Krokodil is not in Texas . . . yet.

There is a new drug that is making its way to the United States. Although there is not any in Texas, several states have reported their citizens used krokodil. This new drug began overseas as a cheaper version of heroin in Russia. People make the drug in a process similar to methamphetamine. However, the manufacturers wind up with desomorphine (krokodil) instead.

Effects and Dangers

Desomorphine is produced from unrelated over the counter products by “amateur” chemists. Some producers use paint thinner and gasoline to make this drug. As a result the drug is dangerous to the user. The user feels a similar euphoria to heroin, but the euphoria lasts only about an hour or so. Users become less dependent upon the drug than other morphine like drugs. In primates, it showed a 10 times greater depressant effect than morphine, and is three times more toxic.

The site where the user injects krokodil damages the tissue and forms green tough areas of the skin. This area resembles a crocodile’s skin so the street name references that effect. The drug causes large areas of their flesh to rot away. For some users this occurs inside their body rather than on the outside of their skin. Because the areas die off, the user is susceptible to gangrene, and may require amputation. The drug can cause severe damage to internal organs. As a result, many users die from using the drug for extended periods of time. There is no way to tell how soon the flesh will begin to rot.

Is it illegal in Texas?

Anytime a new drug becomes prominent, the first question most criminal defense lawyers ask is whether this substance is controlled. In recent history, bath salts and k2 were both widely used prior the legislature making it illegal in 2011. However, desomorphine is listed in penalty group 1 in the Texas Health and Safety Code. If a person possesses less than one gram of Krokodil, it is a state jail felony. State jail felonies are punishable by between 180 days and two years in a state jail facility and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00. With more volume, a person would face more severe penalties.

It will likely be some time before the first cases are reported in Texas. Drugs spread quickly throughout the United States. If Krokodil catches on in the country, there is little doubt that it will find its way to Texas like methamphetamine did.

There are dangers with any drug, but this drug seems to bring a new set of dangers. There is no very little data on the long term effects because the Krokodil first appeared in 2002. What is clear is that the drug Texas outlawed the drug and the law provides for serious penalties.

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