What we know about Krokodil, the Russian ‘flesh-eating’ drug now in Oz

Dr Julaine Allan

A young man recently turned up at a rural drug and alcohol service in NSW seeking help because of an infection in his arm. He said he had injected the drug Krokodil, which had not previously been reported in Australia.

Krokodil is a street name for desomorphine, a semi-synthetic drug that has similar effects to heroin and morphine. It’s called semi-synthetic because it is created in a chemical process but it’s made primarily from a drug, usually codeine, that comes from the opium poppy.