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Cheap Heroin Alternative Krokodil Eats Users' Flesh From The Inside Out

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Authorities are warning a deadly drug used as a cheap replacement for heroin that literally eats a person's flesh from the inside out could be on its way to California.

When you first see the effects of Krokodil, it's hard not to turn away, and even harder to believe that it's real.

Often called Russia's deadliest drug—with about 3 million users there alone—doctors say it rots the user's flesh from the inside out.

Krokodil is named after the animal whose name it sounds like, because of the green, scale-like sores it creates.

It's a cocktail of codeine, gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, iodine and red phosphorous.

Experts say the big draw for this drug is the price. It's about 10 to 20 times cheaper than heroin, but it gives a similar high.

It also typically kills users within a year of their first hit.

"The scariest thing about drugs is addicts will use something that's the most dangerous," said Andrew Wren.

He's a Sacramento man that's a recovered addict that's been clean for more than 11 years.

In his days of using, he admits to trying almost every drug in the book, and dealing heroin for years.

But Krokodil? That is something he says he never would have touched.

"If I wasn't in recovery to see something like that would scare me, I'm sorry but uh-uhhhh," he said.

Wren now counsels drug addicts and fears that Krokodil is on its way here.

That concern is echoed by Sacramento authorities.

The U.C. Davis Medical Center tells CBS13 that there is no known use of the drug in the Sacramento area, yet.

But they worry, especially with the large Russian population in the area, that the drug could be on its way here.

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