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Fla. Police Deal With Increasing Use of Synthetic Drug Flakka

By    |   Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 02:16 PM

Law enforcement officials in Florida believe the increasingly popular designer drug flakka is behind a recent series of bizarre crimes in which the criminals display almost super-human strength, reports WSVN News.

"We're looking at anywhere from five to 10 events a week where they're having to deal with someone on flakka. Individuals on this drug are exhibiting super-human strength. Our officers usually don't address a person on flakka if they don't have minimally four people there. It's going to take, minimally, four people to restrain their extremities," Fort Lauderdale Police Capt. Dana Swisher told the station.

Flakka is scientifically known as "Alpha-PVP" and causes individuals to exhibit excited delirium and other behaviors similar to those displayed by people on bath salts, and the effects can last for several hours or can linger for several days.

"The person becomes psychotic often runs out into the street tearing off their clothes.
They become very violent," Jim Hall, an epidemiologist and member of the United Way of Broward County’s Commission on Substance Abuse, told CBS Miami.

Flakka is usually imported from China, Pakistan, and India, and can lead to a spike in body temperature as high as 106 degrees. The increase in 18- to 30-year olds using the drug resembles the growth in the popularity of ecstasy during the 1990s, but it is more dangerous, says Hall.

"We’ve had seizures of flakka in South Florida that have turned out to be combinations of cocaine plus methamphetamine plus heroin, which is addiction on steroids," Hall said, adding that the number of criminal cases that involve flakka use have risen from fewer than 60 cases in 2013 to more than 670 in 2014.

The sheriff's office laboratory in Broward County, Florida, has recorded an increase in submissions for testing from fewer than 200 in 2014 to 275 in the first three months of 2015, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported no cases in 2010, but saw a sharp increase to 85 cases in 2012, according to Forbes.

There are no statistics available for 2015, but several cases have been reported in Texas and Chicago, which is raising concern among law enforcement authorities in other cities.

"Florida is seeing a large amount of overdoses from it, so it’s killing the community and that’s something we need to be aware of," St. Louis County Police Detective Casey Lambert told KTVI-TV.

Dan Duncan, St. Louis Area National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, believes it is a matter of time before he sees cases involving the drug.

"We’re going to continue seeing this I think in the foreseeable future where backyard chemists are coming up with concoctions that are one off from something that’s already been deemed illegal," Duncan said.

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Law enforcement officials in Florida believe the increasingly popular designer drug flakka is behind a recent series of bizarre crimes in which the criminals display almost super-human strength, reports WSVN News.
flakka, florida, police, synthetic, drug
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2015-16-30
Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 02:16 PM
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