Synthetic drug task force prepares for 'Krokodil'


A local task force formed months ago to address the proliferation of bath salts is now concerned about the spread of a new deadly drug.

The Greater Dayton Area Hospitals Association Synthetic Drug Task Force met Wednesday morning to talk about the drug "Krokodil," a homemade type of opiate that has devastated lives in Russia and other countries and could end up in Southwest Ohio.

The group consists of emergency room doctors, forensic nurses, undercover officers, Miami Valley Crime Lab personnel and others.

The professionals share their firsthand accounts and knowledge of illicit-drug trends they're seeing in the community.

Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said the task force was formed 18 months ago in large part to address the use of synthetic drugs like "bath salts."

"Bringing in ER doctors, forensic nurses ... they see patients who are experiencing overdose symptoms," Kelly said. "They're not going to be arrested. It's not a crime. But they will tell them information that they won't tell law enforcement."

On Wednesday the group shared information about Krokodil, which can eat away a user's skin over time and cause other serious health problems.

Kelly said Krokodil remains on the horizon as to whether it will become a problem in Ohio, but there have been reports from a doctor of it being here in at least one Miami Valley community.

"Yellow Springs ... it's just south of Springfield and north of Dayton. He's sees a wide population of people in his practice," Kelly said.

Krokodil may not become a problem here because one of its base ingredients is codeine, which is available over-the-counter in other countries but is a controlled substance in the U.S., according to Cindy Jennings, forensic nurse at Miami Valley Hospital.

"This is an extremely toxic and very addictive type of morphine," Jennings said. "It's artificially made with petroleum products. They can use kerosene. They can use gasoline. It's not like you can clear out all those products when you make this particular substance."

While Krokodil is something the task force wants to learn about and prepare for, Jennings said the number one problem drug right now is heroin and hospitals are seeing overdoses on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.

Kelly said the heroin problem is at "epidemic levels" in local communities.

"What we're discovering is that the heroin today is very strong," he said. "It is not being cut. which means that the heroin is coming directly into our communities and we're going to see more overdoses and deaths."

The task force plans to host a symposium next year on synthetic drugs.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

The best Cyber Monday 2017 deals on tech, clothing, home and more
The best Cyber Monday 2017 deals on tech, clothing, home and more

Black Friday is notorious for crowded shopping malls, long lines and total madness. But if the adrenaline rush of the post-Thanksgiving shopping day doesn’t appeal to you, Cyber Monday is another (almost) stress-free option for anyone looking to save big bucks on holiday gifts this year. >> Read more trending news To get the best deals...
Northeastern teacher indicted in deadly crash: What we know now
Northeastern teacher indicted in deadly crash: What we know now

A Northeastern School District teacher, Kristine M. Baggs, 40, of Springfield, has been indicted and arrested in connection with the death of a Medway man last year. Here is some history on the ongoing case, along with new information obtained by the Springfield News-Sun. » READ MORE: Local teacher arrested in death of pedestrian in hit and run...
Tennessee State football player arrested after video shows him punching coach, police say
Tennessee State football player arrested after video shows him punching coach, police say

A Tennessee State University football player who was kicked off the team and expelled after he was caught on video punching his assistant coach earlier this month has been arrested in connection with the attack, according to police. Jail records show Latrelle Lee, 22, was arrested Monday night. He was charged with one count of aggravated assault causing...
Dog owners less likely to die of heart attacks, study suggests
Dog owners less likely to die of heart attacks, study suggests

Owning a dog could quite literally save your life, a new study has revealed. >> Read more trending news Dog owners who live alone have a 36 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than those without dogs. When it comes to dog owners who live with family members, the risk decreases by 15 percent. "A very interesting finding...
17 retail horror stories that show working Black Friday is the worst
17 retail horror stories that show working Black Friday is the worst

Retail workers put up with long hours, pushy customers and crowded stores during the holiday season. For many people, working in retail is a rite of passage — often the first job teens work during high school or college. In Ohio, the retail industry supports one in four jobs. We asked our readers to share your good and bad memories and experiences...
More Stories