Doctors and police are warning the public about a dangerous synthetic drug called Flakka, which is gaining popularity on the streets of South Florida.
Flakka is a synthetic street drug mixed with bath salts that causes hallucinations, anxiety, psychosis, and paranoia.
A 50-year-old man named James West, high on Flakka, was caught on surveillance camera kicking the glass doors of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department in. Police said West was hallucinating and thought 25 cars were chasing him down Broward Boulevard.
Dr. Nabil El Sanadi said, “we are actually seeing a lot more patients coming in hallucinating. Very fast heart rate, high body temperature, with almost super human strength.”
Dr. Sanadi said the drug can be snorted, smoked, or ingested for a cheap high that results in a “bad reaction.”
“The brain tells them that there’s something going on when there may be nothing going on,” explains Dr. Sanadi.
Other side effects from Flakka are permanent effects on the brain or heart leading to a heart attack or stroke. It can also lead to kidney failure, and a potential lifetime need for dialysis.
Emergency room doctors say many victims do not even know what’s actually in the drug they’re taking.
Flakka, also knows as “gravel” can be mixed with methamphetamine, other drugs, and is a bath salt synthetic stimulant that can be purchased online, and resold by drug dealers.
According to the United Way of Broward County’s Commission of Substance Abuse, around 126 people died from using Flakka in Florida in 2013.
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