Is there any evidence "Krokodil"=desomorphine?

I’ve read a lot of articles and I’m calling the Krokodil mania a moral panic, there I poisoned the well. :slight_smile:

But I am open to changing my position, if there any cite anywhere in any country including Russia where a sample was GCMS’d and came back as yup desomorphine and impurities? What I am saying is that I’m sure junkies in Russia are buying codeine and mixing it with random chemicals and injecting it. I am skeptical they are producing desomorphine, I don’t know what if anything they are producing. Trying to find an exact kitchen sink synthesis they use is pointless, it doesn’t exist. You can find the synthesis for desomorphine on wikipedia, BUT it can’t be done on a stove top and doesn’t mesh with the stated ingredients the Russian Krokodil users are claimed to be using.

Whats wrong with the info here ?

There’s a reference for the Russian chemical analysis, which makes sense since the process it a crude de-methylisation of codeine.

What does it matter if it’s Desomorphine or not? The facts which seem to pretty well established are:

  1. they’re cooking something that gives an addictive high so powerful that they don’t seem to mind or care when their limbs start rotting.

  2. as a side effect of what they cook, limbs start rotting in horrible ways.

Both of those are what causes the panic, whether it’s Desomorphine or not is irrelevant.

Analytical chemist here, and my understanding is that the issue isn’t so much the active pharmaceutical ingredient so much as contaminants (reaction by-products and solvents used in extraction/post-reaction cleanup) that cause the hideous necrotic side effects.

[Nitpick]Also, GCMS only works for volatile components. Many, if not most compounds are more amenable to LCMS.[/nitpick]

Organic chemist, and that’s how I’m reading it as well. They’re using nasty chemicals (I wouldn’t want to use iodine and red phosphorous, especially not as the last synthetic step) to do the job without worrying about purifying the material or acceptable solvents or solvent levels. The morphine family contains some pretty nasty drugs in terms of addiction and side effects but the necrotic effects is all the crap. I just assume there’s no profit in trying to make a safer version of your illegal product.