A new type of narcotic drug called as Flakka known for sending users into psychotic outbursts and violent behaviour to others.
Flakka(alpha-PVP), also known as the “zombie drug” for the effect it has on users, or “gravel” due to its appearance. A dangerous drug that is similar to the street drug cathinone, commonly known as “bath salts”. Flakka is typically white or pink in colour and is in crystal form. It can be eaten, snorted, injected or inhaled in e-cigarettes. Flakka can cause paranoia and hallucinations that may lead to violent aggression and self-injury. Overdose and death have been linked to the use of this drug.
Related to a naturally occurring stimulant found in the kat plant, which has similar effects to cocaine, MDMA and amphetamines. Their effects can include increased energy and alertness, elevated moods and sociability. The term “bath salts” comes from how the products were marketed in stores and online before and after they were outlawed – as innocuous household products rather than psychoactive drugs.
Initially, “bath salts” mainly consisted of methylenedioxypyrovalerone, but today it could refer to any synthetic cathinones.
Flakka made headlines around the world when it was linked to two rampages in Florida in which users chewed on victims’ faces.
The FBI later ruled that other drugs were to blame, but flakka was linked to 63 deaths in Fort Lauderdale within 16 months.
Flakka and cathinone can cause “excited delirium”, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse in the US.
“Some people lose their memories, they can hallucinate, they can get paranoid, nervous – they get to a point where they cannot control themselves and they become more dangerous toward other people,” says an official from the institute.
The drug’s dominant chemical is alpha-PVP, which “can cause a condition called ‘excited delirium’ that involves hyper stimulation, paranoia and hallucinations that can lead to violent aggression and self-injury”, the US institute said.
“The drug has been linked to deaths by suicide and heart attack. It can also dangerously raise body temperature and lead to kidney damage or kidney failure.”
The synthetic cathinone drug is commonly referred to as “bath salts,” because of its appearance.
It “takes the form of a white or pink, foul-smelling crystal that can be eaten, snorted, injected or vaporised in an e-cigarette or similar device,” the institute said.
“Vaporising, which sends the drug very quickly into the bloodstream, may make it particularly easy to overdose.”