A synthetic stimulant known as “Flakka” appears to be making inroads beyond its original emergence last year in South Florida, and anti-drug leaders are concerned because its use has been linked to numerous incidents of bizarre behavior in the Fort Lauderdale area.
The cathinone has effects similar to those associated with Molly and Ecstasy, and has become popular with some young people and available at a low cost. Its active ingredient is believed to cause a state of “excited delirium” in which individuals' body temperature can soar. Flakka emerged in South Florida but its use has now been reported in Texas and Ohio as well.
“The biggest danger is these are guinea pig drugs and the users are like lab rats,” James Hall, co-director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Substance Abuse at Nova Southeastern University, said in an NBC News report.
Flakka goes by the name “gravel” on the street. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has placed the drug on its watch list; it is not a banned substance at this time.
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