Beware of Krokodil

By Chief Martin McCoy, Auburn Police Department

There have been recent news reports about a deadly drug called krokodil (pronounced crocodile). Known for the black or green scaly skin it causes, krokodil is not only dangerous, it’s highly addictive.

This drug has been around for at least a decade, originating in Russia and spreading to parts of Europe. In the past year, there have been reports of its use in parts of the U.S., including as close as Chicago. There’s still a question about whether these U.S. incidents involved krokodil or heroin, but there has been enough discussion that I want to warn Auburn residents about this devastating killer.

Krokodil is three times as potent as heroin and available at a third of the cost—giving it the potential to be more popular and accessible than heroin. Krokodil is quickly addictive because of its strong euphoric effect. The life expectancy of an addict is approximately two years, namely because krokodil eats a user’s flesh from the inside out, causing open wounds, “crocodile” skin and gangrene.

We have seen no evidence that krokodil has arrived in Auburn or any neighboring communities. But we’re aware of it and, if we detect it, rest assured the Auburn Police Department will do everything we can to quickly eradicate it. Keeping Auburn a safe place to live and work is our top priority.