Forget bath salts! Flakka is the new drug of choice in Florida and it’s side effects are downright terrifying. Given that the drug causes users to believe they have superhuman strength and induces paranoid delusions, you won’t be surprised to hear that the designer drug is starting to make crime headlines. (As if Florida needed anything to make it weirder.) Brace yourself. We did some investigating about the deadly drug and here’s what we found out:
1) What is Flakka?
Flakka, also known as gravel, is made from chemical alpha-PVP, which is a synthetic version of the stimulant cathinone. Cathinones are derived from the khat plant, which grows in the Middle East and Somalia. If those ingredients sound familiar, it’s because they are used in bath salts. The drug is so cheap it earned the nickname “$5 insanity.”
2) How is Flakka ingested?
Flakka can be taken a number of ways, including injection, snorting, smoking or swallowing.
3) How widespread is Flakka and when did it become so popular?
The rise of flakka use is staggering. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, there were 670 cases reported in 2014, up from zero cases in 2010 and 85 cases in 2012. Um, that’s an increase of almost 700%! The drug is particularly prevalent in southern Florida. Why? Because it’s Florida.
4) What are the common side-effects of Flakka?
The drug can be as potent as crystal meth, bath salts and cocaine. Flakka users can become erratic, uncontrollable and dangerous.The individual become psychotic, while the body goes into hypothermia and can reach up to 105 degrees.The extreme effects on the body means four or five police officers are needed to restrain a flakka user. Once the user is subdued they must be immediately taken to the hospital or risk dying.
5) What are the criminal implications of Flakka?
Police are seeing the spread of “excited delirium” among drug users. The combination of psychotic behavior and increased body tempature often causes people to rip of their clothes and run violently. Lt. Dan Zsido of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office sums up the severity of the drug, stating:
“On a scale of one to 10, Flakka is a 12.”
Numerous flakka-induced crimes are sweeping southern Florida, as individuals believe they have unlimited strength and often fear that they are being chased by supernatural forces. Just last week we heard of a Florida man, who was high on the drug, arrested for running through traffic in an attempt to escape imaginary killers. Another man even tried to break into police headquarters in Fort Lauderdale while under the influence of flakka.
Well, there you have it. Thanks to flakka, the Zombie Apocalypse is nigh.
Read more: Business Insider
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