Today, people who are looking to get high in Florida are less interested in cocaine - their sights are focused on synthetic drugs. In recent months Florida officials have been battling a synthetic drug craze sweeping through South Florida. All the latest cases involving the drug alpha-PVP, better known as “flakka” or “gravel,” a cheap and powerful drug being shipped in the mail from China, Reuters reports.
Flakka is quite similar to its cousin compound MDPV, commonly referred to as bath salts. Both alpha-PVP and MDPV cause unpredictable side effects, and the use of these types of synthetic drugs have resulted in fatalities in a number of states. Until last year no one had even heard of flakka, but by early May of this year Florida officials had recorded more than 275 incidents, according to the article. A few other major cities across the country have had limited incidents of flakka use, but nothing compared to what's happening in South Florida.
“Cocaine was king, until this year,” said Detective William Schwartz, a narcotics officer with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Broward County alone recorded 190 incidents involving the alpha-PVP last year. Flakka can be purchased for $5 a vial and is reported to be highly addictive.
Symptoms of flakka use can include:
- Bizarre Behavior
- Delusions of Superhuman Strength