In an area where junkies turn to cheaply made methamphetamines as the drug of choice, dealers may be cooking up a new synthetic opiate in central Baldwin County that causes rotting flesh, according to area law enforcement.
The agency, which asked not to be named due to its ongoing investigation, has received reports in recent weeks claiming that a “lab” in the area is producing a designer drug commonly called “krokodil.” Locals have also called the drug “gator,” according to police.
The manmade drug, also known as desomorphine
, is cheaply made and comes with horrifying side effects. It earns its reptilian nomenclature because its toxic ingredients quickly turn the skin grey and scaly. As junkies continue to inject the opiate, skin begins to corrode and peel away to expose bone and sinew as the user literally rots to death.
The drug originated in Russia as an answer to rising costs of heroin, first appearing less than five years ago but rising in popularity in 2011. The home-brewed heroin replacement is highly addictive, and area users may become hooked before they know about the skin-peeling side effects, police said.
Desomorphine is a schedule I drug, falling into the same category as heroin, marijuana, and LSD, meaning the drug has high abuse potential and is illegal to possess or use, according to the DEA.
The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office also has no information on the drug, according to officials. Police are trying to learn more about “krokodil” before the abuse and side effects cause an epidemic, according to area law enforcement.
“You know if it’s here, it’s somewhere else as well,” a police officer said.