In the deep south, particularly southern Florida to be exact, there is a new drug epidemic that is threatening to encompass the rest of the United States. It cannot be said that it is unlike any other drug; but rather that it is too much like other drugs. Users describe the high similar to that of amphetamines, yet with lows that remind them of opiates. In small doses the drug generates dopamine in the brain in recklessly high levels that are characteristically reminiscent of cocaine. In higher doses the drug sends the user into a psychosis comparable to bath salts or even PCP with aggressive attributes, homicidal behaviors, resistance to authority, especially police, and the inability to control physical conduct. This drug is known as flakka, and it could be coming to a city near you.
What Is Flakka Made Out Of?
Flakka is similar to the drug that was most recently of high concern to the DEA, which was called bath salts. One of the active ingredients in bath salts was alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone, or alpha-PVP. This is a stimulant substance that was developed in the 1960’s. This is the main active agent in flakka. The problem is that alpha-PVP was not declared a controlled substance, and therefore, not regulated until January of 2014. When it was finally announced as officially dangerous, it was done so as an emergency declaration by the Justice Department. By this time, however, it was too late, and the likelihood that a substantial amount of the substance has made it into the United States is very probable. Fresh alpha-PVP is created in other countries overseas in pharmaceutical plants and imported all across the world. Additionally, the problem with these synthetic drugs that are produced in labs is that no one knows just what exactly is added into them, nor do they know the potency of these substances or what the amounts of each ingredient is. Putting any amount of these drugs into one’s body is like playing a chemical game of russian roulette.
Who Is Likely To Use Flakka And Why?
The trend of flakka users, according to police officers who are engaging with hostile aggressive users and arresting those who are found under the influence, are low-income individuals of all genders and races who typically have a past history of drug abuse. They are primarily youth or young adults. More individuals are turning to the drug not just because of the high that it induces, but also because it is a cheaper high; it is sometimes cheaper than crack, and an eighth of an ounce is up to three hundred dollars cheaper on average than the same amount of methamphetamine. A standard flakka high can generally be achieved for about five dollars per person. Geographically speaking, flakka users can be found in southern Florida: intensely in Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County; however, there have been cases of flakka popping up elsewhere including in Ironton, Ohio. The more time this drug has to roam around the country, the more time it will have to introduce itself into the lives of innocent individuals who were never looking for something to ruin their lives.
One of the most dangerous aspects about flakka is that it has not been studied on humans at all, which means that there is no evidence indicating what long-term effects prolonged abuse could have on the body. There is not even enough scientific proof to state whether or not an individual who abuses flakka could become physically addicted to the drug, or just psychologically addicted. There are so many risks to abusing this drug; however, the main risk is the risk of the unknown. The only weapon we have at our disposal is knowledge. Educating ourselves, our loved ones, and especially our youth, about this monster is critical to prevent it from entering our lives so that if, and when, it is offered we will all be smart enough to say no.