There's a new drug on the streets, and it's causing people to do unexpected and sometimes bizarre things. The drug goes by the name "Flakka," and it's getting more and more news coverage from the outrageous crimes people commit while they're high.
Street Drug Flakka and Bizarre Behavior
Some of the news stories involving Flakka are truly bizarre. In one Florida case, a man was arrested running naked through his neighborhood. He had attempted to have sex with a tree, and he told police that he was the mythical god Thor.
In Fort Lauderdale, two other men tried to break into the police department on two separate occasions. In Lake Worth, a man stood naked on his rooftop with a gun, yelling "I feel delusional and I'm hallucinating."
These are odd stories that some news outlets are treating as punchlines. Other stories are more tragic, however. In Florida, a man high on Flakka attacked an 86-year-old woman.
The Truth about Flakka
Flakka is a newer drug, becoming recognized by the DEA in 2012. It's a synthetic drug made from a chemical called alpha-PVP. It offers an extremely strong high, even more potent than crack cocaine or crystal meth.
Flakka works by flooding the brain with dopamine, while at the same time blocking neurotransmitters. The high that this creates can last up to four hours, but its effects will linger for days.
The Tragic Side Effects of Flakka
Flakka has very bizarre side effects. “We’re starting to see a rash of cases of a syndrome referred to as excited delirium... This is where the body goes into hyperthermia, generally a temperature of 105 degrees," said Jim Hall, an epidemiologist at the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities at Nova Southeastern University.
"The individual becomes psychotic," Hall continued. "Then once they are restrained, if they don’t receive immediate medical attention they can die.”
In Florida, were Flakka is popular, it's leading to death. In 2013, Flakka was involved in 126 deaths in Florida alone. If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction to Flakka, remember that rehab can help.