It’s sometimes called the “Insanity Drug.” In Florida, one man under the influence of flakka assaulted an officer with his own police badge and took multiple taser hits before being restrained. The officer had intervened because the man was sexually assaulting a tree. It’s called Flakka and it is the chemical cousin to bath salts, as well as the heir to the throne of sensational headline-making crazy drugs previousy occupied by bath salts.
Flakka is mostly local to Florida at the moment. It causes agitation, psychosis, paranoia, and hallucinations. Individual results are unpredictable because the human body reacts to it differently based on the individual’s own body chemistry. Another man in Florida recently tried to break into the local police station to avoid a mob brought on by hallucinations. Another accidentally shot and killed his friend.
The primary active ingredient in flakka is alpha-PVP, a synthetic compound made mostly in China and designed to imitate an organic class of drugs known as cathiones, which are found naturally in the khat plant, which has been used casually in some areas of East Africa and the Middle East for generations.
The drug is becoming an epidemic, program director of Pathway to Hope treatment center in Fort Lauderdale. “It’s super cheap and it’s very, very potent,” Sarrecchia told VICE. “I just heard dealers are selling two-dollar hits. Some dealers are giving away free hits to people who never tried it.”
It’s also becoming the new drug of choice for addicts of other drugs. “There’s one girl who was on crack for 20 years and after one full day of doing flakka, she said she was done with crack,” Sarrecchia said.