Flakka is a new designer drug, increasingly popular amongst users in Florida, Texas and Ohio. As it is quite new, it hasn’t been banned yet. Flakka is mostly made out of synthetic amphetamine like cathiones which can also be found in bath salts.
This 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.
The drug’s effects wear off after about 3 or 4 hours.
Flakka is known to cause “excited delirium” which includes the following symptoms: the user believes to have superhuman strength, develops paranoia, sees hallucinations, sweats profusely and is full of energy.
The media has already reported a few Flakka cases like the one in Florida where a man tried to knock down the police station door. Another man tried to climb up a fence around the police station but failed and ended up impaling himself. In Lake Worth, an armed man stripped himself of all his clothes and climbed on a rooftop. He then started to scream: “I feel delusional, and I’m hallucinating!”.
Although this drug promises incredible highs, it can be very dangerous as it can act as a re-uptake inhibitor of dopamine and norepinephrine, hormones involved in nerve transmission. Flakka inhibits the body’s capacity to re-uptake the two hormones which leads to high levels of dopamine and serotonin in the body. This is when “excited delirium” occurs.
As one reaches this hyperactive level, his or her body temperature starts to rise, reaching even 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Having such an elevated temperature puts stress on the kidneys which can lead to them failing.
Other effects caused by this drug include anxiety, paranoia, and delusions that can put the user in a psychotic state, which is described by Dr. Robert Glatter as “a surge of violence associated with increased strength and loss of awareness of reality and surroundings”.
According to a report conducted by the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), this new drug wasn’t known up until 2010. While in 2010 there were no Flakka cases reported, in 2012, the number rose to 85 and by 2014 it reached 670 cases.
Image Source: HNGN
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