Krokodil Use and Abuse in Australia
Krokodil is a drug that is as violent as the name implies. Also known as the “zombie drug” the use of Krokodil has reached Australia. This drug was first notably used in Russia. However, in spite of the horrible side effects, use of the drug has made its way across several continents. The flesh-eating drug leaves the user in a zombie like state that is horrible to watch. Though users do not seem to remember their behavior.
What is Krokodil?
Krokodil is an impure form of desomorphine that leaves the user with tissue damage that can be severe and can easily lead to a gangrenous type infection. The first use in Australia was reported in New South Wales when a young man showed up with an infection in his arm.
In the pure form desomorphine is a synthetic opioid. It has fast acting, power effects like analgesia and sedation. More so than morphine and shown to be more effective for quick pain relief. However, it is short acting as well. Though stronger than morphine, desomorphine has known side effects like hypotension and urinary retention. The street homemade version of this has become known as krokodil. The homemade krokodil causes serious damage to the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and bone that results in black or greenish scabs or scales earning the name. In many cases rotten flesh is also a sign of use which is how the nickname zombie drug developed. Long term users will often require amputations due to rotting flesh.
Krokodil, when homemade, tends to contain opioids or codeine that is heated and mixed with things like gasoline, battery acid, and even paint thinner. These additions are what cause the problems when the drug is injected. If the user misses a vein, the spot where the injection happened creates an abscess that kills off the flesh around it. This can lead to blood clots, infection, brain damage, and eventually amputation.
Since krokodil is homemade, it can take on different characteristics. This largely depends on the maker and what was added to the mixture. Usually, it is a clear or lightly colored liquid. However, it may also look like heroin in some cases. Most often it is a yellow liquid that has a distinct acidic odor. The liquid is then injected with a needle, much like heroin. It can also be eaten, smoked, or snorted. However injecting is the most common use. Krokodil may also be called Russian Magic or even poor man’s heroin. It is highly addictive from the first use.
Krokodil is not only damaging to the entire body, it’s deadly. Due to the mixture of often unknown and unseparated ingredients that can go into making krokodil it is important to seek help if you are using krokodil. Even though the first use can cause damage to many areas of the body, stopping use as soon as possible can save a person from losing their life due to complications from this drug overall.
Since krokodil use has been found across various countries, being away of how to treat this specific type of drug abuse is important. Though most addicts will find themselves seeking medical treatment first due to infected sores or decaying flesh. This does little to help with the actual addiction. This is where DARA can help.
DARA is an in-patient rehab facility that helps with addictions of all types. With locations in Australia and other countries, DARA can work with those who have an addiction to start on the road to long term sobriety from drugs or alcohol, as well as other addictions. Specific to Australia, DARA has locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Auckland.
DARA can work with you or a loved one. Programs last on average between 6 and 12 weeks to help face the addiction issues in your life. DARA provides a luxury, resort style facility with amenities that will help you heal and be comfortable at affordable rates. Whether you are drawn purely by the need for help, the rates, or the beautiful views, DARA can provide. Each and every patient receives treatment that includes physical, spiritual, and mental aspects to get a good start on the road to recovery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ‘CBT’
DARA focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy, also called CBT. CBT is a form of therapy that helps an individual identify specific behaviors and then the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make up those behaviors. Once these are identified, a change in the thought process can lead to changes in life. This can be especially useful for those with addictions. This can also be helpful in identifying triggers that may be problematic when the in-patient stay is complete.
In addition to CBT, DARA uses physical activity and nutrition to help each patient heal from the inside out. A part of most addictions is a lack of self-care. This lack of self-care can lead to vitamin deficiencies poor eating, and lack of exercise. At DARA, top chefs in the area prepare daily meals and some form of physical activity is required each day. Activities such as swimming, yoga, and time in the gym are likely options. As the mind heals from the addiction, the body can begin to heal as well. This is important, yet often overlooked at many facilities.
There are also weekly times of meditation and massages are offered three times a week for every patient. Massage and meditation are designed to both help patients relax and to release toxins from the body that have built up from drug and/or alcohol use and abuse. An additional education component about addiction is also included to help individuals understand how addiction develops and continues.
The key to the success of DARA centers is the combination of these treatments and some time away from people and places in which drugs or alcohol are present. If you or a loved one is suffering with an addiction, call DARA to gain further information or set up a stay.
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