PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Officials at a Phoenix-area poison control center have reported getting calls of people they believe have been using krokodil, what are believed to be the first two documented cases of it's use in the U.S.
Desomorphine, nicknamed Krokodil, is in the opioid family of drugs and acts like morphine. CBS News reports that the drug has been gaining international attention because of it's increasing popularity Russia.
Desomorphine got its nickname from the Russian world for crocodile, because it's users can develop gangrene-like symptoms of scaly, green skin.
Dr. Frank LoVecchio, the co-medical director at Banner's Poison Control Center, told our CBS affiliate KPHO in Phoenix that in the past week his center has seen two people that have used the dangerous drug.
"As far as I know, these are the first cases in the United States that are reported. So we're extremely frightened," he said.
CBS News reports that krokodil is relatively cheap and a homemade version of the drug can be made using codine, iodine, gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, lighter fluid and red phosphorus.
"They extract (the drug) and even though they believe that most of the oil and gasoline is gone, there is still remnants of it. You can imagine just injecting a little bit of it into your veins can cause a lot of damage," LoVecchio said.