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Special Report: Combating Krokodil

Krokodil is taking lives in Russia, and now local law enforcement is taking notice.
...it's not going to make you better, it's going to make you deader...
(The embedded video contains graphic pictures.)

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Krokodil is taking lives in Russia, and now local law enforcement is taking notice. 

Krokodil is a substitute for heroin, and according to WebMD.com, it is a mixture of codeine and household chemicals like gasoline or paint thinner. 

Reports indicate there are one million Krokodil users in Russia.  The drug reportedly causing severe sores and gaping holes in the skin.

"The Russian Federation says addiction occurs quickly and that addicts die between one and three years, and its a terrible death," said Lt. Jim Potter, the Narcotics Unit Commander for the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office.

Because of those results, Potter went to a training for the new drug.

"This is something that exists in the world, let's not stick our head in a hole and pretend it’s not out there because it is," he said. "The class that we got was, 'Let's get in front of it, let's get what we can, hopefully it’s not something that comes across to the states.'"

Potter learned Krokodil comes with a pretty inexpensive price tag.

"It's cheaper than a can of beer for a dose," he said.

A question for drug users, is that low price and a quick high enough to entice?  To find that answer, we sat down and talked to a Little Rock man, who told us he had been a drug user and dealer for more than three decades.
"I mean we are not idiots," he said. "My first thought is, 'There is no way that I would ever touch something like that.'"

As Potter continues looking for ways to stop Krokodil, he hopes people will notice the graphic pictures that show the results of the drug.

"It's exposed flesh that's died, its exposing your bones and your tissues and veins are eroding away from this, causing it to die," he said. "So have a peek at that before you think this may be a great idea as the next best high.

"Something in one to three years it's not going to make you better, it's going to make you deader, so let's look at that from day 1."

But the Little Rock drug user isn't so sure because of the nature of addiction. We asked him what's the best way to prevent Krokodil from coming to the states.

"I don't know the answer to that, because this is a powerful disease and if they want it, they're going to find a way to get it," he said.

Even without any confirmed reports of Krokodil in the United States, Arkansas law enforcement will continue to try to stop this killer before it crosses the border.

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