Designer drugs that become popular on the streets can be extremely dangerous since most users are not familiar with the effects. A new synthetic drug called flakka has been luring young Americans into risky experimentation as its effects are much more potent and addictive than its predecessors.
Flakka is also known as "gravel" because it is made as white crystal chunks but it is also sometimes called "5 dollar insanity". The reason for the last nickname is due to the intense effects of the drug which raises a person's body temperature to dangerous levels, gives them paranoid hallucinations and makes them incredibly strong.
Flakka is a stimulant, part of a chemical class called cathinones with amphetamine-like effects akin to Molly and Ecstasy. The drug is much more powerful than many stimulants, however, and has led users to exhibit some very bizarre behavior.
Effect of the Insanity Drug
With flakka on the rise in the U.S., more users have been witnessed acting strangely because of the effects of the drug. In Florida a man who had smoked flakka ran naked through the streets, claiming people had stolen his clothes.
Another man on flakka impaled himself on a spiked fence outside of a police station and remarkable survived. Another flakka user thought he was being chased by dozens of cars and tried to kick in the door of a police station.
An agent of the DEA says that flakka is actually a combination of a stimulant and a hallucinogen making it a kind of cross between methamphetamine and PCP that absolutely destroys the human body. The drug is also extremely cheap, another reason it is called $5 insanity. Flakka is similar to bath salts which were cooked up in secret labs in China and India and were also known to cause very bizarre behavior.
Risks of Using Flakka
Flakka can be taken in several different ways with users smoking, snorting, injecting, vaporizing and even eating the drug. Police are worried about kids using technology like e-cigarettes to vaporize dangerous drugs like flakka or cheap heroin.
They also state that using a drug like flakka is like playing Russian roulette as the drug can be very deadly in many cases. People are finding this drug through street dealers or are able to buy it online where it can be shipped to the U.S. Flakka was created to simulate the effects of the khat plant which grows in Somalia and the Middle East.
The drug can raise body temperatures to 105 degrees and also create heart problems like tachycardia and kidney failure. Users of the drug experience an intense high but many become sick, go crazy, develop an addiction or even die.
Many people taking this drug are completely unaware of the effects and may be convinced they are taking something else since it also sold with the name "Molly". Users may believe they are buying the pure version of MDMA which is also known as "Molly" but is not nearly as potent as flakka.
Another reason flakka can be extremely dangerous to users is that they may not know the correct dose to take. A very small amount of the drug can deliver the high effect giving users energy and euphoria but any more than that and people can be risking their lives.
Flakka emerged in South Florida last year and is named after the Spanish word "flaca" meaning skinny woman. The drug has also been seen in parts of Texas and Ohio but has not yet been regulated or made illegal in many states. Synthetic designer drugs like flakka have devastating consequences on users who are putting their lives at stake.