Flakka, or alpha-PVP is part of a new wave of research chemicals, or synthetic cathinones like K2, spice and other assorted bath salts that have been taking the country by storm. The epidemic is especially bad in certain areas like Florida, New York and now the midwest. The drug was first synthesized in the 1960’s but it wasn’t until 2012 that it was reintroduced back into circulation.
Flakka comes in the form of either a white or pink bitter tasting crystal substance that can be smoked, injected, snorted and even vaporized. Vaporizing Flakka can be particularly dangerous as it enters the bloodstream the quickest through this route and can have a severe impact.
The most dangerous aspect to this drug is its volatile nature once consumed. Users have no idea what they are putting into their bodies once consuming the drug. It is primarily manufactured in China where quality control and standards of care are routinely discarded. Still the most frightening prospect of Flakka are the effects on the user when administered.
Its effects of Flakka are eerily reminiscent to the drug PCP – which laced with embalming fluid and has stimulating effects similar to cocaine and methamphetamines. The subject typically displays paranoid and agitated delirium along with bouts of superhuman strength which can escalate into violent behavior. Some of the other effects include:
- Kidney Failure
- Heart Failure
- Violent Outbursts
The drug can even induce kidney failure, stroke and heart attacks by raising the core temperature of the body to dangerous levels. Similar to a car engine redlining that is what your body is dealing with when taking Flakka.
What’s the Appeal?
Authorities say the drug appeals to young college age students and lower income brackets of the population due to the cheap pricetag of Flakka. A hit of Flakka runs about $3.00-$5.00 on the street and internet sites, whereas alternatives like Cocaine have a market price ranging anywhere from $60.00-$100.00 per gram. This makes it more accessible to a wider segment of the population with less disposable income.
The drug has been in headlines recently for a bizarre string of incidents related to zombie like behavior and cannibalism. In 2012 in Miami a man was shot by police after taking the drug and found eating the face of a homeless victim underneath a highway overpass. A similar incident occurred recently this year when a Florida State University 19-year old Sophomore went on a violent rampage stabbing a victim couple inside their garage. The police came to the scene to find the student eating the victim’s face and making guttural animal-like noises. Although Flakka was has not yet been attributed to the attack the incident has all the hallmarks of the drug.
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency has placed a temporary ban on Flakka and several other research chemicals in March of 2014 amidst the wake of violent incidents attributed to its abuse.
Despite the illegal nature of the drug manufacturers are still underway developing other chemicals of similar molecular makeup. This is perhaps the most frustrating feature of bath salts and synthetic cathinones in general. Once one substance is outlawed by law enforcement another one steps in to fill the void. The same effects can be procured by chemists simply by tweaking the chemical structure of the formulas.
Whatever you do stay far away from the long list of research chemicals and synthetic cathinones like K2, Spice and Flakka. There is literally no medicinal value to these drugs and experimenting with them may very well end up costing you your life, or at the very least your freedom.