krokodil in the usAlthough both Arizona and Illinois have reported a number of causes in each state, the DEA is refusing to acknowledge that there is now Krokodil in the US.

“We, the DEA, are not seeing cases of it,” agency spokeswoman Dawn Dearden told  “Nothing’s been turned into any of our labs.  As far as the DEA is concerned, we have not seen any cases.”

Obviously, as a government agency, there needs to be some evidence of the narcotic compound in order to say that it is present, but such evidence exists.  It simply has not been investigated through the agency’s labs.

Some might want to blame the government shutdown for this lack of interest, but both incidents happened before the shutdown took place.

Recreational marijuana laws passing in Colorado and Washington, with more to follow in the near future, are showing the DEA to be a decreasing influence on policy.  Each day, more and more people around the world are realizing that addiction is not a moral issue, but a public health issue.

That is where the DEA is showing its weakness.  Not investigating cases reported by qualified and notable specialists in addiction and medical doctors is a poor way to manage drug policy, as it puts the emphasis on bureaucracy rather than medical expertise.

In nearly any application, the fundamental step towards stopping a problem is recognizing that such a problem exists in the first place.  With Krokodil in the US now fairly certain, it does little good to deny an inevitable problem the DEA has seen on the horizon for some time now.  Even a tentative acknowledgement would have been preferable to the seeming head-in-the-sand that has proven ineffective in the past.

The reality is that people know.  Regardless of whether a regulatory agency declares it so or not is irrelevant.  When the problem is in your house and on your streets, it makes little difference whether it is formally recognized or not.  With something as unnerving as Krokodil in the US, it is not a stretch to want a different approach to new drugs than an ineffective one used in past decades.

What if there really is no Krokodil in the US yet?  That is why we rely on the expertise of professionals.  If these were simply media reports or hearsay from those without the necessary experience, that would be one thing.  However, these experts have been cautioned by law enforcement agencies and other government entities that such drugs exist, and they have the background to eliminate other possible causes of the symptoms.  That is why we hire such people in the first place.

Although there are practical reasons for it, and although the DEA should not incite panic, there comes a time when the excuse of ignorance is over.  Now that Krokodil in the US has finally become a reality, it does the public and the agency little good to prolong identification of the problem any further than it has to be.

What do you think? Should the DEA take the cautious route, or proactively try to identify whether the claims are true? Let us know in the comments section!