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Jul 8, 2015 7:03 PM

1st suspected NH case of flesh-eating drug sends man to hospital


MANCHESTER - A disturbing new injectable opioid that’s swept through Europe may have made it’s way to the United States, and first responders think they have seen a first case of an overdose in New Hampshire.

On the street it’s known as Krokodil.

UPDATE: Officials respond to possible flesh-eating drug overdose

“It’s pretty much the dirty sister of morphine and heroin,” said Chris Hickey with American Medical Response in Manchester.

Last week during an overdose call in Manchester they found a man with symptoms not typical for heroin or other commonly abused opioids.

READ: DEA: Test results pending for possible NH krokodil overdose

“He had an extreme amount of paranoia, periods of unresponsiveness,” Hickey said, “but what he had on his forearms were ulcerated areas that weren’t typical of IV drug users.”

Hickey said Krocodil is what dealers are using to make the drug cheaper. To do that they add things like gasoline, household cleaners and phosphorus, found in red-tip matches.

The drug builds up in the blood stream, eventually resulting in large sores and infections.

He estimated the life expectancy of a user to be between two and three years.

“There was kind of speculation that it was only going to be a matter of time before we saw it,” Hickey said.

The potency and combination of chemicals varies from batch to batch and can be deadly on the first use.

READ: 14 arrested, 5.5 kilograms of heroin seized after months-long investigation into Keene drug ring

The suspected Krokodil overdose patient is in the ICU at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester, Hickey said.

“The three crew members that treated him as well as the entire engine company from Manchester Fire that treated him, we’re all now being prophylacticly treated for bacterial meningitis,” Hickey said, “Krokodil is as bad as you’re going to get.”

From Jan. 1 to current date, the Medical Examiner’s Office says there have been 132 opioid deaths in New Hampshire.

We will have an update on Krokodil in the Granite State Thursday at 10 on NH1 News on WBIN-TV.


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