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Virulent 'crocodile' drug hits the streets

The Local · 12 Oct 2011, 15:07

Published: 12 Oct 2011 15:07 GMT+02:00

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The drug, known as “crocodile,” is synthesized from codeine and has been commonly used by as a substitute for heroin in Russia for the last few years. But its effects are much worse – some users have their skin peel off and parts of their bodies become gangrenous.

After they begin using, addicts typically have a life expectancy of just a few years.

Until now, police haven’t been worried about its spread in Germany, but authorities in the western city of Bochum said at least four homeless people have recently experienced symptoms associated with crocodile use.

All believed they had been using heroin, according to Heinrich Elsner, a doctor at an organization serving drug addicts called Crisis Assistance Bochum.

But he said they suffered the “catastrophic skin and soft tissue damage” that only crocodile causes.

The organization is offering to wean addicts off drugs through methadone treatments, though it is not yet clear if the physical damage is reversible.

Story continues below…

Police, who admitted there was a “huge uproar” in Bochum’s drug scene over the situation, said an investigation has been launched.

The Local/DPA/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:02 October 12, 2011 by zeddriver
You use illegal drugs. You take the risk.

If you don't like the fact that this new drug is more dangerous than the already dangerous and illegal one you knowingly take. Then get treatment and stop, Or shut up and take your chances.

At least this new drug speeds up the users date with Mr. Darwin.
17:25 October 12, 2011 by Renee_123
Why don't you do some intensive research on addictive behavior before you start sentencing people to death. The words sound so easy, clinical and simple dripping from your hateful mouth. You must be from Texas!!
17:53 October 12, 2011 by mkvgtired

The user would not be addicted if they never tried it. You know it causes you to die in a few years AND your limbs to melt away. Just like meth, I know it is extremely dangerous and very addictive, so I am not going to try it.

Sure, its a waste of life, but unless a 5 year old is using it, the person knew. I completely agree these people should try to get users into rehab, but if they refuse there is not much anyone can do.
19:21 October 12, 2011 by zeddriver
@ renee_123

no where did I say I hate them. Just like mkvgtired said. Unless the addict was tied down and forced to become addicted. It was their choice. I also stated that they should be seeking treatment. If the addict says no to treatment. That is where I stop feeling sorry for them. Their fate lies within their own mind. As the article also said. There was a huge uproar in the Bochum drug scene over the 'bad' bad drug. That tells me that the addicts want their 'good' bad drugs back. I didn't read anything in the article about how all the addicts were so scared of the new drug that they overran the local drug rehab center.

Caveat emptor
03:35 October 13, 2011 by anaverageguy
@ renee_123

People from Texas have enough problems without having to defend themselves from slurs like yours.
09:51 October 13, 2011 by raandy
There are always a few willing to try a knew high. The problem never goes away and the end users always end up as the victims of drug ignorance or indifference.

Realistic drug education with the facts and with out the hype would help.
10:37 October 13, 2011 by Renee_123
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as a chronic neurological disorder involving many brain functions, most notably a devastating imbalance in the reward circuitry. This fundamental impairment in the experience of pleasure literally COMPELS the addict to chase the chemical highs produced by substances like drugs and alcohol and obsessive behaviors like sex, food and gambling.

Now, that is what science says, and I tend to believe the scientists who have done their research. You can argue with them if you like. The rest is here if you care to educate yourselves on addiction, its causes and consequences.


@anaverageguy I'm sorry for slurring the great state of Texas, but I just happened to live there for 5 long years, and the kind of mentality that zeddriver has is on proud display in TX for all to see. Just look at the last two cowboy gubnas they elected.
14:19 October 13, 2011 by zeddriver

It's funny how science is never wrong. Just look at research concerning coffee. One minute it's good for you. The next it's bad. both of those conclusions are based on science.

Recently scientific researchers at CERN sent out a neutrino particle to Italy. The particle arrived 60 nano seconds before the light. But science tells us that you can't go faster than the speed of light.

