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What is krokodil?

(The Week) Krokodil, a dangerous, heroin-like narcotic that rapidly rots flesh, may have made its first appearance in the United States, according to Arizona health officials.

This week, toxicologists at the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center in Phoenix said they had seen a “handful” of patients believed to have taken krokodil. The drug has been around for a decade and became a serious problem in Russia, but its use has never before been documented in the States.

“As far as I know, these are the first cases in the United States that are reported,” Dr. Frank LoVecchio, a co-medical director at the center, told the local CBS affiliate. “So we’re extremely frightened.”