"Zombie" flesh-eating drug, desomorphine -- street name Krokodil (pronounced crocodile) -- which gives users an intense "zombie-like" high state -- and the side effects are ulcerated skin and limbs -- has struck again, and this time in Mexico. In a bizarre sequence of events, what initially was thought to be lacerations caused by a sexually transmitted infection turned out to be harm caused when a teenage girl injected the drug into her genitals.  

The 17-year-old girl was using the cheap heroin-substitute for two months before a doctor at a Mexican Social Security in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco recognized that the girl's use of the drug had caused "an infection that had rotted her genitals."

Krokodil is an addictive injectable opiate that has made it way from Europe to North America. It produces severe damage to soft tissue at the site of injection, and an infection moves to the veins, where the drug fails to properly dissolve into the bloodstream. Clumps appear in the veins, which sets the stage for gangrene and eventually necrosis. Often, skin appears to be singed before it blisters; victims find maggots nest in their skin, and they often smell of rotted flesh. The drug usually kills its abuser within two years.

Because Krokodil is ten times cheaper than heroin (usually selling for $8 a hit) and can easily be produced in someone's home (concocted using hydrochloric acid, industrial cleaning oil, alcohol, codeine, iodine, phosphorus, and gasoline or paint thinner) it has a growing fan base.

The girl informed the hospital that the drug was readily available and easy to procure in areas such as Mexico City. The drug has Russian origins, and began in the 1930s. And, while there has been hundreds of thousands of users, and a great deal of news coverage, there are still no confirmed cases of Krokodil abuse in the United States since 2004.