Krokodil “crocodile” is an old morphine derivative formerly known as desomorphine that is resurfacing in Russia. It was discovered in 1932 and it was noted to have some interesting pharmacologic properties: 8-10x more potent than morphine, less respiratory depression, less nausea, fast onset and short half life. Because of the short half life (4 hours) and increased potency, this made the drug more addictive than morphine, thus it was abandoned for medical use.
The synthesis of desomorphine is relatively easily and only the street chemist only needs a few ingredients that are easily obtainable.
However, the above happens - necrosis of the surrounding tissues where the body literarily rots. For reasons not yet clear. Is it the chemicals the krokodil is cut with? Is it the desomorphine itself? One thing is clear — krokodil addicts do not live longs lives — 2 years at most.