The key ingredient of Krokodil is desomorphine which resembles opiates. Krokodil is dihydrodesoxymorphine, dihydrodesoxymorhpine-D. The difference is desomorphine is semi-synthetic opioid. The believed mechanism of action is opioid receptor agonist which causes an increase in endorphin levels because the drug’s similarity to opioids. Krokodil is an agonists of mu opioid receptors, and fewer agonistic activity on kappa and delta opioid receptors. Opioids inhibit the nerve transmission because it binds mu opioid receptors postsynaptically and presynaptically to the dorsal horn of the spinal cord (Pharmacology Weekly, 2009). Krokodil affects the brain neurochemistry comparable to traditional opiates because of the release of large amounts of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine into the brain. Krokodil is similar to opioid and painkiller effects and results in similar effect of activation of nerves from the midbrain and raphe nuclei in the medulla which control opioid neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord (Pharmacology Weekly, 2009). The drug is eight to ten times higher analgesic potency in comparison to morphine with a quicker action onset, 2 to 3 minutes, but lasts for a shorter period of time after injections, 60 to 120 minutes (Gupta, 2013). The newer nature of Krokodil results in less research information about exact effects of the drug.
The positive effect of Crocodile is similar to opioids and results in sedation, euphoria, and analgesic. The negative effect of Krokodil is nausea, vomiting, constipation, urinary retention, itching, respiratory depression and decreased libido. Pharmacology of Krokodil had been based primarily on desomorphine. Krokodil had many other effects on the body. Long term use causes a vacant gaze, speech impediments and lack of motor skills. Krokodil’s large iodine content causes an interruptions in the endocrine system, thyroid damage and muscle deterioration. The high phosphorus content causes the body bone and cartilage damage (flesh rotting) resulting in thrombosis and unhealing abscesses. The high level of zinc, iron, and lead results in nervous system damage and liver and kidney failure. The damage the drug causes to the nervous system results in brain damage. The lack of research indicates there is an absence of knowledge regarding the full drug affects the brain and body.
The main environmental factor is desomorphine and the availability of codeine, has made a comeback in Russia and the Ukraine. Soviet countries have a history of creating homemade forms of opioids and other injectable stimulant drugs. Afghanistan began to import heroin into Russian in the 1990’s resulting in a demand for homemade drugs when heroin was not easily accessible from imports. Then people realized codeine was less expensive to purchase and Krokodil was created. The onset of the creation of Krokodil came from Russia allowing codeine to be purchased without a prescription. People realized codeine was...