One of the most dangerous man-made drugs selling on the streets of many U.S states is called flakka.
This synthetic drug is known as the “5$ insanity drug” and is usually sold in crystal form.
Experts warn of its dangers, especially since flakka is responsible for the deaths of 18 people in Florida.
The scientific name of flakka is alpha-Pryrrolidinopentiophenone and some believe it was brought from countries like China, India and Pakistan.
The new synthetic drug flakka, like bath salts, is believed to be more dangerous a drug than cocaine.
The word flakka is Spanish for “thin woman” and according to the officials who are handling the case, the drug is odorless and users snort, inject, ingest or put it in e-cigarettes.
According to the experts, the drug is extremely addictive and its effect can last from 3-4 hours to several days.
The effects of flakka are very dangerous, including severe paranoia, hallucinations and agitation.
An expert in epidemiology from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, explained that flakka is actually more of a poison than a drug.
The expert added that with this new synthetic drug the line between getting high and getting killed is very thin.
The drug is known to be sold over the internet, at gas stations and street dealers, and a dose costs between $3 to $5.
Jeffrey Bernstein, a researcher at the Florida Poison Information Centre, explained the effects of the new drug flakka saying that users who take it are experiencing feelings of intense euphoria as well as delirium.
According to Bernstein, flakka modifies the brain chemicals responsible for this states, serotonin and dopamine.
The physical side effects of flakka are extremely dangerous: high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and even seizures.
But the most dangerous effect caused by this new synthetic drug is hyperthermia where the body can reach temperatures of up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bernstein said that at this extremely high body temperature, a person can start to bleed internally. This happens because blood loses its ability to clot. When this happens, a person experiences organ failure, the kidneys, lungs, liver and brain are severely injured.
According to recent reports released by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the cases involving the flakka drug have been increasing over the past years.
While in 2010 there were no cases reported, in 2012 there were 85 cases and in 2014, more than 670 reported cases.
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