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Over the past decade or so a new heroin-like drug has spread across Russia and spilled out to other countries, including the United States. Krokodil, a home-brewed opiate that rots the skin of its users, became popular because it is cheap and can be made with easily obtainable codeine and chemicals. The life-expectancy of a Krokodil addict is about 3-years.

The people who use Krokodil know this. They see skin falling off their bodies. They are under no delusion about its dangers. They try it though, and they keep using it as they die in front of their own eyes.

Addiction In The Face Of Death

People try drugs for various reasons. Some are just curious. Others are adventurous. Others are trying to find something to make them feel better, because they are hurting or don’t fit in. No matter why people start, some of them will become addicted.

Krokodil is a study in addiction. Once addicted, the need to get high or to maintain a chemical dependence is so strong, people will delude themselves into forgetting about the dangers in order to continue. Open wounds are acceptable if they can stave off the terror of detoxing or facing the uphill battle of recovery. It is a dark, lonely place. Better to die than live with such a fear.

Recovery In The Face Of Life

Addicts do make it out. Krokodil is so destructive it can easily take lives before many users have the clarity of mind to turn it around. Still, once a hand reaches out for help, there is a chance for recovery. This isn’t a movie, where after a few weeks of pain the world suddenly becomes perfect. It is a painful process full of hard truths and brutal self-appraisals. Still, the rewards for most recovering addicts are worth it. Like waking from a bad nightmare, what begins with fear and disorientation turns into a new reality full of possibility and hope. If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, there is help. Reach out your hand.

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