How about the article on the local showing the ability to scan a brain and detect pedophiles. Would you be willing to send your loved one to jail or be registered as a 'potential' future sex offender based on a scientific theory?

I will say it again as you don't seem to understand. I fully support a rehab function to help the addicted. It's only after they refuse that I part ways.

And I'm from the Seattle area.
14:24 October 13, 2011 by SchwabHallRocks
The nice thing about Texas is that you are allowed to hunt feral swine, of which they have over 4 mm, with semi automatic weapons from helcopters.

Surely hunting swine from helicopters is a bigger thrill than "crocodile?"

Perhaps Germany could use public monies to send its drug addicts to Texas to hunt the swine and take their mind off using drugs?
19:09 October 13, 2011 by ???Jane
What's all this hating on Texas?? I thought I was reading an article about DRUG ADDICTS IN GERMANY???
20:10 October 13, 2011 by zeddriver

As you can see from the posts. Renee got mad do to my lack of feeling bad for addicts that don't want help. And the most obvious way for a far left type to respond is to try and make a personal insult. Renee thought from my post that I must be a far right type. The left hates Texas as GW and his daddy are from Texas. But I'm not from Texas. And I dislike GW. Funny how Renee infers that I'm not compassionate and then tries to insult me. I tend toward being a libertarian. As such I think if an adult wants to do drugs. That's fine by me. But as a drug user if you refuse an offer for rehab then you are on your own to deal with the consequences.
23:03 October 13, 2011 by ???Jane

Renee needs to get a grip. Germany is the one country where if you are there legally and you have a problem, there is plenty of help to be had.

I agree with you completely and do not feel the least bit sorry for anyone who makes bad decisions regarding drugs.

And for everyone else out there, do you think everyone in Texas is related to the Bushes? My god, I could make a lot of assumptions of who everyone else is just based on where they live or where they are from. Grow up.
00:15 October 14, 2011 by zeddriver

I'm sure Renee means well. But this type of issue is a polarizing one. I do believe that some people have the ability to become addicted easier than others. But I do not believe that would somehow cause you to become compelled to find a needle as if you had been hypnotized. And of course I am always suspect of studies done by an org. that would benefit monetarily from their own studies conclusion. Now if they where to have it peer reviewed by a disinterested party. That would carry for more weight.
19:27 October 14, 2011 by TheChanger
A depressed man suffering from an alcohol addiction sits in a bar for 10 hours drinking shots served by an overacheiving bartender suffering from a compulsion to be the best employee he can be. The man leaves the bar and climbs into his overly large SUV build by Ford in the 19990's as their sales were being driven hard by high spending SUV lovers.

As the man drives down the street a police officer sees him and attempts to pull him over. The man, in his drunken state realizes he is drunk and will go to jail, but he MUST be at home tomorrow to take his son to soccer so he hits the gas and takes off, with the cop chasing diligently, as protecting the citizens and making them safe is his function and he LOVES his job.

At the same time a young mother with a child in a car seat in the back of her compact car is driving home from grocery shopping. She is obeying the law and following all safety regulations because she is Obsessive Compulsive and cannot do otherwise. As the woman crosses a sidestreet, the man in the SUV, chased by the cop, smashes into her, killing her and the child instantly. The cop swerves to miss the accident and hits a pedestrian, an 84 year old man walking his dog, killing him instantly.

What just happened and who do we blame? The drunk man CAN'T possibly be blamed because he suffers from depression and addiction, and being a good father he just wanted to get home to take little Tommy to his soccer game! Although he was drinking and driving and speeding....he suffers from problems.

The bartender can't be blamed, he was just doing his job and serving drinks. He wanted to be employee of the month for god's sakes!

The Police Officer can't be blamed. He was doing his job to ensure the safety of the civilians by driving his patrol car at excessive speed while chasing a drunk man. It was purely chance that he hit the old man and the dog.

