Krokodil: The Zombie Apocalypse

I make no apologies that I have become a huge fan of The Walking Dead TV series.  I find the acting to be superb, the writing even more so.  It is a wonderful metaphor on situational ethics and morality.

That said, I have no desire to live in the era of the Zombie Apocalypse.  But that might soon be unrequited.  The homebased created Krokodil drug has arrived to America.

This drug is rampant in Russia where it is estimated that up to a million users are addicted at last count in 2010.  The drug a concoction of readily available ingredients including gasoline and iodine gives a brief 90 minute high comparable to the high that Heroin gives.  Heroin fixes however last several hours.

The consequences of the drug is not the high it gives but the literal zombification of the flesh rotting away from the body from the inside out.  Krocodil gets its name from the  thick scaly, greenish effect it causes to the skin.  The flesh rots off exposing bone while the person is living. This is the Zombie Apocalypse.

Kicking the habit of Krokodil is excruciating.  Heroin users can detox within 5-10 days, but Krokodil users need 30 days or more before the pain from detoxing subsides. They need to be given heavy tranquilizers and pain killers because the pain is beyond imagination. This fact alone is going to upend our Insurance industry mandate of 28 day stays at rehab facilities.  The user will still be in excruciating pain when discharged. The users are dead within the year without intense medical intervention.

Now if this doesn’t make you to stand up and take notice, here is one more fact about this drug in Russia.  “It is the drug for the poor.”  Heroin has become so expensive in Russia upwards of $120 per dose that the poor are resorting to creating Krokodil for about $4.

Given the linear thinking of our politicians, there will be increased regulations on purchasing codeine products in this country. This is the response we created to address methamphetamine use, another homebased, highly addictive, destructive drug epidemic. Krokodil makes methamphetamine seem like the cold medicine it was created from.

Just as our response to meth didn’t curb its production, a similar response of increased regulations on codeine isn’t going to work.  We need leadership to address not the symptom of this problem, the creation of the drug Krokodile but the cause of this drug’s creation; poverty.

Our politicians have been driven to create an ever widening gap between the uber rich and the middle class in this nation.  More and more people in the middle class are slipping into poverty.  If the middle class are slipping into poverty where are the people in poverty slipping into?  If this country continues on the course of removing the safety net that millions of Americans are forced to fall into, drug use like Meth and Krokodile will continue to rise in this country.

Drugs become the only thing that supplants the pain that poverty causes because once addicted, the person no longer feels the pain of poverty, they only feel the rollercoaster of a momentary high and then the crash and burn.  The ability to feel alive, bliss, not a care in the world, even for a moment becomes the ultimate quest.

We need to stem the threat Krokodil is in our nation, but not through the usual means. We need to give our people reasons to stay away from recreational addictive substances, legal and illegal.  How about providing living wages enabling workers to not simply survive paycheck to paycheck with no ability to enjoy the fruits of their labor save for a drunken weekend or a hit of crack?  How about reducing the cost of student loans so that our young people do not graduate with a $100K plus mortgage payment that they need to begin repaying within 9 months? How about creating jobs instead of sequestering the Federal government which lost 750K jobs this year?  How about our politicians stop their nonsense in DC with reading Dr. Seuss books that they don’t even understand and actually work together to find solutions to our problems as a nation?

One of the metaphors of the Walking Dead that I appreciate is the realization that the real Zombies in this show are not the people who are the undead, but the living who have lost all sense of who they are, they live each day simply trying to make it to the next day any way they can.  This show helps me appreciate the life that I have, more importantly the show helps me realize that I have a purpose and a destiny in this brief lifetime.  But I don’t want to see my nation continue in this path where we are all infected with the Zombie apocalypse and it is just a matter of time before what is on the inside is revealed on the outside.  Krokodil.