Krokodil turns skin to scales and kills users within three years (kay9x/YouTube)

A Russian drug that turns skin to scales and eats users from the inside out has found its way to the US.

Krokodil, real name desomorphine, is up to 10 times more potent than morphine and has a similar effect as heroin, only it is much cheaper and can be made at home from everyday items including gasoline, paint thinner, lighter fluid and codeine.

It has become increasingly popular in Russia, where it has devastating effects on users. The average person using krokodil lives for just three years.

Time magazine called krokodil "the most horrible drug in the world". The toxic cocktail in the drug dissolves user's jawbones and teeth. It also causes blood vessels to burst, which leaves skin green and scaly, which is where it got its name as users begin to resemble reptiles.

Flesh rotting
Krokodil rots flesh (kay9x/YouTube)

Eventually, the drug leads to gangrene and many have to have limbs amputated.

The drug was first reported being used in Siberia in 2002 and has since spread throughout Russia. It has since been found in other European countries, and one death has been recorded in Poland in 2011.

According to CBS, the first two cases of krokodil use in the US have now been recorded.

A poison control centre in Phoenix, Arizona, said two users who have been taking the drug have sought treatment.

Most users of krokodil get gangrene (kay9x/YouTube(

Frank LoVecchio, co-medical director at Banner's Poison Control Centre, told KPHO: "As far as I know, these are the first cases in the United States that are reported. So we're extremely frightened.

"They extract (the drug) and even though they believe that most of the oil and gasoline is gone, there is still remnants of it. You can imagine just injecting a little bit of it into your veins can cause a lot of damage. It eats you from the inside out."

LoVeccio said that while he believes the two cases are related, he expects more to follow.

"Where there is smoke there is fire, and we're afraid there are going to be more and more cases."

Krokodil user (kay9x/YouTube)