The synthetic drug problem in Florida continues to gain steam, with the surge of Flakka (alpha-PVP) use being responsible for 18 deaths in South Florida, The New York Times reports. While the drug is similar to its cousin MDPV (aka bath salts), Flakka seems to give its users heightened strength and dangerous paranoid hallucinations.
“I have never seen such a rash of cases, all associated with the same substance,” said James N. Hall, an epidemiologist at Nova Southeastern University. “It’s probably the worst I have seen since the peak of crack cocaine. Rather than a drug, it’s really a poison.”
Alpha-PVP has become increasingly prevalent throughout the southern United States in the last few months, and has been tied to a number of incidents – as well as a rise in fatalities. South Florida appears to have been hit the hardest by this new cheap and dangerous drug. A single dose goes for $5, and gives users an amphetamine-like experience and hallucinations, according to the article.
Despite bans on similar synthetic drug formulations that resulted in users experiencing a number violent outcomes, synthetic drug manufacturers continue to alter the chemical compositions in order to evade authorities. Such drugs are produced inexpensively in China with hardly any oversight or testing before they are distributed throughout the world. U.S. law enforcement are working with Chinese officials to outlaw such drugs in China, according to the report.
“Our supposition is that the original concept was to design it so it would be technically not illegal,” Mr. Hall said. “It appears they are now looking to also design the molecule to be even more potent and more addictive. Addiction is good for sales.”
Not only are these types of drugs both illegal and highly addictive, they can cause bodily harm. Users who use too much can experience increased body temperature up to 105 degrees, some users have even experienced kidney failure.
Please watch a short video about Flakka:
Synthetic drugs often appeal to young adults and teenagers because they can be found with ease over the Internet. If you are struggling with synthetic drug addiction, please do not hesitate to reach out to Synergy Group Services for help.