The woman can't be blamed because she had to have groceries, had to drive to get them. Her compulsion to drive safely put her in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

The old man can't be blamed, his was there to walk the dog.

So, because of everyone's excuses and pardons due to "problems" or "responsibilities", the woman and baby are dead because the baby needed food, and the old man is dead because the dog needed walking.

I know this sounds stupid and over the top, but that's how I view the conversation above. You CAN NOT get addicted to something until you have tried it. If you don't want to get addicted, DON'T DO DRUGS. If you decide to do drugs and you refuse treatment, what happens to you is your own fault, no one else's. Accept responsibility for your actions, get help or move out of the line of life and let someone else move forward.
08:14 October 15, 2011 by michelbisson
First I would like to hear something from someone who was addicted and succeeded to come out of it. The rest is really guess work whatever is written. Once you go through the experience yourself you can never ever start writing things like 'it's your own fault'. It looks more like 'it's your own weakness or blindness'. In any case maybe the fear of getting the real bad drug instead of the regular one might help some to get out of it. Unfortunately that might not do the trick for some.
13:09 October 15, 2011 by jbaker
Legal or Illegal - Drugs Kill without reguard to age,sex,race or religion!
13:35 October 15, 2011 by wenddiver
Duh, we are wasting more time on this than the people involved are worth.

Somebody was dumb enough not to know that when they became an intravenous drug user that it would destroy their life and kill them? I doubt it.

Do I feel sorry for them no! I do feel sorry for the little ladies that break their hips when some worthless junkie mugs them, I feel sorry for the poor children who lose their park or school yards to Junkies shooting up, I feel sorry for the poor people who come home to a destroyed apartment with a lifetime worth of memories stolen, because a creepy junkie crawled through their window while they were at work. I feel sorry for the wife who loses a husband when his convience store gets robbed a stinking junky shoots him.

Anybody want to go shoot some crocodile, smoke some crack, do a little LSD like the Manson family? I say enjoy Zombie and the sooner they xpire the better society is, don't take one mouthful of food from working families to pay for extending their worthless existence. You will not be missed. I did volunteer work with the poor in Bronx, and the misery these Zombies cause the poor is hard to imagine.

For the record I learned that attitude in New York, not Texas!
02:45 October 17, 2011 by John Hardman
Millions of people have become addicted to many different substances, some of which are easier to recover from than many of the pain killer based kinds. Death is a common visitor to the drug abuser, and misery and depression for family and friends as the user sinks deeper and deeper into his/her self dug grave.

When a Ship like the Titanic is doomed to sink in the middle of the ocean, all efforts are directed toward saving those who have the best chances for survival. The same is true for those afflicted with a fatal drug dependency; the time, money and spiritual energy needed would be better invested in a more likely candidate for survival and recovery. Life is not cruel, it is simply indifferent.
19:10 October 19, 2011 by Bruno53
You Germans can thank your "humanist" philosophers like Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Marx Nietzsche and Heidegger for your drug problem. Also your "Frankfurt School" for the mess of drugs we are into.
23:16 October 22, 2011 by Bill Simpson
Can those Russians make anything other than weapons worth buying?
21:14 October 24, 2011 by moshe rosen
Wow, I have just read comments from young,angry yuppie punks who have zero compassion for the drug users.

Many of these people grew up without any love. Love is what transforms the child into an adult. Many were abused. Yes, there are a few that come from loving 2 parent familiese known. not too bright either and they chose to go the way of drugs, but the vast majority grew up without parents, or grew up without love, or both.

Moshe in Berlin

When I hear some young judgemental punk say "they can go die" I get sick. How about when this horrible disease attacks their family?

The new generation is the most selfish I have known and not to bright. ot their phone in their ear and the ipod in the other. God help us all! When you lose your compassion, you lose what sets us apart from lions and tigers
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