Krokodil, Russian for 'crocodile,' is a street drug used as a cheap substitute for heroin. This photo is courtesy WCPO sister station ABC15 in Phoenix. Courtesy ABC15
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Ohio sheriff warns of danger of synthetic drug

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ATHENS, Ohio -- The sheriff in a southeastern Ohio college town says a new synthetic drug is so dangerous that he's promised not to press charges against people if they'll just turn it in.

Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly says the heroin-like synthetic drug known as "krokodil" has shown up in the town that is home to Ohio University.

Kelly said the drug appeared there after a woman bought what she thought was heroin in Columbus. The drug can cause brain damage and side effects that include scaly, greenish skin.

The drug is made by mixing codeine tablets with household chemicals and gasoline, paint thinner or lighter fluid.

The Columbus Dispatch says the reports from Athens and the Columbus area are the first of krokodil showing up in Ohio.

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