Broward County Takes Flakka Head-On With New Proposal
Broward County has a new public enemy #1 and it goes by the unassuming name of flakka. The drug has inauspicious and modest beginnings with only one solitary case of overdose reported back in 2011 to the meteoric rise it’s seen since with 477 cases reported in 2014. No other state comes close to holding a candle to the amount of overdoses from flakka, with Broward County decimating the competition.
Inexpensive and Potent: A Deadly Mix
Broward’s influx of flakka has gotten so prodigious and out of hand that they’ve even enlisted the help of an expert to serve as consultant on the matter. Jim Hall, an epidemiologist at Nova Southeastern University, has been a prominent fixture and contributor on countless articles on flakka in the past year, with some of his work published in Time magazine and The New York Times. In these exposes, Hall details the destruction and terror associated with users psychotic episodes and dissociative symptoms while under its sinister influence.
In his piece featured in the New York Times, Hall makes the analogy of Flakka to the epidemic of when Crack first started to make waves in the late 80’s, likening it to a deadly poison.
The hallmark symptoms of a flakka induced psychotic episode are bouts of superhuman strength, hallucinations and aggression with reports of multiple law enforcement officers needed to subdue the abusers. Body temperatures spike, causing what’s being termed as an “excited delirium” a nightmare situation involving immediate hospitalization with death likely imminent. What’s more is the legality and as a corollary its accessibility to anyone and at a price point that makes it even more enticing to young users at around $5.00 a hit.
Addiction is Imminent
The compounds that formulate flakka are designed by chemists with the intent of creating a high that is extremely addictive. Flakka is an extension of the ever-growing problem of synthetic designer drugs like bath salts that are manufactured with the express purpose of hooking the user and bypassing any legal implications. When authorities isolate the molecular structure of the designer drugs they then ban that substance and identify it as a schedule 1 controlled substance making it illegal. The chemists manufacturing these drugs then circumvent these laws by creating a new, virtually identical drug that mimics the now outlawed version previous. These minor tweaks in the chemical structure essentially create the same high but without technically breaking any laws. The implications of this are unsettling in that there is seemingly no end in sight from the assembly line production of these poisons on a mass scale.
Broward fights back
As flakka inundates the streets of Hollywood and surrounding cities, Broward County is positioning itself to counteract its dastardly presence with new legislation aimed at eradicating the drug. In early January, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi proposed the passage of the 2016 Florida Designer Drugs Enforcement Act, which bans synthetic cathinones, synthetic opioids and synthetic cannabinoids. The law could potentially cover as many as 1,000 different chemical compounds, an unprecedented move in the war against flakka.
Flakka is now expanding its tentacles into areas outside of Broward County with other cases being reported in other metropolis areas like Chicago. Regardless of what region you reside in flakka abuse is more prevalent and available than ever before. If you’re facing a personal struggle with addiction, or if you’re looking for care for a loved one who is, you don’t have to go it alone. The specialists at Addiction Hopeline can help, and we’re here 24/7. Call anytime: 1-877-721-7719