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quietearth [Celluloid 08.08.12] Italy drama

When I posted the teaser for this tale of a street drug which makes its users grow scales, I was on the fence. With this gorgeous full trailer that depicts a tale of junkie madness, I'm now in love. Reportedly, it has only one actor in the entire film: model Brock Madson.

Translated synopsis:
A powerful drug is sweeping the market: the Krokodil, a heroin substitute, easily synthesizable by anyone and made commonly available medicines. The Krokodil immediate addictive and its effects are devastating: the skin of those who use it begins to peel, then arriving to decompose up to show the bones...

About the drug:
Desomorphine attracted attention in 2010 in Russia due to a catastrophic increase in production, presumably due to its relatively simple synthesis from codeine. The drug is easily made from codeine, iodine and red phosphorus (the same chemical used for making matches). It is done in a process similar to the manufacturing of methamphetamine. When Desomorphine is made this way; however, it is highly impure and contaminated with various toxic and corrosive bi-products. The street name, in Russia, for this homemade Desomorphine, is "krokodil" or crocodile. This is reportedly due to the scale-like appearance of skin, of its users, and the derivative from chlorocodide. Due to the difficulties in procuring heroin- combined with the cheap and easy access to over-the-counter pharmaceutical products containing codeine in Russia, use of "krokodil" has been on the increase. Since the home-made mix is routinely injected immediately with little or no further purification, "krokodil" has become notorious for producing severe tissue damage, phlebitis and gangrene, sometimes even requiring limb amputation in long-term users. The amount of tissue damage is so high that an addict's life expectancy is said to be as low as two to three years.

Abuse of home-made desomorphine was first reported in Middle and eastern Siberia in 2002, but has since spread throughout Russia and the neighboring former Soviet republics.

The Russian authorities already know about the problem, but nothing has been done in the field of public health; a possible solution could be to forbid the selling of codeine pills, or to at least require the possession of a certificate or prescription to buy it; however, the strong opposition of the pharmaceutical industry is making it impossible.

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