What Is the Drug Flakka?
Found on the internet and common on American street-corners, the new drug Flakka is a manmade hallucinogen also known as alpha-PVP. It causes severe temporary psychosis in some users. It can be smoked, snorted, swallowed, and injected for a high similar to cocaine, and it is cheaper and easier to obtain than many similar drugs on the market. It is also known as the gravel drug because it can come in the form of little white rocks, and the bath salt drug because the chemicals in Flakka resemble those found in bath salts.
How Do You Pronounce It?
Flakka is widely pronounced as “flack-a”.
The Zombie Drug - Australia
Flakka has gained a reputation in the Australian media as the Zombie Drug because the side-effects of paranoia, delirium, and a nightmare-like psychosis have led to some users attempting to bite into the flesh of others.
One such case is Austin Harrouff, 19, from south Florida, who was charged with a double-murder in 2016 after trying to bite the face off one of his victims. It was thought at the time that the violent incident was caused by Flakka. Thankfully, the Flakka drug isn’t as common in Australia as it is in other parts of the world such as America, but it is still seen on the streets.
How Is It Made?
Flakka, or alpha-PVP, is made from a substance known as a synthetic cathinone. Cathinone is a psychoactive chemical that comes from the Khat plant that is common in the Middle East, which is often chewed for an effect like taking amphetamines. Instead of taking the chemical from the plant, manufacturers produce it in a lab to mimic the effect.
What Are Its Side-Effects?
Flakka can be as strong as crystal-meth and cocaine and is highly addictive. Users experience high levels of aggression, psychosis, paranoia, delirium, extreme strength, high heart rates, and spikes in body temperature. The effects are terrifying for not only the user but those around them. Users are often seen running frantically as if being chased, with eyes rolled back in their skulls and stripping in public. Worst of all Flakka has -not surprisingly- resulted in death.
How Does It Compare To Ice And What Does It Cost?
Flakka is both cheaper and easier to get a hold of than more expensive crystal methamphetamines, which makes it worse than Ice. Sohow much is a hit? It’ll set you backless than $10, andit’s estimated tocost under a single dollar to make. One of the reasons it’s so cheap is that you can buy it straight from the supplier without involving street dealers, by shipping it over from China through the internet. Unlike Ice, Flakka doesn’t always show up on some common blood tests which makes it hard to identify, and many people call it the “$5 insanity” because of how cheap and dangerous it is to use.
How Prevalent Is Flakka In Australia?
Over the last few years Flakka has been drug Australia has been afraid of, and with good reason. While Flakka is far more common in America than it is in Australia, there have still been several major scares on Aussie shores. In 2017 police and paramedics in the Gold Coast responded to calls of erratic behaviour that led to 16 people hospitalised from Flakka use over a single 24-hour period. The horrible side effects tend to turn many people away from the drug, but because of the low price tag it is still seen as an option for a cheap high.