9 Indest-2008-6By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

A powerful, heroin-like drug that rots human flesh and bones has allegedly appeared in the United States for the first time, according to a number of news outlets. In Phoenix, Arizona, physicians reported that they spotted two cases in which symptoms are consistent with krokodil in September 2013. Krokodil (pronounced crocodile) is a highly addictive drug that is prevalent in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Krokodil Users Can Be Left with Zombie-Like Appearances.

According to USA Today, krokodil ravages the flesh, exposing bones, destroying internal organs and leaving users vulnerable to infections. Users often develop abscesses and gangrene. A recovering krokodil user said that she’s seen other addicts rot from the inside out, giving users a zombie-like appearance and, in some cases, impairments.

To read the USA Today article, click here.

DEA Waiting for Lab Reports to Verify Krokodil Use.

A Los Angeles Times article stated that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been tracking the use of krokodil abroad for at least two years. According to DEA officials, there is still no lab evidence that the two cases in Arizona are from the use of krokodil. However, toxicologists as the Arizona poison control centers said they remain worried because emerging drug trends are usually first noticed by area physicians.

Click here to read the entire Los Angeles Times article.

No Legislature on Krokodil in Florida.

Since it is still not confirmed that the cases in Arizona are krokodil, the Florida Attorney General’s (AG) office has not discussed any bans on the drug yet. Unfortunately it will be hard to ban the ingredients used to make krokodil since most can be bought over the counter, such as headache pills, iodine, gasoline and paint thinner.

However, the Florida government will step in to try to curb anything that might spark more zombie outbreaks. You may remember in December 2012, AG Pam Bondi filed an emergency rule outlawing 22 new synthetic drugs, commonly known as “bath salts,” “K2,” and “Spice.” This emergency rule expanded the list of synthetic drugs in Schedule I of controlled substances of the Florida Comprehensive Abuse Prevention and Control Act. Click here to read our previous blog.

This emergency rule is evidence of Floridians’ fear of zombies and cannibal attacks allegedly linked to the misuse of the outlawed substances. Florida has been linked to both in the national news, thus scaring away many of our tourists. Of course, there are those detractors who contend that face-chewing and other alleged zombie behavior is just natural behavior for Floridians, regardless of the chemicals imbibed.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.


Have you ever heard of krokodil? How long do you think before Florida will see its first krokodil zombie? How long do you think it will take the Florida AG to enact legislation banning the drug? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.


Mosemak, Jerry, and Winter, Michael. “Flesh-Rotting ‘Krokodil” Drug Emerges in USA.” USA Today. (September 27, 2013). From: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/26/heroin-krokodil-flesh-rotting-arrives-us-arizona/2879817/

Hamilton, Matt. “Krokodil, More Perilous Than Heroin, Possibly Surfaces in Arizona.” Los Angeles Times. (September 28, 2013). From: http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-krokodil-heroin-arizona-20130927,0,7644763.story

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

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