INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - A deadly overseas drug-cocktail is now threatening to spread across the U.S.
Officials believe the drug known as Krokodil claimed its first lives in this country in a small town in Oklahoma.
But even before that news broke, 24-Hour News 8 reporter Daniel Miller talked to Indiana health officials about their concerns. They said they are worried because the heroin-like drug has turned up in the Northwest part of the state. They believe the two patients got the drug in South Chicago. Officials said this drug eats flesh and in some cases rapidly leads to death.
"I think it's scary. I think it's very scary," said Dr. James Mowry, Director of the Indiana Poison Center.
The heroin-like drug, once only found in Russia, has made it to the U.S.
"It's very potent. It's about eight to ten times more potent than morphine is- very short acting. You only get a high that lasts for an hour to an hour and a half. Then, you start withdrawing and you want to do it more often," Dr. Mowry said.
But that's not the only reason Dr. Mowry is concerned. He said people who use Krokodil face serious infections and it rots the skin from the inside out causing gangrene.
"As a consequence, people once they become addicted, have a very short life expectancy, usually less than two years," Dr. Mowry said.
Cases of Krokodil have already turned up in Arizona, in Joliet, Illinois and now possibly in Oklahoma.
"People that abuse heroin, it could get in the suburbs area because heroin is just not a drug of the inner-city anymore," said Dr. Mowry.
Dr. Mowry said if this drug gets in the wrong hands it could be dangerous for the community.
"We'd have serious morbidity. You'd have a lot of infections that you could see," he said.
Dr. Mowry said the infections are not contagious, but extremely dangerous.
"By the time we hear about it, the damage is already occurred and all we can do is sort of treat whatever damage has occurred," Dr. Mowry said.
Dr. Mowry said they have received calls on two reported cases in Northwest Indiana. Those calls were from a hospital asking the poison control center what they should do. He said it's all on a case-by-case basis.
A winter storm warning is in effect for most of Central Indiana.
It's very rare that a single person can reach across national, racial, and spiritual borders to bring such hope and healing.
Dispatchers with Indiana State Police say a vehicle left the roadway Thursday night off of Interstate 69.