Think you know drugs? Think again. While it’s commonly accepted that street drugs are bad news, there is worse yet. Outside (and occasionally inside) the United States, there are drugs manufactured that might make an addiction to well-known drugs seem like child’s play. Why? Who really knows, except that the challenge to make stronger and stronger drugs that produce better and longer-lasting highs is a constant competition.
Some of the most dangerous drugs in the world have only cropped up in the last ten years to fifteen years, and these newcomers, so far, remain difficult to obtain. Some of these drugs, though, aren’t just dangerous – the effects can be terrifying, especially to new drug users, and friends and family of users, and outsiders.
These terrifying drugs are coming from all over the world: from Russia, Thailand, and parts of Latin America, as the world’s insatiable appetite for drugs has taken drug manufacturers to dark places. Despite intense side effects and extremely difficult withdrawal symptoms, the rate of addiction to these drugs is very high all over the world.
What can make these drugs even more dangerous is the fact that the bodies of knowledge surrounding these substances is still small. Governments and law enforcement agencies are in a constant scramble to keep ahead of the plethora of new substances, and the users being eaten alive by things which no one fully understands. Anti-drug programs make every effort to proactively keep kids and young adults off of drugs, but it is difficult for every program to fully account for the necessary education and teaching about each drug, and its dangers.
At the forefront of all drug prevention is conversation between people who are close to each other. This means parents talking to children, siblings talking to siblings, and doctors talking to their patients. Even with all of these conversations, though, it’s inevitable that someone falls through the cracks, and that addiction then becomes a problem. Another problem, of course, is that it is rarely simply the addicted person suffering alone: whomever supplied the original dose of the drug, no matter how scary/dangerous it is, may be living with an addiction to it, along with anyone else that they may have supplied with the product. When addiction to a terrifying drug takes hold of a person, though, it can sometimes be even more difficult for the addicted person to get assistance – some drugs have the power to radically alter a person’s appearance, not just their state of mind, and help for some may come too late to save limbs, organs, and lives.
Hailing from Russia, this powerful drug is 100% synthetic, and synthetic drugs are known for being very potent, unstable, and mysterious. ‘Krokodil,’ the Russian word for, ‘crocodile,’ is the street name for the chemical Desomorphine. Desomorphine is a derivative of the infamous codeine, the chief component in Lean, an illegal cocktail that is consumed like an alcoholic beverage.
Krokodil, like many of the most dangerous drugs, in usually consumed intravenously. The high has been described as blissful and euphoric, much like any other opiate. But also like any opiate, withdrawal is sudden, and very distressing. The effects of withdrawal from Krokodil mirror other opioid withdrawals: anxiousness, irritability, twitching, and an overpowering craving for the original high. What makes krokodil so scary isn’t even the immense high, and subsequent withdrawal – it’s the open lacerations and sores that often spring up on a person’s skin. That’s right – there is a drug that rots people from the outside in. Gangrene, a condition where skin cells begin dying off rapidly, has also been reported with use of krokodil.
Let’s be perfectly clear: there is no textbook formula for Gray Death. Gray Death, so named for the color of the odd, often gray-ish-colored substance, is a combination of known drugs. Gray Death is one of the newest street drugs, having emerged on the scene within the past three to five years, and is a frightening turn in the nationwide effort against illicit addictive drugs.
While the name itself is scary, the effects are even more so: due to the immense variety of formulations of the drug, there is no way to nail down the specific effects. In all forms, Gray Death is a combination of different highly-addictive opioid drugs. Heroin, Fentayl, Carfentanil, and U-47700 all regularly exist as components of Gray Death. In what percentages, from what sources, or the other potential effects remain a mystery. Since there is no standard for the formulation, it is impossible to measure the number of people who have overdosed on Gray Death, or a happenstance combination of the drugs normally in Gray Death.
Methamphetamines are objectively terrifying: any drug that is so powerfully addictive that a single hit can cause addiction is cause for great concern. Meth comes in a variety of forms, and is smoked, snorted, or consumed intravenously. It is possible to swallow meth, but the other methods are the preferred methods.
Meth is a stimulant that can keep a person awake and alert for days at a time, but also make a person vulnerable to fits of irritation or aggression. A few short years ago, meth was the most-used addictive drug in the country. Today, the majority of the drug comes in from Mexico.
In the middle of the 20th century, it was standard practice to trust a person to bring you a drink from the bar. That changed during the 90s – date rape, an issue as old as dating itself, became a mainstream concern. Of particular concern was the use of date rape drugs against unsuspecting women. While the notion of being drugged and sexually assaulted isn’t new, the notion that this could happen in public, or at a party, was a new and scary consideration in the 90s.
Rohypnol, a sedative, is still used in the commission of sexual assault, and date rape in particular. What’s worse? Rohypnol is actually addicting, so it is possible for a person addicted to the drug to then use it to assault another person. If, after having a drink, a person feels unusually woozy, as if falling asleep can’t be prevented, it’s important to get that person to a safe place, and around people who care about them.
If you or someone you know is abusing drugs, or if they’re using drugs against other people, help is available.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.