WASHINGTON, November 26 (RIA Novosti) – A sheriff in Ohio has advised local drug users to purchase heroin from a “trusted source,” after a case involving the flesh-eating Russian street drug krokodil was reported in the state, a local television station has reported.
Athens county sheriff Patrick Kelly offered the unconventional advice on 10TV news after a deputy reported an encounter with a drug user whose skin had turned “scaly” next to the injection point.
Krokodil, which is widely used as a cheap heroin substitute in Russia, acquired its name due to its gangrenous effects that can cause the skin of users to resemble that of a crocodile.
"I'm hoping that they [drug users] won't use heroin at all, but I'm not that naive. To say 'get your heroin from a trusted source' sounds ridiculous coming from a sheriff,” Kelly told 10TV news.
"But if you're going to have to get your fix, you're not going to want to get a hold of krokodil."
Kelly added that individuals in possession of krokodil would not face charges if they surrendered the drug to the authorities.
Incidences of krokodil use have been reported in several US states including Illinois, Arizona, Oklahoma, Nevada and New York, although no official agency has yet been able to confirm that the drug is in use.
A US Drug Enforcement Authority spokesman told the International Business Times Sunday that none of its laboratories had identified a case.
One expert told the Chicago Tribune in October that heroin users in the United States may not need a cheap substitute, as the real thing can cost as little as $5 per bag.