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St. Clair County sheriff warns of new drug detected in Metro Detroit area

Law enforcement warns of new drug detected in Metro Detroit area
Law enforcement warns of new drug detected in Metro Detroit area 05:45

(CBS DETROIT) -  The St. Clair County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force is alerting residents after it had its first seizure of desomorphine last week. 

Desomorphine, also known as "Krokodil" or "Crocodil," is a synthetically engineered, opioid-like drug that is about 10 times more powerful than morphine. 

Desomorphine has no accepted medical use in the U.S., but it has been used medically in Switzerland under the name Permanoid.

Effects of Desomorphine 

The drug gets its street name because the skin of long-time abusers of the drug starts to look green and scaly due to damaged blood vessels, thrombosis, and damaged soft tissues near injection sites.

This causes the skin to look similar to a crocodile's scaled and rugged skin. 

User's injuries can develop into thrombophlebitis and gangrene, which are conditions that usually result in limb amputation and, in some cases, death.

Desomorphine is often sold to drug users instead of heroin because it is cheap and potent, similar to fentanyl. 

Desomorphine's presence in St. Clair County 

The Drug Task Force is urging residents to be aware that the drug is present within the community and that it could be resistant to naloxone because it is synthetic.

"The Drug Task Force adapts with the everchanging climate of drugs within the community, and this is no exception," said St. Clair County Sheriff Mat King. "Members are constantly educating themselves on new drug trends and are committed to educating the community to keep citizens safe. They are doing everything they can do eliminate all sources of Desomorphine, just as in all other illegal controlled substances."

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