A new deadly designer drug Flakka, also called “five-dollar insanity”, has been spreading across Florida. The drug gives users super-human strength as it sends the person into an adrenaline-fueled state.
WESH reports that Flakka is an inexpensive drug, a hit costing less than $10, that leaves users wanting more. It appears to be a cross between crack cocaine and meth that can be snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed. Flakka is made from the chemical alpha-PVP, which is the same type of chemical used to make bath salts. Narcotics detectives say that the drug has a distinctive smell that is quite foul. The smell is best described as a “sweaty sock.”
Users taking the designer drug may experience a high that includes a feeling of euphoria, hallucinations and sometimes psychosis. The user may also appear to have superhuman strength as they get an extremely high adrenaline rush. According to the Daily Mail, police officers say that it often takes four or five police officers to subdue a Flakka user who is high.
“The individual becomes psychotic, they often rip off their clothes and run out into the street violently and have an adrenaline-like strength and police are called and it takes four or five officers to restrain them. Then once they are restrained, if they don’t receive immediate medical attention they can die.”
Death from Flakka can occur due to a syndrome referred to as “excited delirium” that causes hyperthermia. When using Flakka, the body can go into a state of hyperthermia, which can cause the body to reach temperatures of 105 degrees. If the user does not receive medical care promptly, they can die. In addition to death by hyperthermia, Flakka users may also die while doing dangerous activities while high.
CBS reported on an incident involving the designer five-dollar insanity drug in which a man impaled himself on a fence post. The man was attempted to scale a fence at the police department when he impaled himself while using the drug. Police say that the impaling incident wasn’t the first in which a Flakka user was attempting to get to the police station. One user tried to break down the police station door while high on the drug. In another incident, a naked man with a gun was found standing on a roof in Lake Worth, Florida, while screaming he was hallucinating.
Narcotics officers say that there is another dangerous trend with Flakka use called “snacking” that is incredibly dangerous. “Snacking” is the process of taking additional flakka while already high. This can lead to psychosis and a host of health complications in the user.
Despite the serious health complications of using the drug, Flakka is expanding rapidly in Florida. There were zero cases of the drug in 2010, only 85 in 2012, but 670 in 2014.
Have you heard of the new designer drug Flakka?
[Image Credit: DEA]