright in agony. I begged Amber to take me to hospital and ended up staying in there for a week with dozens of tubes sticking out of me. One was about 15 inches long,” Angie said. “The sores on my elbow were so bad that the doctors thought they would have to cut part of the bone off, but luckily they managed to avoid that.”
“I go out four days ago and I'm clean, but I know this is going to be a long battle. Everyday is a struggle, even walking ten yards is agony. I am in constant pain and I need to redress my sores every eight hours so they don't become infected. When you live like us that is really hard,” Angie spoke about her agony.
Amber said that she knows several other people who have been badly effected by Krokodil all who stay in the small corner of Illinois. “This is a really bad problem. This drug is real, it rots you away from the inside and attacks your organs. I have been using for 18 months and I know it's done some permanent damage. I will be lucky if I live another ten years from now.”
“Anyone who thinks it isn't widespread is wrong. I know at least seven others who have got sick from it and that's just around Joliet,” Amber continued on saying. “My boyfriend actually had maggots coming out of his leg. I know people don't want to hear stuff like that, but it is really happening out here. Something needs to be done because as long as dope is cheap and strong, addicts will use it no matter the cost to their bodies and this stuff will spread.”
Riley from the DEA released a statement saying: “DEA is very concerned about the recent news that several patients who were treated at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet had symptoms consistent with the use of the drug Krokodil. Our agents and task force officers are on the street canvassing the area, and trying to track down any leads. We want to be pro-active and get out ahead of the curve on this, but until we can get our hands on the drugs and people who are trafficking in it, we won’t know the extent of what we’re dealing with. What we do know is that if this is Krokodil, it is extremely dangerous and we’re doing everything within our authority to stop it.”
Amber feverishly hopes that the DEA succeeds in apprehending the masterminds behind the Krokodil drug syndicate, saying “They need to find where this stuff is coming from and stop it. If my story makes a few people think twice then maybe some good has come out of this situation.”
These photos are not as graphic as the ones you can find on the internet with just a quick search of the word “Krokodil”.
More About Krokodil a.k.a. The Drug That Eats Junkies
1. Krokodil originated in Russia but has spread across the world at an alarming rate.
2. It has become so popular because it is three times cheaper to produce and buy than heroin and the intense high lasts for an hour and a half.
3. Dubbed 'the drug that eats junkies', it rots from the inside, causing such severe damage to tissue that users suffer from gangrenous sores which open all the way to the bone.
4. Continual use of Krokodil causes blood vessels to burst, leaving skin green and scaly among addicts eventually causing gangrene and their flesh to begin to rot.
5. Rabid use in Russia has caused up to 2.5 million people to register and seek treatment as addicts and the average life span for a user is only two to three years.
6. The condition can lead to limbs being amputated, but life expectancy for addicts is at the most two to three years, with the majority dying within a year.
7. The drug, whose name means 'crocodile' - reportedly a reference to the way it turns users' skin scaly - also rots their brains.
8. Krokodil is a sickening cocktail of over the counter painkillers, paint thinner, acid and phosphorus. In some cases, petrol is also added.
Check out the video below to find out more about Krokodil.