Crocodile Tears

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brucesterling:

*Well, that oughta get the job done.  #soothing #restfulsleep

#”NumberOfOtherIngredients”

#ProbablyAvailableOnSilkRoad

(via renfields--moved)

The less glamorous but more likely culprit in the Krokodil scare—the one that didn’t make headlines—is a drug that Americans have been snorting, sniffing, and injecting for decades: heroin. The sores are nothing new, either. As widely documented on drug policy sites across the web, intravenous drug users are susceptible to a wide range of deadly infections, including HIV, Hepatitis, B/C, and MRSA—many of which can result in gangrenous skin, deep abscesses, and loss of limbs.

'We don’t have a Krokodil epidemic, we have a heroin and painkiller epidemic,' Dr. Andrew Kolodny, chief medical officer at Phoenix House, a non-profit alcohol and drug rehab center, tells The Daily Beast. 'This is not a new problem. Drug users are prone to skin infections and blood infections. There are serious medical infections that come from injecting drugs,' he says. While the infections are not new, Kolodny says increased heroin dependence means it won’t be the last time we see pictures like these.

[x] Behind the Krokodil Panic

One of the few articles I’ve seen that actually addressed the underlying fear behind these rumors, instead of just saying “Oh don’t worry it’s not the scary Russian drug, just good ol’ heroin, which is fortunately cheap here.”

(via will-graham-i-am)

longform:

How Chicago is key to a business moving tons of drugs for billions of dollars.

Violence is bad for business; it scares away customers. A 2000 study by University of Chicago economics professor Steven Levitt and Columbia University sociology professor Sudhir Venkatesh found that the availability of drugs and their prices fell by 20 to 30 percent during gang conflicts. Which is why the drug trade has actually unified rival gangs, or at least pushed some into an imperfect détente, says Brian Sexton, head of the narcotics unit at the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. “They’ve realized that … if I can sell you dope, and you can sell it, and I can keep selling you dope, and I’m making money, what do I care about Folks or Peoples?”

A lot of the murders and shootings that the police call “gang related” aren’t tied to actual gang activity, according to criminologists and police sources. The offender or victim may be in a gang, but the dispute was a personal one.

nprfreshair:

The FBI has arrested the owner of the narcotics trafficking site “The Silk Road,” the most extensive criminal black market on the web. Until now he was known only by his handle, Dread Pirate Roberts. Ross Ulbricht, 29, was arrested yesterday in San Fransisco on counts of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.

For more about The Silk Road and internet policing (how guys like Dread Roberts get caught) check out this interview with Nate Anderson, author of The internet Police

photo via wikicommons

longform:

The rise and fall of Synanon, an addiction-recovery cult in California, and its charismatic leader, a one-time homeless wino named Chuck Dederich who taught his followers to berate each other for therapy.

theatlantic:

Why We Took Cocaine Out of Soda

Hale’s account of the role of racism and social injustice in Coca-Cola’s removal of coca is corroborated by the attitudes that the shaped subsequent U.S. cocaine regulation movement. Cocaine wasn’t even illegal until 1914 — 11 years after Coca-Cola’s change — but a massive surge in cocaine use was at its peak at the turn of the century. Recreational use increased five-fold in a period of less than two decades. During that time, racially oriented arguments about rape and other violence, and social effects more so than physical health concerns, came to shape the discussion. The same hypersexuality that was touted as a selling point during the short-lived glory days of Vin Mariani was now a crux of cocaine’s bigoted indictment. 

Read more. [Image: 1894 ad for Vin Mariani,  art by Jules Cheret]

theatlantic:

“You really have to work hard to get hooked on smoking opium. The Victorian-era form of the drug, known as chandu, is rare, and the people who know how to use it aren’t exactly forthcoming. But leave it to an obsessive antiques collector to figure out how to get to addicted to a 19th-century drug.”

- As told to Lisa Hix at CollectorsWeekly.com

theatlantic:

In Focus: Mexico’s Drug War: 50,000 Dead in 6 Years

Warning: All images in this entry are shown in full. There are many dead bodies; the photographs are graphic and stark. This is the reality of the situation in Mexico right now.

Top: A masked Mexican soldier patrols the streets of Veracruz, on October 10, 2011. Soldiers of the Army, Navy and members of Federal Police patrol the streets of the city as part of “Veracruz Safe Operation” after a rising tide of violence plaguing this tourist city.

Bottom: A forensic technician points his flashlight at the shoes of a man at a crime scene in Mazatlan, on February 13, 2012. The man was shot dead by gunmen while he was walking on the street, according to local media.

See more. [Images: AFP/Getty, Reuters]

npr:

vicemag:

Krokodil Tears - Russia’s favorite new (skin-eating) drug

Before we set off on our trip, we heard whispers of a new drug called krokodil—a homemade synthetic opiate stronger than heroin made from petrol and codeine—that gets its reptilian name because it turns addicts’ skin scaly, while eating them from the inside, rotting the brain and limbs before invariably killing
its users.

When we got there we found that the krokodil whispers were becoming louder and more insistent, verging on mild yelling, like the sound you make when bolting upright in your bed from a wide-awake nightmare.

Gritty.