A new designer drug is getting increasingly popular in Florida and causing people to undergo even more extreme highs than bath salts or crystal meth.
The new designer drug called Flakka is mostly made out of synthetic amphetamine like cathiones which can also be found in bath salts. The drug can be acquired in a crystalline-form just like methamphetamines. There are various ways to take this drug – by swallowing, injecting or smoking it. The most common method is to smoke it using an e-cigarette. This way, one can use it in public without looking suspicious.
According to the medical experts, the drug can cause ‘excited delirium’ in which body temperature can rise to as high as 105 degrees, before highly unusual behavior is observed. Excited delirium causes the person to believe that he/she has superhuman strength, paranoia, hallucinations, profuse sweating and hyper-energy. The drug’s effects wear off after about 3 or 4 hours.
Brains exposed to flakka release large quantities of the hormone dopamine, which assists in control of the reward and pleasure centers of the brain. After the chemical is released from nerves, the drug blocks the center, preventing the re-uptake of the hormone, which would normally regulate the process.
Jim Hall, an epidemiologist at the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities at Nova Southeastern University, said, “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.”
Authorities have stated that they believe that the substance is manufactured in China and then somehow smuggled into USA. It is sold under the name of gravel, because it looks like that.
Lt. Dan Zsido of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, said, “On a scale of one to 10, Flakka is a 12. It comes from a place where we don’t know how it’s being made, who’s making it, and what’s been added to it before it reaches the end user so it’s very dangerous.”