A teenager was hospitalised in Mexico after injecting a drug believed to be krokodil into her genitals.
Doctors at a Mexican Social Security in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, initially thought the 17-year-old had contracted a sexually transmitted infection until she told medical staff she had been using the drug for two months, according to reports.
José Sotero Ruiz Hernández of Mexico's National Institute of Migration told Mexican newspaper El Periodico Correo: "The young woman who used this drug had an infection that had rotted her genitals."
The patient allegedly told the hospital the drug was cheap to procure and readily available in areas such as Mexico city.
Krokodil, the street name for desomorphine, is a cheap heroin substitute that rots the flesh of addicts, usually killing them within two years. It is formed of a combination of crushed codeine pills, gasoline, cooking oil, iodine, paint thinner, lighter fluid and other toxic ingredients.
Krokodil is also highly addictive and short-lasting – meaning many addicts exist in a never-ending cycle of drug consumption and drug preparation. It acts as a morphine substitute but is ten times stronger than the morphine currently used in medical practice. It has a quicker onset of action and more sedative effects and causes death of muscle and soft tissues at the site of injection.